While this post may seem second nature, or even uncouth to many, it is my truth. I have always struggled with my own personal self-care. Especially since becoming a mother. It has become challenging to find the time to do what I need to as an individual. Truth be told, that’s actually really difficult for me to admit, because I love the appearance of having it all together and being in control of me and my life (Spoiler alert: I’m not at all in control of myself). While I have my house cleaned, my children fed, the dog run regularly, and work managed, (Double spoiler alert, this is not as realistic as I plan it to be) I almost always forget to put myself into the mix.
I fondly remember the days of 1.5 hour Bikram Yoga, weeks planning and perfecting a new recipe before presenting it to longing tastebuds, or countless hours holing myself up in the studio to create the perfect print with an artistic viewpoint that could be understood and argued over an evening of academic discourse.
However, as much as I try to fight the reality, my life has changed. I love, cherish, and dote upon my children, my husband, and my life as I know it. But I often find myself wondering what would become of me as a creative being if my circumstance had been different.
While I can never look back, I can only hope to recreate my inner self in the now. With real life and the glamours of artistic freedom becoming ever placed on the back burner of my mind in my ever expansive to-do list of motherhood/adulthood, I struggle to find the time to do what I need to do in order to release the creative beast within myself and fill that expanding hole of self expression and recollection. Sure, I work hard to create an exciting meal plan each week which might feature some seasonal ingredients that my kids will fight about eating. I try to give myself an extra half an hour each day after everyone is asleep to practice solid meditation and Youtube yoga (with ample interruptions from children and dog to make the session just not relaxing enough to actually “count”). But at the end of the day, week, month, year; what am I really looking at in terms of measurements for the time I spend for me?
I feel myself dwindling away year after year, and wondering if that is the normal when you reach middle age, specifically after childbearing years? Has my life really become that in which I strive to support others to the point of breaking my own existence? Is is worth letting that brilliant creative light die out in order to hope that my own future generations might have a better life and chance at creating something different? Or rather, is it worth me trying to exercise my own voice to try and create some change as is fit in my artistic realm? Is it worth trying to plan out my days to carve out a space to say what I feel I need to say on this Earth while my hands and mind allow for me to create the pieces that I find in my mind? Realistically, how does one balance time between exploring individuality and the selflessness that motherhood and wife-dom demand?
Clearly, I’m still struggling with that time management issue, but I’ll be damned if I don’t go out without a fight. I know that my creative energy is strong, and that I have many more series to produce before my time is done (even though I struggle with the mid life crisis mindset). Although when I can say that those finalized pieces will be produced, I know not when; But that they will be completed.