I have been thinking of a topic for my first blog post for the last few weeks. Normally, words come easily to me but this had me stuck. I have been thinking, what could I start with, how do I begin to explain all of the crazy things going on in my own head. As I sit here thinking of where to start, I keep going back to my family and to my kids. Let me paint a picture (pardon the pun) - I am so tired right now, it is a week night and I have to be up for work tomorrow at 5.30am. The work/life juggle is real. I guess although this is not specifically about my Artwork, this topic would be a great place to start. People have a perception by what they see online and I want to start by being very real with anyone who chooses to follow along.
I self admittedly have taken a lot on the last few years. I am a Mum of three kids aged 3, 5 and 11, all with different physical and emotional needs and I am just over half way through an Electrical Instrumentation Apprenticeship. Along with this, I also (try to!) stay active and obviously find time for my Art. Over the years there have been times when I have suffered crippling anxiety, though this is something I struggle with less these days, I did notice it was during these times I found myself drawn to scribbling in my Art Book. For me, Art is my escape from the chaos that is often around me. I get to zone out and focus on exactly what is in front of me even if it is for short bursts of time.
I thought to start I would clear up a few misconceptions that people have about what my life is really like. Although I absolutely LOVE what I do, not everything is as perfect as what you see on Facebook and Instagram. I have had countless people say to me they don’t know how I ‘manage’ it all and it really bothers me because for some reason, I never answer this honestly.. If I let people in on the truth they would think I am crazy. I would hate to think that anyone sees Instagram and Facebook truly believe that is reality, that work, kids, hobbies sport are just soo manageable.. Everything I choose to do means that life is a constant juggle and we make A LOT of sacrifices to make it work.
Like everyone, our kids are our priority and that will never change. Above everything, they come first, always. It is easy to say that though when you are trying to perform in a job that you love and one where you are constantly trying to impress and learn as much as you possibly can. More often than not, days are great, I get to do some amazing work and I have an incredible feeling of self-achievement at the end of a day. My husband and my kids see me happy and things are amazing. Other days can be really tough. I have (by choice) chosen to miss school activities, Mothers Day stalls and parent/teacher help because I am trying hard to learn as much as I possibly can at work. These days are hard and I often question whether it is actually possible to be a good parent and a good, respected employee at the same time. The point I want to get across is, it is not easy. Life isn’t perfect all the time. Some days are tough, some days I don’t know the answers to questions at work, some days I turn into a ‘yelling’ Mum and have to apologise to my kids and some days I really doubt myself. That is my reality. Despite this though, every second is worth it and I know hard days are easily replaced with good ones. Throw my love of art in the mix, trying to squeeze in what I can late at night or over weekend and you have a recipe for a chaotic life!
Not everyone may have the same experiences with juggling work/life balance but I know a lot of people who do. As parents we are so self-critical and wonder if we are doing enough.. or if we are doing too much? What else should I be doing? Am I good Mum/Dad? In my opinion I think whatever you choose that makes you happy is enough for you. Whether that is working full time juggling family, hobbies, sports etc. whether that is being a full time Mum and spending every possible minute with your kids and every other scenario in between. It truly doesn’t matter what you choose to do as long as you see the good in what you are doing and you give it everything you have. You can never judge someone else’s life based on a warped perception of reality and it would be wrong to compare. We are all running our own race and we all have our own goals and challenges.
I have been having some difficult conversations with my 11 year old daughter lately about bullying and the importance of resilience and being kind to yourself. We share inspirational quotes and she doesn’t realise, that while she thinks I am helping her, they actually really help me too. My favourite one tonight was ‘Fear destroys more dreams that failure ever will’. When I started sharing my artwork, I was fearful that people would laugh and think my work was silly. I was worried I might embarrass my husband and my parents. I was worried by starting this website that I would go to this effort and no one would be interested in my work. I was worried that people I work with may wrongly assume I wasn’t interested in my job because I was pursuing another passion. Overall though I was worried that I just wouldn’t be successful and I would fail. Turns out, it took until my 30’s to learn that it doesn’t matter. If you have something you love and goals you want to achieve, you can do it all and if you don’t succeed the first time, keep going until you do.
I look forward to sharing more in future more specifically about my art but if I am really going to introduce myself on this new platform, I have to be really honest about who I am. I am a very busy but grateful Mum, a full-time Electrical Apprentice and more recently a part time Artist!

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Absolutely loved reading that, thank you 🙏🏽

Unnalise Radley

Great to read your blog Tana, you have come a long way. I’ll never forget the sleepover you had for Amy’s birthday in Wickham, you were so scared of being away from mum. Great to see your artwork, keep it up.
Yohanna Kelly

Yohanna Kelly

Couldn’t have written a better first blog. Love the rawness. People need reality in this unreal, image conscious world. Your transparency demands so much more respect, appreciation and meaning to your art. Thank you for being genuinely, you x


Hi Tana keep doing what you can – its all anyone can ask. Your kids will respect you for the fact that you are showing them the way to have a fulfilling life and taking care of them. Have been watching your artwork for a while – you are doing such lovely and powerful work. Congratulations.

Pippa Davis

Beautifully written Tana …. Love your honesty … keep on keeping on xx

Susanne Florido

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