One of the things that I find most difficult in my quest to be a good mother and indulge my creative life, is shushing the mean girls in my head. You know, the clique of whispering sassafrass who, with hands on their hips, remind me that my kids need a completely engaged mother 100% of the time. They tell me that, yes, indeed, my absence due to an upcoming retreat could forever damage their self esteem. In a sing-song posse, they inform me of all the frightening statistics about kids who have two working parents. “Danger! Danger! Danger!” they bleat like a whining sheep chorus.
Here’s the thing:
Because I am driving this bus, so to speak, I have the ability to send this gum snapping crew to a mall in Siberia. They do not need, nor do they deserve, a front row seat to this show. My show of melding my creative life and motherhood tactics together into one shiny ball of what I call my Own Experience. Your version of your Own Experience is unique, so completely tailored to your life, that any form of a mean girl posse (in your head, or heaven forbid, in your kitchen) should not stand in the way of the plans and dreams being made.
Yes, there will be balancing acts more treacherous than any circus high wire act.
There will be moments of screwing something up.
There will be tears (your children’s and yours).
There will be days when you’re pretty certain that you hear “The award for Most Selfish Mom goes to your name here” through your radio.
There will also be blissful, amazing weeks when art was completed and sold, the toilets remained clean and all offspring made it to activities five minutes early. Relish those days because they count for a lot in the moments when you go looking for the Mean Girls to give you the tongue lashing you think you deserve.
Don’t believe them for a second.
Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.
As we all know, these days/phases/childhood stages are fleeting. The day following a week of catastrophe could produce such incredible, beautiful artwork because there was imbalance, tension and unrest…maybe even a laundry debacle or a missed school concert. Creative people can yield so much from all experiences that arise. All of these experiences are part of this incredible journey.The best part is, as artists, we have a way to express ourselves in the crazy and not-so crazy times.
Drive your own bus.
Rest in your Own Experience.
Find joy in your amazing, creative life as mother and artist.
* * *
(my book excerpt written after hearing friends beat themselves up for trying to be all things to all people…this, too, shall pass).