Monthly Archives: March 2014

Creating a story at home

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As I nursed Malcolm last night, some thoughts had occurred to me concerning my path in life as an artist and how my focus has shifted since having my kids.  After Vi was born, I had a very hard time accepting this new roll as a stay at home mom and I ached to work.  My last contract as a designer was a gig in Maryland as a props designer for a college producion when Viola was arounf six months old.  Aside from a social media marketing job part part time, of which I was laid off, I haven’t formally worked in theatre for two years.  After Malcolm was born I was so relieved to be unencumbered by a job, no matter how part time, because such an endeavor would have been impossible.

Why do we work?  For a time I realized it helped fulfill my identity and worth. After Vi was born, I struggled to find my footing as a mom and a woman outside the realm of my skill set.  It was hard.  After Malcolm was born, I barely gave working a second thought. as I did not have the luxury of time to think about it. Plus, I had become accustomed to my identity as a mom. Image

So as I nursed my nine month old last night, I thought, “What would I do if I was free to work now?”  I would likely try to find a scenic painting contract with a local theatre company that at least paid, leaving my scenic design and stage management training in the dust.  Scenic design wasn’t feasible any longer, as I don’t have a decent autoCAD program or the finances to market myself as a scenic designer.  And Stage Management isn’t appealing once you have a family.  Period.  

Having two little kids less than two years apart has been hard and Malcolm has his high-maintenance issues.  But even so, there is something to be said for home-making.  Not “being-a-home-maker”–that makes me think of 50’s women massaging their man’s feet after work in full make-up while the pot roast cooks in the oven.  But we as moms are the ones defining home life, aren’t we?  That’s why we work–to come HOME.  I feel I am apart of the very crux of why we do what we do every day.

Someday I might pick up a scenic painting contract.  Because I love telling a story and being a part of a shared experience.  For now, I can plan painting projects in my home and help create the story that really matters, even if that means less sleep and seemingly mundane tasks.  But I am glad to know that working is simplya means to the end I get to live in every day.  And that is encouraging.

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Hiding upstairs

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…is what I’m doing right now. I just put Malcolm to bed at 5:45pm, and I’m pretending that I don’t need to go downstairs and function. I’ll write a blog…yeah. That’s it.

I wish I could say that I’m doing better at “being present” and accepting things, but its slow going. Today was a snow day so Eric was home and Malcolm was having a hard time. Teeth/cold/angry at the world, whatever. Although it was nice having Eric home, the day was an uphill climb… putting out fires with Malcolm, trying to get things done. I still don’t really see Eric all day since one if us has a kid, and I feel like all I say is “no” to Vi all day and then ignore her to try and calm Malcolm down. I miss her. How can I miss a child I spend the whole day with?

He was doing so much better until recently and I know it will pass.

Lately Malcolm is bordering on inconsolable on a bad day. And I know I should be sympathetic to him and whatever is going on, but after awhile it gets old. He gets himself so wound up, he wont nurse or eat. I’m not worried about him, that’s just how he manages his stress, and it will pass.

I have a great support system of moms in the area and I am so grateful. I think this experience will help me encourage other moms in the future. I get great encouragement like:”You’re a good mom.” I think that’s always good to hear. The funny thing is is I don’t feel like a bad mom. I mean, occasionally I’ll say something OUT LOUD that isn’t what a “good mom” might say, but my kids won’t likely hold it against me! Another one is, “its ok to feel this way (frustrated, angry, whatever)”. I don’t feel guilty when I’m angry with a situation. I hope I wont react badly, but Im pretty comfortable with my emotions. “Its not forever.” I know. But it sure feels like forever.

I think I’m ready to go downstairs and detox.

There’s no fix to difficult situations besides prayer and more prayer. And maybe a good friend to hold me while I cry and hand me a martini. Cheers.