Monday, January 24, 2011

Mothering, an Art

My mind is always so consumed with doing what's right for my children, and they all seem to have a different "right".  I feel full and blessed, and full and overwhelmed.  I mother from my heart, but my heart is not always patient.

My oldest is an Aspergers girl.  Label aside, she is the most extraordinary child, and the most mentally difficult child.  This struggle for me comes from wanting everything to be easy and good in her world.  I strive to raise my girls to grow up with confidence and ability, but for my Kelsey, this is not the case.  Confident, yes, but able, no.  So what do I do?  And how to I spread myself around? ...My heart constantly bleeds for my child.  Will she ever be able to leave me and be ok?  Will the world know how incredibly, absurdly awesome she is?

My second daughter is completely the opposite, but extremely demanding, as she seeks out attention at all cost. She is so able, yet so needy.  Certainly, she is needy because she is so able.  I must fit her in.  I must fit her in.  I must always work to fit her in.  ...Madison is able to make everyone melt with her general excitement for everything, her huge smile, and her flirty manner.  However, with this excitement comes an extreme hyper demeanor, and huge mood swings.  Oh me, I don't think I will survive the teen years with this beauty.

Daughter three turned me upside down.  I had no way to prepare myself for the babe that will not leave my side, ever.  She lets me breathe, only because she needs me to live!  This child, is spunky, extremely intelligent, capable, and demanding more that the older two put together.  At 19 months, I still cannot leave, ever.  Going upstairs to use the bathroom is the biggest feat and she screams, chases me, and yells Mama, no Mama!  Her cuteness and general manipulation astounds me, for as I am about to pull out all my hair, she does the funniest things, whips out a new sentence, or goes to her sisters asking for cuddles and kisses.  How does this babe tear me apart so?  And how is she so able to keep me together, all at the same time?

photo from a year ago. Little babe doesn't look like this anymore!  And she doesn't stay so still anymore!

Fitting the demands if these three together is a struggle, but I am slowly figuring it out.  My fear is not taking care of myself, and thus, not being able to take care of them.   And in doing so, I have seriously, become a little hermit.  I'm ok with this right now.  It is how I survive.  I need it.  Getting out once a week is fine with me.  I know many don't understand this in me.  I am, after all, quite social.  But somehow, staying in, not making life more hectic, is getting me by.  It allows me to exercise and work on art, which has become my therapy, my me time (even if I am surrounded by babes while working), and in essence has become my work.  I have visions for the future, and aside from my family, it all has to do with art.  For the first time in my life, at 34 years here, I know now what I want to live for. Blending these two loves together, and surviving in the process, allows me to live.  I can't fit it all in right now, and I am ok with this.  I have to let some things go, in order to get through this time.


  1. it's hard to imagine, but eventually, things will change & you'll have time for doing art without someone on your hip. you'll take a picture that isn't one of the kids. sometimes it seems like the 8 years of brooke's life have flown by already, but when i think of her 8 years from now, it's hard to believe that my parenting will be mostly done then. the years are a blessing & a curse.
    your girls are all beautiful.

  2. I related so much to what you wrote. Art has always been my truly feeds something in my soul that nothing else quite does. I waited until my daughter was much older before I went to college and got an art education degree & became a licensed art teacher. I only had one child so it was a bit easier for me to manage anyway, but it still took some sacrifice for my family, which is never a mistake, to be sure. Once my daughter got married I finally had some real "me time" and I cherished it. I'm not teaching currently, and I'm actually now taking care of my 1-year-old granddaughter while my daughter goes to Cosmetology School. So now I'm back to struggling to find that time for my creative pursuits. It's always a juggling act. But I love having this quality time with my granddaughter. :) I wish you many happy times with your children, and as much time as possible to feed your creative spirit. :)

  3. TIna, thanks for you story. I love hearing peoples' personal tales of family, especially combined with art. I love you site!


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