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).
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).