Not giving up my art

Today I went out for lunch with a woman who I haven’t seen since before I left for Europe, and in that hour we quickly caught up, shared stories, and let vulnerability seep in. I walked away feeling like I was seen. I found a comrade.

That despite the weight and responsibility of motherhood I don’t want to lose myself amongst wiping sticking fingers before they touched the couch, cleaning up toys scattered around the house, and packing bags for daycare while planning the dinner menu.

I need to have my creative endeavors.

I want my creative pursuits to keep me alight, energized and feeding my soul.

I’ve tried giving up my art in the name of motherhood. I would watch my other mama friends thrive in their roles of sole caregiver, playing, napping, cuddling, teaching with a sense of contentment around them. They had hard days, for sure, but they always appeared to be thriving and loving it even in the bad times. So I would return home telling myself I would put aside my creative pursuits to play on the floor, cuddle and hold them until no end, make another meal, clean another sticky chair, take them to another play group with the hope of finding the same contentment.

But it would never come.

I would always feel this tugging at my heart, a longing to be somewhere else feeding my own soul instead of the belly of my child. It felt selfish and I feared that my nightmare had come true – I was the worst mother in the world. But no matter how hard I tried to be a mother and nothing else, that longing would become louder and louder and I would become more and more unhappy.

I could never be the mother who could focus solely on my children.

I struggle to manage it all, and sometimes wonder if it would all be better if I waited till my children were of school age to pursue my art but I know that inside that wouldn’t make me happy at all. I have to believe that following my curiosity is exactly how I’m supposed to live my life, and that having a happy, creative filled mama is exactly what my children need more than me being at home with them while my art collects dust.