Friday, May 18, 2012

Confessions of a Grumpy Artist Mom...


My 3 year old stopped napping about a year ago, occasionally he will give into a day-sleep... yesterday he crashed for two hours in the living room floor. This made his normal bedtime of 7 totally unrealistic... but his little brother needed to go down at the usual time... so we stuck with the routine.   

I lay down with the boys until they are asleep, last night proved to be a marathon. After lots of book reading and snuggling Liam was sound asleep but, Orin was holding out and after two hours I was loosing my calm-mamma grip and quickly slipping into frustration.
I had been under the weather the day before and unable to paint on the piece I was working on and quite anxious to finish. 
This was looking like another paintless night. 
*sigh*
The rest was nice, snuggle time priceless... 
But I was ready to be OUT of there. 
My paints were calling to me!

I am a 24-7 Mama. 
My husband is a retail manager and full time student.
The ONLY people who watch my children are: My mom, dad, brother (and they all have their lives) or husband. Period. 
David and I are so grateful that we live close to family and that we have this option. Grateful as I am ...
This means I try to cram my quiet time, husband time, TV vegging out time, shower time, and painting time into that brief window- 7-11pm.  The boys are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 6-6:30am. I'm not capable of pulling all nighters.
I am truly blessed that typically both boys go down at a decent hour and other than needing a quick snuggle back to sleep for Liam, they sleep through the night. 
BUT.
I do have my moments of claustrophobia... sometimes selfishness rears it's ugly head.  Don't get me wrong. I would not have it ANY other way. But, every now and then...
 I. Just. Want. My. Time.
In the cramped snuggled contortions that I ended up being in during the bedtime routine I sent my mom a text expressing just that. 
Here is the wisdom she had for me ....

"I'm sorry. You must be chomping at the bit."
...
"Snuggle him and breathe him in. Memorize his little boy scent...
One day all you will have is the memory. 
No little guy anymore....
No guilt here! 
Just redirecting your thoughts"
....
Painting? What painting??
You can only imagine the tears. 
How ashamed. 
How much closer I pulled him, this child I adore.
She kept going... 

"Soak up the moments, be fully present. 
One day the memories will give you joy, if you have taken the time to live the moments fully.
..
Talk to your body. Ask it to relax and help you remember this moment.
Use all of your senses. 
If he's awake talk with him quietly... just start a conversation asking him what he thinks about something... anything.
Revel in the quiet, whispered words of your little boy.... be fascinated with his little mind. 
LOVE him ... not just with your heart, but your eyes, nose skin, hands, feet and your belly where he began. FOCUS on him. How he looks, how he sounds, how he feels, what his precious heart desires and what he thinks. 
Tonight might be the most precious gift you have ever been given... a chance to LIVE your charmed life instead of painting it." 

*SOB* 
My mother is the wisest person I know. And I am forever grateful for her taking me by the hand and leading me to the little moments in life that I would blink past. 
I took my mother's words to heart. I choked back the sobs that threatened to accompany the tears I was wiping away. 
 And my little boy and I had a date. 
It was 9 something ... It could have been midnight. 
He wasn't close to going to sleep and this mama was happy!
I drug out all of my paints, watercolor pencils, found him a canvas... He was thrilled. Bedtime has routine. He knows what to expect... sneaking out of bed so we didn't wake Liam wasn't part of the routine. We were breaking 'rules'... together. 
He was so excited to be able to use all of Mommy's paints... introduced him to the watercolor pencils
Gotta get your FINGERS into it!
Sleepy little grin
Sometimes I forget I'm the mommy and I make the rules...
I made us both a cup of peppermint tea.. his favorite.

this put to test my self-photographing skills ... lol


Then Daddy got home and snapped a picture for me :)

Orin also had 'breakfast'... a late night bowl of oatmeal. 
David was delighted to get to tuck him in... Orin is quite the little guy... he talked his daddy into letting him get a shower too... 
 
I never did get around to painting that night.
I gave myself permission
To Break the Rules,
Change my attitude,
and 
Soak up the moment!
 I hope you do the same... have some fun! 

 love,
jess
 


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