I am THE WORST when it comes to self-care. For example my old roommate would celebrate with me when I announced “I shaved my legs today”. Fast forward to many years later and add a kid, self care is even lower on my “Important things to do” scale.
When you run a household, hold down a part-time job, take care of a kid, and try and paint, self-care seems to go out the window with the bathwater. But what I have learned recently is that self-care can help me with all my other tasks. “How?” you may ask, well, when I feel good about myself, I am energized, and when I am energized, I can do anything! Maybe not everything, because I have to wait for my nails to dry, but I can do somethings!
By prioritizing myself and caring for myself both mentally and physically that has given me so much more will to do everything else, especially paint. Painting, like child rearing, is a drain on the soul and body, you need to put time into recharging yourself. So, may I suggest, take care of yourself, you deserve it.
Baby is napping and I am getting lost in the internet. It’s ritualistic. Baby goes to Sleep and I “escape” for just a bit to think about grown up stuff.
Frequently I do laundry, cleaning, bill paying or mostly my part-time work from home job, these are the things that typically steamroll around in my brain stomping any and all creative thought. But recently I have been making an effort to steamroll the other crap. Dedicating my mind to certain tasks/thoughts for the day has been helpful, or I just will auto-pilot to thoughts of the mundane.
The past two days have been for thinking about art. I’ve done some creative thinking about what I will paint for the Swain’s Christmas Miniature show that I signed up to be a part of this winter. I haven’t been able to participate in this show the last two years due to moving then having N.C.. But I have also been working on my website and Facebook. I try not to go on social media while N.C. naps because its a vacuum! You can get sucked in and then your precious nap break is gone, all gone. However, for work purposes it has to be done.
Anyway, to the point of this whole post, I stumbled upon a profile of a woman I went to school with who got married, had a child and seems to have stopped producing art. Typical story. I know, I’m there now. Now I say this with no judgement to her, because I KNOW. I know how easy it is to fall into the pattern of life. I know that we want to enjoy our families and art takes a lot out of us, so sometimes that’s all you can do. I know. I want to say to her, and to any one else going through the same, I know, I see you, and I want to make sure, that at least sometimes, you think about art. THINK ABOUT IT. Don’t even worry about making it. Think about it. Keep at it, don’t quit. You can fall into this routine, but GET UP. I say this because I need someone to say it to me sometimes.
So, get up and think about it. Please.
One word, “Care-trade”.
(E. and N.C. enjoying the beach while I watched them both.)
A girlfriend and I have girls the same age. We both are creatives who work from home and are struggling to find time to work with our little bundles of energy around the house. So I suggested we do a care-trade. No money exchanged, two days a week (that’s the goal, right now its just one) we drop our baby off at the others house for a few hours, each person takes a a turn with both girls. Then, the free mom goes home and works! It’s genius and free. I painted uninterrupted without a care in the world for the first time in FOREVER. I may have cried some tears of joy.
Make a friend, and do it. It’s good for you. It’s good for your kids. It’s good for your friends.