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Seeking advice for an artist-mom-to-be

Will I have time to create? Can I still use oil paints? What will my artwork look like in 5 years? These are some questions running through my head as I prepare to have a baby in February next year. So this post goes out to artist-parents who have navigated this experience, and managed to continue to create artwork. I am a mostly 2D visual artist, and I use traditional media (as opposed to digital art).

One of my assumptions is that it will be much harder to find long stretches of time to work on paintings, which I need mostly when I paint in oil. With gouache and watercolor, I know I can pick up these media without much preparation or clean up time. I foresee that I’ll be able to continue these media, if not as much oil, at least for the first year or two.

Then there’s the question of toxicity. I hadn’t really given it a whole lot of thought in the past, but in order to align with my values of environmental protection, and keep my baby and step-kids safe, what precautions are necessary when it comes to working with oil paints? I’ve taken at least 3 or 4 undergrad classes in oil painting and 2 post-grad, and it seems as though this question was never really addressed by my professors.

I am eager to hear from artists with kids who continue to practice and thrive through parenthood.

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