A lot of times a few people close to me read what I’ve written and ask me, “Are you OK?” they get worried, think I’m stressed. When I used to let my husband proofread my work he would tell me that I needed to add something about how much I love the babies or love being a mom. He said people would misunderstand me, think I was unhappy in my role. I want to write all the wonderful feelings I have about being a mom. But how do I explain it? It’s so complicated and I wish people could understand that part of it. I wrote “I love my time with Jack and Fiona.” Then I erased it because I do love it but it’s up and down. It’s not easy to constantly be saying, “Get off that, take that out of your mouth, come with me, that’s dangerous.” Ect. But that’s the reality of being a parent. There are many moments of pure sweetness, when I hear Jacks little voice on the monitor saying, “Mommy” or when Fiona is playing with her stuffed animals squeezing them all in her arms. When they run up and give me a big hug. They constantly do the cutest things, the love and closeness between us is like no other relationship I’ve ever had, except with my mom and brother. That deep, deep, connection. I can feel we are on the same wavelength. It’s a bond so strong it’s unbreakable. I guess I don’t feel I need to explain all of that because it seems it would be obvious. But my desire to write about the shit is unstoppable, I’m not writing Disney, I’m writing reality.
A thin layer of sticky stuff covers almost everything in the kitchen, little hand prints smeared on the windows leave a residue of milk, watermelon, sausage, beans, and cheese. The diaper genies are full and the smell from the dirty diapers makes me gag. My husband asked me if one of my friends is still in touch with this other friend I used to have, as we drove this morning on our way to take Billy and the babies for a walk. I didn’t know the answer, then he said that she, my friend I used to have, would be so upset that I was enjoying motherhood so much. This friend had told me when I was struggling to get pregnant that I shouldn’t have kids, that I wouldn’t be able to be an artist, and they (kids) end up hating you anyhow. She would tell me things like this a lot, but she also believed in me as an artist. When my husband said she would be upset about me enjoying motherhood so much I thought, I think she would be more surprised that I’m still making art. I’ve been working in my studio and writing consistently. I’ve been digging deep and so much has been revealed to me. The babies have helped me shift, they’ve taught me so much. The struggles that I’ve gone through every day since they’ve been born and the struggles I went through to get here can’t be summed up in a simple explanation of my life now and how I feel about it. I’m enjoying motherhood, I suppose, but I think I would describe it more as the biggest challenge and most difficult and exhausting thing I’ve ever done. Motherhood has the pull and appetite to consume me completely. To turn me into a mouse in a cage scurrying from one meal time to another, from one hug to the next, from sinks full of never ending dishes to activities and teaching I want to do with jack and Fiona. But I fight to keep my time as me, to paint, to think about things that don’t revolve on what new words Fiona is saying or how high Jack climbed today. I am a great Mom, I am 100% all hands on deck, I’m also an artist, I’m a person with ideas and thoughts, things the babies are too young to understand.
I don’t think everyday or every moment is supposed to be wonderful. I think the difficult times, the times I feel like shit are equally as important in my life. Those times are still my time. I used to beat myself up, want to always be happy and when I was depressed I thought I was a messed up person. Now I think I’m exactly how I’m supposed to be, any mood I’m in is the right mood for me. Time is precious and limited. The sticky floors and my sometimes feeling like a fading shadow on the wall insert me into the present time. And as I write about being a mom or making art, or when I’m elbow deep in glue and paint I’m documenting my time on earth, It doesn’t matter if I’m happy or sad, making good or bad art, it only matters that I’m still alive.