Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mini art journal challenge: week 3

I've been thinking about this prompt for a week: "I am". I felt stuck at first. how can I put my(whole)self on a playing card? I was going to choose "soul", but in the end opted for a simpler concept that resumes me pretty well at the moment: "mother"!
I started by pating the background red, then put some white and yellow paint on a piece of cotton fabric and pressed it on the card. I'd bought some beautiful handcut paper craft from China some 10 years ago and selected one that had a tiger and her cub then stuck it on the card. That paper is so fine, I nearly tore it by applying the glue (I only had a glue stick, so I'd grab a little of it with my finger tip then paste it onto the papercut). The words were all taken from a newspaper article about mothers' reaction at a Sydney newspaper article that stated that modern day women had it easier bringing up kids than did their mums and mums' mums. What a load of crap is how I'd sum it up. I can't believe families and raising children comes behind earning money to pay our taxes and mortgages. Maybe a debate for a future post...
The statement is repeated twice, perhaps because being a mother didn't come naturally to me. During Tahi's first year I was very torn between looking after him and going back to work. It was hard. I wanted to do the best I could for him, which meant staying home and being full time mum, breastfeeding (which I still am!), practicing EC. And I slowly realized that also meant I had to reassess my values and how I defined myself. Suddenly there was not much time for me, or even us (as partners/lovers), it was all about a baby whose basic needs had to be met, 24/7. I've felt frustrated at times, stuck, angry, sad. But I've also felt a growing respect, love and understanding. I am also very proud. Of who our little boy is growing to be. Of choosing to do the hard yeards, staying home with Tahi and bringing him up. It's all pretty much about him. Hopefully it'll pay off!
I am slowly finding a balance. A year ago I opened a shop on Etsy, selling kids' clothing made from recycled material. In the end, this change of life has been good for me too. I can be creative, put my energy (whenever there is some left!) into something I really believe in. I also have time to put in our garden. I've slowed down, revalued what was important.

Tahi and have been having some very chilled out days, just taking a stroll to the beach, walking into town. Today I took out his nice oil pastels he got for christmas. Judging by the picture you'd think he's been very busy coloring some beautiful drawings. But no, Tahi is really into chopping things with scissors, so he did just that with his crayons. I've stopped him from doing that in the past, but I decided to let him do it this time. It's hard, I hate waste and this really felt like wasted goods, but they're his and if that's the way he likes to experiment with them, maybe I should let him do it... He had fun anyway and was pretty happy with himself!
(And I managed to recover all the little bits and put them back into the box before he threw them over the railing!)


  1. and you have every reason to be proud :) Liz

  2. Hey!
    I havnt stopped by for some time & this is the first post I read. Thank you for sharing, I am in the exact same place! About to have a 2 week “holiday” on a farm. To help out, learn some vege garden techniques, and most of all have some time to think about my values and what direction I want to take with business & babe. It is hard isn’t it, the decision.
    Our babies really do need us, but we also need some time for ourselves to be whole to give them the best of us.
    How do you manage both? I see you’ve had crafty time, do you just do these activities of an evening? I find im tired & grumpy the next day if I don’t get enough rest, and River wakes pretty early.
    Anyhow, thanks again
     Cat

  3. Hey Cat,

    sometimes I feel like I'm doing great, sometimes I don't. I have learnt that to feel happy I do need some time to myself. I wish I had some family around, but unfortunately it's not the case.
    On the good days, when Tahi is asleep is my "me" time. I drop the housecleaning (I actually do that with Tahi, it takes twice as long but it can be fun!) and just focus on what I want to do. Business is second though, so I only go as far as I know I can manage. I wouldn't say I manage very well all the time, but I'm learning!
    I'm guessing if River wakes up early he must go to bed early-ish as well. Some nights I'm asleep by 9pm. luckily for me, I've never had any trouble sleeping. Most mornings I won't remember how many times Tahi woke up (we still co-sleep).
    You will find your balance. Right now, we're doing the hard yards. It'll pay off!
    Keep in touch. Sharing motherhood experiences is so important.

  4. Hey Natacha,

    I love that Tahi's sleep time is your me time, and that you clean together! What a great gift that is for him, to hopefully later in life find it easy to be apart of the household runnings.
    My brother struggles to remember to put the cereal box away (And might I add its all he has to do!!) because my mum just always did everything!
    River's sleep time is my computer/business time.
    I find it hard to put aside when I have client expectations on jobs I have started with them.

    But since we spoke I have found help! A local mama doing family day care. She will have River for 6 hours on a Monday for me. I have been looking for some time, but finally found someone who is warm. I have been nervous and upset about this decision, but I think being at a ladies home, & there will be only 2 other little girls, I think he will enjoy the time. And if it's not working, we can stop.

    Yes, River goes to sleep at about 7pm most nights - I aim for 9pm for me. We cosleep too, although most nights he sleeps through fine, until anywhere between 3.30am-5.30am, he wants some milk.

    Hey, Ive found since drinking green smoothies I get up then so much easier! The last 2 mornings I have missed them, and honestly its been noticeable. I didnt really realise until i remembered i hadnt been doing my greenies!
    The basic is the best, banana & baby spinach leaves. yum.
    I cant recommend them enough!


  5. Hi Catherine,

    great that you found someone. Our modern lifestyles often mean we lack family support, very noticeable when we have kids! It sound like you found a good alternative.
    I should get onto those green smoothies... I was doing it this summer but somehow forgot about them. Thanks for the tip!