Parenting requires so much sacrifice and can be as heart wrenching as it is fulfilling. So often, mothers tend to the health and happiness of their families, neglecting their own well-being. Most often, the neglect isn't intentional, it's simply the overwhelming need of her children. Many are also caring for parents, dedicated to their career and relationships with others. The weight can be is heavy and exhaustive. Anyone else find that sometimes it feels like too much?
For me, I packed my good paint brushes and expensive paints away when my kids were little and reverted to finger paints and those water color palettes that you can pick up at anywhere. You know the one that comes with its own plastic brush. I only painted with the kids for the longest time.
As we went on to discuss how she was able to fit the activity in before motherhood and her strategies for staying connected to it, images form in my mind. The word that came was "outlet". Her life-giving activity is an outlet...both a source of Power, connecting to herSelf and an overflow of the "too much" we all experience in this beautiful, demanding, and hard role of parenting.
Sometimes we need to prime the pump a bit, just stick a toe into the water to access the experience we crave.
I remember one mom saying "if I could just go away by herself for a week at the beach..." Her circumstances weren't going to allow that. (Whose does?) We talked through what she needed that a week at the beach would provide. Because the beach felt so unattainable, she neglected to even try to create a taste of it. That week, she took an hour at the river alone and began to meet her need.
Parenting is a life-long journey. Each season comes with it's own highs and lows, beautiful gifts and challenges.
What are your life-giving activities? Did / do you paint? Write? Draw? Dance? Roller skate? I encourage you to have your menu of options and ways to connect. Find what can relieve the "too much" and access some of the creative juice you need to make this life work. Maybe you're finger painting too.