the layers of history…

Oct 4, 2011 | Life in Progress

you are enough
new painting, you are enough.

there’s this thing that happened when i became a mother that nobody warned me would happen. it hit me hard and i think i’ve just recently sorted it all out.  i’m not sure how to explain it, except perhaps that it’s likely hundreds and hundreds of years of history/gender roles/societal impressions that all of the sudden filtered through my consciousness the very second i gave birth. the voices inside all those unseen pressures said exactly this: now you are a mother and this means you must now cook every single meal, keep the house super clean every single day, keep your husband happy, work as little as possible, and spend all of your time with your baby. you will do all of this all with a big bright smile on your face and perfectly coordinated outfits. you’ll have a ton of mama friends, and you’ll still be able to hand make all of your gifts and send cards and do all the grocery shopping and yard work too and paint gorgeous paintings, and raise a smart baby who has the best manners of any child you’ve ever known.

i couldn’t understand why i was feeling so much guilt about not being able to do it all. i felt guilty if i worked. if i didn’t work. if i let true play alone. if i didn’t let true play alone. never before did i feel like i should cook (i’m not a cook) but all of the sudden, giving birth had me feeling guilty for not having home cooked meals on the table. and on and on. this was all new to me – the guilt and pressure on this particular home front (good wife, good mother).


you are enough close up
(close up of painting)
earlier in the summer, a friend brought it into focus for me when she said that all that pressure i’m feeling is decades and decades of history coming toward me – all the journeys of the women before me who were up against their own pressures (both personally and societal) – the ones that resisted all of it, and the ones who did not. and now, as i make my way into my own journey of being a mother, i am up against all that feedback, information, and layers of history that have been passed down. during that conversation, i finally realized that THAT has been exactly what i’ve been up against: some unseen forces that had me battling the gremlins of i’m not doing enough. it is SUCH a universal struggle for women and mothers. i can see that now.

months after that conversation, i’m still thinking about it. it gave me some freedom, a permission to continue the journey of letting it go. of surrendering. i know now where that pressure comes from. and i’ve been letting it go. feels really really good. in fact, it seems i’m pretty much back to my old ways of not cooking and not feeling one bit guilty about it 🙂

so, anyway, that’s what inspired the above new painting. i am enough. you are enough. (as is).
kelly rae

Sending much love,

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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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