Friday, July 27, 2007

My life is like an artsy farsty clown car.

I commiserate with an awful lot of artists. I mean it, A lot. "Does that mean I'm an artist at heart?", I often wonder hopefully. I mean, I guess being a muscian makes me an artist too but its just not the same unless you've actually created the art. I feel like because I've not written the songs I sing, I really don't qualify. I've always wanted to write my own songs. But the few times I've actually gathered the courage, the result....well let's just say the result was really dissapointing.

Then there are the voices in my head that say firstly. "What about visual art? You are a visual person and you've always really enjoyed art. You love wheelthrowing and photography and have always had a secret inkling that you are an undiscovered protege painter. You like to be crafty too....if that counts." Then the second (and I think the bigger issue of the two) starts on about art not being selfless enough. "If you want your life to truly help people singing, painting or whatever other mindless day job you find does not stop people from starving or suffering. Nor does it give them a home or an education. " I wanna know what's so great about selfless that I need to attend its mass daily.

I surely hope to find the middle ground between these two sides. Ideally sooner than later because regardless of whether its a worthy job for me or not, I have the soul of an artist.

Homemakers Lament

I am struggling today. I'm not sure if its the book I just finished ("The Road" : It's devastating this book, I regret ever starting it as reading the middle of it broke my heart. I think possibly literally.), or a hormonal premenstrual black hole OR (even worse) a low feeling of regret regarding my job choice.

For most people I think the last is easily solvable no matter how invested in your job you've become. You hate where you are enough and you quit, or get fired OR whatever! The only large repercussions are those in your pocketbook and/or those in your sense of 'work' self. The problem is, I'm a stay-at-home mom. Regretting my choice to stay at home means a whole self tug of war and a lot of guilt. Part of me demands, "Don't you love your child? You will lose track of even more of his life if you go back to work, almost the whole of it. Don't you want to give him that sense of how much you care for him. That you would give your whole life to him; heart, mind and spirit. That you love him that much. Especially, when you never felt that way of your mother. You're going to quit now!! You quitter! You've gotten through the hard part! If you would just stop being so lazy this would be fun."

Then there's the other side..."Your husband is struggling to make sure the family survives financially. He is making a great sacrifice and its time to give him a little reprieve. You are starting to lose it without any sense of accountability. You are a sinking ship. You are struggling with issues that you can't deal with and mother appropriately. The emotional place you're at right now is not a place that a baby should be subjected to 24/7. You are not cut out to do the same menial tasks day after day. You don't do any of them well enough to frame them as fine gifts to your family. You are just not motivated or organized enough every day to do this the way you've always imagined. To do it better than your mother."

I've always wanted to be a Homemaker. A woman adept at the art and science of 'playing house'. Being the person who makes all the laundry smell like home and all folded and neat. The person who does arts and crafts and makes your favorite lunch for you every day(and it tastes so good!). The person who has plenty of time in her day to keep a pretty clean and homey house but still has lots of time to play and to do things for herself. The person who makes her own bread and almost all the meals from scratch. The person who lets you out to move and wiggle and run and jump and be friends. The person who happily crafts magically healthful wonderful dinners on a meager budget and who enjoys lush praise from all who partake. She takes you on romps through the woods and teaches you everything she knows while at the same time helping to instill and relish a sense of magic mystery and wonder into all around her. The person who always sends you a birthday card. The person who always sends fabulous 'thinking of you' cards and thank you cards that really make you feel as if you're important. The person who reads to you with vigor every day and is not afraid to make fort blankets or to have adventures. The person who scolds gently and is fair and balanced when it comes to discipline. The person who always holds you and makes you feel safe and good. The person you run crying to when you need a boo-boo kissed. The person who always gives you the best advice that makes you grow up to be a wonderful person with lots of self esteem...but not too much. The woman who always looks wonderful and sexy for herself and for her husband(Who so greatly deserves to have a wonderful beautiful woman sleep with him every night.) The woman who sacrifices a chunk of her own life for her family with grace and dignity. ......All of which SOUNDS really wonderful. Except that I'm not all that great at motivating myself. Even worse the person I should be able to model some of these things from has never been an example of them. I am this person on the inside I just can't figure out how to be this person in the real world.

I feel like I'm always angry and filled with resentment. Half the time I'm not sure exactly what I'm feeling. Sometimes the things that come out of my mouth make me sound like I feel trapped at home. But I'm not sure if I actually feel that way or not. I think sometimes I feel like I can never do all the things I think a Homemaker should. Partly because I have no idea how. And most f the things I don't know are not things you can go look up in an encyclopedia, they are things that women pass to their children. Just by doing them. Sometimes I wish that I could find balance between the beauty of having habits/traditions (a planned life) and playing it by ear (Living by the seat of my pants). On one hand I always felt rather unstable in my childhood home and I could have really used some more structure. But on the other hand I want to give my children a better sense of freedom than I ever felt I had.

And, AND....I cannot get the baby to sleep this week. It is making me insane and I am not sure why it's such a big deal. I think it's because I feel like I have a lot more freedom when he's asleep. Like I can do things without having to make sure he is not getting into something he shouldn't. I think deep down I worry that I will never actually complete anything when I try to do things while he's up. He is a constant (beautiful, but constant) distraction. Some days, I have a persistent sense that I may be messing him up when he's awake. It makes me very anxious. Sometimes I just need a blessed break from the screaming, from pulling poisonous things from his mouth, from him pulling everything out and messing up what I just cleaned, from the guilt that I need a break in the first place, from trying to keep him happy while not spoiling him, and from the anxiety that because he's not sleeping now experience tells me he will be a very large handful of cranky later.

Okay B, but what are you thankful for today:
I am thankful for my wonderful husband who truly loves me. I am thankful for my very healthy baby who is really pretty good most of the time. Who eats well and sleeps through most nights, who is curious and adventurous and smart and Ohhhhhhh so adorable.
I am thankful that we a have a home that is ours and our way. I am thankful to have the oppurtunity to stay home with my baby even if it means a day full of crying and whining. They are my babies cries and whines and I love them too. And I get to watch every one of his discoveries and every one of his struggles. I probably know him as a person better than anyone else so far. I am thankful I get to choose what to do with my day everyday. I have to remember that is always my choice. I am thankful that I have my hubby, my parents, my friends and my brother all of whom in one way or another assist me in living my life every day.
Okay gotta go collect a crying baby....Bye.