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!)