QUESTION: I have 2 kids and 1 more on the way. I have an adorable husband. But what I feel I’m lacking is something outside of my family, and I really wish I had something in place before I had kids. I feel as if I’m losing(lost) myself and when I do get the rare break I don’t know how to spend my time or what to do. And I guess my question is at this age and stage in my life, how do I give myself a kick in the ass and just fucking DO something that is for me and makes me happy. Because I’m knee deep in this whole parenting/wifeing thing and have become dull and jaded and totally uninteresting. As an artist I am the biggest procrastinator and always have an excuse for not doing. How do I overcome the procrastinating and seize the opportunity when I am just weighted and tired from caring for people? I want to live dammit and just live happily.
ANSWER: You won’t DO anything until the pain of NOT doing anything is worse than the pain of starting something.
Think of it this way. You are not living a sustainable life right now and this will impact your marriage and kids. This WILL cause poison to enter your home. your JOB is to pre-empt the crisis of depression, or an affair, or resentment towards your family by making time and space to find and do what you love to do on a regular basis. It is NOT a hobby for when the kids are in bed and after the dishes are done, its your RESPONSIBILITY. You want to make your children into adults who LOVE what they do so you have to model this for them. They need to see their mother carving out space for her practice, because it is quite literally what will SUSTAIN you all. If f we want to get even more dramatic about it- you not doing what you love will end up hurting your whole family.
But doing your thing on a daily basis is very hard and takes sacrifice. I spend a lot of money on childcare. I work late into the night. My house is a fucking mess. I’ve got a Curious George show on as I write this. I put my work right near the top- on top of dinners out, vacations and new clothes (ok this is a lie, I just blew $300 on online shopping- please don’t tell my husband).
And it doesn’t have to be much. It can be an hour a day. It can be 3 times a week. It can mean yoga, or freestyle writing, or painting a table- with no goal of it ever reaching anyones eyes but your own; but you need to first, make the time- for the space- for the magic.
Strap your newborn to you and get ‘er done. Be disciplined. This is for you, and it’s for them.
My job as a mother, is to do my thing while loving my kids.
How it looks on paper is:
My work schedule (not necessarily paid) is written into my ical and the schedule is respected by my family.
I try to support my partner in doing the same thing for himself.
Even when I’m exhausted or the kids want me to be a horse, I go into my office to work.
Then when I’m done my work- I’m the best goddamned horse you’ve ever seen.