I am sat here staring at my computer screen. Type something, just type something! The baby is asleep, the toddler is asleep (although he's having a late nap and I was supposed to wake him up at least 10 minutes ago.) Just type something now while you have the chance. My brain however will not think. I am running blank on nearly empty and maybe bed for a quick nap would be a better idea then blogging.
I next picked up my laptop to continue typing this post several days later, sneaking a sentence here and there at the same time as a feed. Life right now is hectic, hardwork and unbalanced.
While circumstances may be particularly difficult with a newborn, trying to find the right balance between my role as a mother, my children's wants and needs, my wants and needs, work and commitments and the day in day outs of everyday life is something that I have struggled with since the birth of my son 2 years ago.
My brain is a battleground. Aspects of my life constantly fighting with one another for the top spaces on my inner priority list. I have yet to find the right balance in life. I am not sure that perfect balance actually exists. It is plausibly a figment of my hopeful imagination. It feels impossible most days to do enough of everything to feel satisfied and content with how things are.
I tell myself repeatedly that I just need to create more time in the day, get up even earlier, go to bed even later. It is never that simple. Parenting is tiring and often bed seems more appealing then trying to force my exhausted brain to paint a picture on no sleep. Meaningful rest also has its army on that priority battleground. Something somewhere has to give. I am just never sure what should give or where that give should be.
The area of my life that brings me the most frustration is my artistic practice.
Looking back at before I became a mother I lacked productivity as an artist. Once I left art college I floated around. I painted and created when I felt like it switching and swapping with mediums and styles. I experimented with having an online presence with varying amounts of effort. I organised a few exhibitions, entered the occasional piece into a competition I never heard anything back from and spent many Saturdays at little local craft fairs not really engaging many people with my work. For the most part I felt uninspired.
Bear arrived and all of a sudden I found myself with a baby who needed my constant attention. My life flooded with responsibilities. His early weeks and then months were physically and emotionally overwhelming. In many ways this huge life change filled me with a fresh drive to create and succeed. I became inspired and I felt desperate to paint. Becoming a mother gave me motivation yet took away my time. I felt my skills disappearing down a drain, absorbed by motherhood. I never understood that it was acceptable to feel in love with motherhood yet sad at the loss of myself and my interests. I was riddled with unnecessary guilt.
As Bear grew I slowly gained more time for myself. We have yet to really master sleep and bedtimes so sadly I still struggle to find time to create. That time is even less now we have a new baby. I blog when I can. I find blogging easier to slide into the day here and there. Painting on the other hand I find needs more of my attention; more concentration. At least for now I struggle to make art while my children are playing around me. This is something I have had to attempt to learn to make peace with. I have to wait for now. Maybe this will be different when my children are older.
With the arrival of our new baby I am reminded of those first few months of my sons life, adjusting to my new role as Mama and making peace with my new responsibilities. For now my blog may be quieter. My paints sat on the side dry and unused. Drawings may be half finished waiting patiently for that splash of colour or pen detail. That is how it is right now. It is the way my children need it to be. The, now familiar creative frustration, has worsened once again; I am desperate to paint. This time however, I am armed with the lived knowledge that my children will be grown before I know it. The last 2 years have gone by in a blink of an eye. This time will vanish too and I need to make the most of it.
No matter my frustrations, this will pass and when it does I will miss it.
Photography by Jessica Paige Grieg