Monday, September 27, 2010

A Mommy Moment

So I started writing this yesterday, and didnt finish, but thought I should still share it with you.  A very real moment in a journey of motherhood and art making...

"I'm taking a mommy moment here...  I need to breathe.  I just strapped my screaming struggling 2.5 year old into his car seat and sent my poor husband on a drive with him.  It's been an entire weekend of whining, screaming, tantrums, crying, throwing himself on the floor.  He doesn't want to eat, to sleep, to get dressed, to take a bath, to get in the car, to stay home, to go outside, these things send him into fits of rage and tears.  He doesn't want to do anything but play with his trains and watch movies.  Is this what they call terrible twos?  Is he sick, is he hurt, is he upset about the dog joining the family?  I have no answers and no solutions.  I have gotten no work done all week, and I am mentally and physically empty.  I tried to work yesterday while he napped and all that came out was very very bad art.  I tried to finish a painting I had done a few nights before and I completely overworked it and just had to let it go.  (I tore it in half actually, it felt really good).  I started to think last night that I am out of my mind to try to do craft fairs this Fall while also doing full time childcare of my son.  Who does that?  Other people don't do it alone, they get help.  They find a babysitter, wrangle a relative, pick a daycare to alleviate the demands both motherhood and art business have on them.  These are really smart people.  I start to freak out that I don't have enough made, but then freak out that my son is stressed and needs more of me.  I started to have mini panic attacks about damaging my son by my lack of focus and sporadic attention.  He's not an easy child.  I know this.  He is actually a very complicated and difficult little boy to keep happy.  He's like me, passionate and emotional, and a tad dramatic at times and very very stubborn;)  I adore this little man more than anything in this world.  Its just that being a mommy isn't enough for me.  I need a bit more, but he wants all of me all the time, and now even that doesn't seem to be enough for him.  What am I doing wrong?"

image from here

24 hours later, I feel better and so does my son.  Turns out that he is teething.  We finally realized this late last night when he tried to take a bite of his spaghetti and started to cry and then grabbed my finger and shoved it in the back of his mouth.  I have a teething toddler, not an out of control little monster (which is how I felt yesterday afternoon).  Today he is sweet again, soothed with some tylenol and frozen yogurt sticks.  We have made up, finally gotten a good nights sleep, and peace is restored to our home.  Its amazing to me how effortlessly my art process reflects what is going on in my life.  That last painting I ruined this weekend happened because I would not slow down, really look and feel what it really needed, I just kept trying and adding and adding, and pushing the image until it was over worked, washed out, overly saturated.  I was doing the same thing with my son, over doing it, trying too hard, not listening or feeling, and it was overwhelming and chaotic.

Here's whats left of my painting.  Its just a piece from what I ripped apart, but I thought I'd keep it to remind me of what happens when I push too hard and stop listening.  So this week I am trying to be more present (again), take more time to do things, listen and feel my way through each process.  I find that it helps when I start to feel out of control, too many expectations on me all at once, I whisper out loud "I am here" and it brings me back to center.  It is a prayer for me, but it can be whatever you need in your life, if you find yourself overwhelmed with all the many facets and complications it brings.  So for now, "I am here." I am listening and taking some time.

Heres a little bit of what I did get done this weekend.  Be blessed where you are at today.


  1. Oh. Harmony! We did the crying-screaming-trains-and-movies ONLY very recently. (top molars arrived) Holy Moly. If I have to hear 'Thomas and James are racing' one more time...*shudder* My mom came up with a fabulous idea that works for Orin: Baby Ambosol (sp?)on a toothbrush. Orin will chew on it for quite a while (while in my lap doesn't really free your time up) and it will stop the worst of fits. usually.
    Isn't it the greatest relief to know you are the mother of a 'little monster'? Been there, thought that!
    I like your little piece of Chaos. What a great reminder.
    Wishing you a peaceful, productive week!

  2. So glad to hear that the last 24 hours was better for you and the little man. =) I totally understand how your mood can transfer to your work. I've had many pieces that are constant reminders of what not to do when I'm not in happy place.


  3. love you harmony and love your good heart!!!you're a good mommy and I'm proud of you... miss you maria

  4. oh my! i'm glad you figured out what was wrong. that would be so hard to not know what was causing the crying, screaming...i don't know how you parents do it with such patience!

  5. My daughter always found great relief from the challenges of teething when I gave her Camilia by Biorin.

    It is all natural and works like a miracle.

    Harmony, I just recently found your blog and have really enjoyed your honesty and your art.

    Thanks for sharing.


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