Monday, October 11, 2010

Motherhood and Fear

I want to share a bit about fear and being a mom.  Motherhood is a daunting thing... sometimes bringing me alive and sometimes holding me back, it took a hold of who I was and permeated every facet of my being, creating someone who looks the same but sees the world entirely different.  Makes so many things a million times better, makes many things a million times harder, it carries with it a ton of new joys, laughs, and discoveries, while also giving innumerable fears, frustrations, and compromises.  I once heard a celebrity mom say, "I never knew what fear really was until I became a mother."  I would say that has held true for my experience with becoming a mom as well.  Fear is a funny thing.  It can sneak into your heart with no warning and render you helpless, it can also push you to change and find courageousness that you never knew you possessed.  You can find yourself avoiding things because of fear, or you can find yourself doing things you never thought you would try.

Motherhood has brought fear into my life in a way I never experienced before baby.  Fear of failing, fear of something happening to my child, fear of something happening to myself or my husband, fear of making a mistake that would permanently change something for my son's life, fear of being judged by other parents, fear of it all going by too fast.  There are fears in raising a child that I never thought about before he arrived, but it has also been those same fears that have pushed me to do better, to try new things for my son, to make changes in myself that will make me a better mom, to be safer in my lifestyle choices, to hug and kiss him more and take a million pictures and write down his stories so I can remember all of it.

      I  am sharing this now, because I recently had a major mommy freak out period.  I think these phases are normal as a parent.  Something triggers a part inside me that sets off a myriad of thoughts and fears for my son, and I have to work through the emotional baggage and pray my way back to a place of balance.  About 2 months ago, I found myself confronted with several tragic child deaths within my social network circle.  It was the weirdest couple of weeks.  People kept sending me messages asking to pray for different families having a crisis that ended up resulting in the unthinkable... a young child passing away.  It blew my world apart.  I had never really thought about how incredibly fragile young life is, and how devastating it becomes for the families involved.  I found myself holding my son at night while he fell asleep, silently wiping tears from my eyes as I battled to NOT think about the possibility that my son could have an accident or get sick and die, and as much and I tried to NOT think about the fact that I couldn't protect him at all times, that was the reality. Something might happen to him or me or someone else that we love and I have no control over that. What I did have control over was myself and the way I handled the scary things that come along in life.

     I needed to pull myself out of the depressed funk, to face my fear of losing my son, to let go and accept that every day I have with my family is a blessing and to rejoice in that gift and not morn an unknown day when things could change.  So I started working on this painting. 

Its sort of my own twist on the iconic Madonna and child paintings.  It gave me a place to rest my fears, it gave me time to process, pray, and let go, and it brought me joy as I discovered bits of myself and my son inside the paint.   She's holding him while he sleeps, and she's smiling, because even though she cannot know what tomorrow will bring for him, she can give him all the love she has in that precious moment.  I hope you like her.  She is mostly acrylic paint, and her skirt is vintage child wrapping papers layered under tissue paper and vintage dress patterns.

I hope this story gives you hope and isn't too much of a downer.  Its been on my heart for a while ever since I went through that tough couple of weeks, and I am so blessed to have art making help fade my sorrows away and bring joy to my heart.   (and if you ever have freak out periods like mine, and feel like sharing, please do :) it always brings hope to know that you are not alone)  Be blessed my friends!


  1. Love the new painting:O)I so understand what you mean, becoming a mother changes everything, i too worry about illness and death and i worry about others hurting my children, Im very overprotective of my boys and know that i need to let go and let them breathe and Live:O)i try everyday to Live and enjoy every moment life is so precious thank you for sharing have an awesome night:O)

  2. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! For making me feel fitting in the motherhood world. For taking the words out of my thoughts and to write them down so beautifully.
    I am sorry for your friends loss.
    Nothing like today for being thankful for our loved ones.
    The painting is very expressive and the colors well picked.
    Have a great week.

    PS - I find that Bach Flowers and Essential Oils have helped me a lot with all the stress.

  3. Beautiful painting!

    It can be so hard to not worry, to be calm and cool about out children who we love so dearly. You will find that the worry will ease and be replaced with even more joy. Hugs to you. :)

  4. I have those same "freak-outs" almost every day!! And I second the back Flower remedires, they really are fantastic. I LOVE this new panting, it is really one of my favourites, I love Iconography and this has echoes of that sentiment... take care XX

  5. This is my first time on your site and it won't be my last. Luv it.

    Love this post on motherhood. You don't find posts like this. I never hear people talk like this, parents usually complain. Not saying they don't love their kids, I guess for some it is easier.

    What I've learned about motherhood is, is that you are riddled with guilt. I worry so much. I hope I did a great job, I hope he respects and loves me as he gets older. I hope as he grows he gets smarter, caring, etc.

    My son is 15. Learning to that is scary crap. Teenage years can be aggravating. They get snotty. The whole ride, the ups and down are worth every second of it.


  6. I so relate to this post. I have two little ones (my daughter is 2 and my son is 5 months) and my biggest heartaches are worrying about something bad happening to them, and getting sad about the passage of time and how precious each moment is and I can never get it back. I'm trying to work my way through these fears. I have a blog for each of them where I post pictures and keep memories of their preciousness. I plan to convert the blogs into little books one day so we/I can keep them at home and look at them as time goes on.

    Anyway, these fears come up all the time and I'm trying to work through them. I hadn't thought of painting through them. I think I will give it a try. Thank you.

    Love your work and your blog, by the way :)

  7. Beautiful, honest post and gorgeous painting. I found your blog via Kathryn's blog! Adding you to my reader; you're so talented and I can't wait to read/see more!

  8. beautiful painting and even more beautiful after i read your blog!


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