Photo above by (I think) Edouard Boubat from Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess through Myth, Art, and Tarot, by Vicki Noble (AWESOME)

The past two weeks I’ve gotten even less sleep than usual, and I’ve felt more alive. Wild, huh? And I feel really happy, in a different way than my usual giddy-cause-I’m-Tulsi’s-mama-kind-of-way. All because I’ve been creating.

It’s like I’m finding myself again with my art. My art is the thing that sorta defined me before I became a mother (ha) — as much as any one thing can define a person. Then, all of a sudden, I was a mama — a new mama who had no spark to create anything ‘else’. I remember wondering if that was normal. (Was I still an artist, or was I now a mother?) Then that mama became a mama who struggled to create with deadlines in the wee hours of the night (to pay some bills). Then that mama became the mama, who suddenly felt inspired again to create art but had no time and little energy at the end of the day to do it — the mama who kept wondering, “how the heck are other mamas doing it?” And somehow … maybe with time or being more gentle on myself, or maybe with erasing any dividing lines between the two “me’s”, or simply feeling the purest desire to do both, I’ve become a mama who is also an artist — and making art. Whew! It is such a journey and a continual balancing act, I know, but I think it’s important to shout out a big thank you to the universe when life IS in balance, don’t you?

(The projects I’m working on, I can’t share until they are published…but it will be fun when I can!)

And I see how making art grounds me, like a full day digging in the garden, barefoot. And how it fills me, like harvesting and preserving enough food from our garden to last the whole winter. And how it challenges and grows me, like every moment I’m with my Tulsi — the fun, tough, and every one in between. And that it’s just as important for me to make art, as it is for Tulsi to see her mama doing what she loves. I wonder how being a mother will change me as an artist. It’s bound to…

I’m going to take some liberty to add to Ben Shahn’s “capsule recommendation for a course of education (for an artist)” : Become a mother. To anything. A baby or pet or horse or garden. Know what it’s like to take care of someone else first. To set your art aside for some time, if needed. To give all of yourself, even when you are exhausted and to trust and let go of yourself to become someone new.

For you mamas out there, I’m curious what you let go of when you became a mother, and did you find it again — or did it find you again?