i love my kids…but i hate being a mom….

i hate being the one in charge
i hate being the bad guy
i hate having to be the one who makes sure we don’t run out of
toilet paper
clean clothes
toothpaste
shoes that fit
food
i hate being the one that has to make impossible ends
meet
i have to
no one else is going to do it
i have to find ways to fix
messes that seem impossible to fix
i have to referee fights
that seem to have no end
i hate being referee
i hate being mom
i want to not have to worry about everything
to not be the one who is supposed to have all of the answers
i want to find room in my heart
for me
to not feel overwhelmed by them
i want to be able to breathe

it’s not them though
is it?
it’s not being a mom so much
as my being damaged
damaged by life
damaged by parents, damaged by exes
never taught to love myself
in the way a person needs to be able to
so that person can be a good mom
neglected by my own mom
leaving me unable to cope
abandoned
abused
by the man who was supposed
to do this with me
be there for me
now
i just want to hide, heal, and lick my wounds
but as a mom
i just can’t seem to
there are just too many other things
that need to be
done….

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yesterday i collapsed in a heap and all i could think was, “i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom.” it was both a relief to think it…and horrifying.

i didn’t always hate being a mom…if you read my wordpress profile thing-y here, it sounds like i used to really think i was a good mom….
(i wish i could remember that feeling.)

though it was a cruel awakening when i became a mom and realized i was working harder than i ever had before–but i wasn’t getting any pay or benefits. after a lifetime of supporting myself, i was now dependent on a partner who was–well–crappy. he would tell me my position as a mom was pointless and why was he the only one earning money? he would tell me to get a job. i was exhausted to my bones–and he was telling me i wasn’t earning anything therefore i was lazy…useless? and he wasn’t the only one. our society echoed him. subtle or blatant, i got the message loud and clear.

i was a mom now–and now i did not matter.

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gone was my independence. my ability to just pack up everything i own and go somewhere new. just go. whenever i wanted. be free whenever i felt caged. now i was anchored. by one..then two..then three..and finally four little anchors.

gone was time to myself. my crappy partner put that last nail in my coffin. no art. no writing. (right now i have a five year old begging me to color & i really really don’t want to color–i want to exorcise this demon–i want to write.) no exercise even because no one would let me. seriously. i was not allowed to do the walks i used to do daily to clear my head & keep my weight down. if i wanted to go–everyone wanted to go with me–and it became an unbearable circus…

page13

i know there are people out there devastated because they can’t have children. i used to be one of those people. i wanted to cry every time a friend or a sister got pregnant. i tried for 10 years before i got pregnant. i dreamed of being a mom. i dreamed of having that love in my life. of course, i thought, being a mom will fix what is wrong with me.

but i wasn’t careful about with whom i had my kids. that was my mistake. my biggest mistake. i didn’t realize how much that would change things…taint things. that partner who doesn’t value you–or your role as the mother of his children.

it’s devastating…at least for me…it has damaged me so deeply sometimes i feel like i am unable to love at all.

but i love my minions. i do. as much as i hate being a mom sometimes–i never stop loving them.
so that’s something, right?

something salvageable?

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(these illustrations are moreĀ  from the project i am working on “the mistress of mud” with a friend of mine. yesterday i posted that i hadn’t gotten any work done, but i realized i actually had…and i did the one at the top of the post last night as i played around trying to emulate david mack’s style.)

bunny moon

part of my process
when i am getting familiar with a character
is to draw that character over & over
until i have gotten to know her.

i really like this character
i am excited about being part of her story

i also started another ink stain drawing

IMG_3673

it’s kind of chaotic, but i think i can pull it off
that’s part of the fun for me
making cohesion
out of chaos
that is actually my life
gluing together the good bits
arranging the parts that work
filling in the blanks and drawing out the whimsy
to make a perfect picture…
or something like that.

let me illustrate

a friend asked me to illustrate her story. this is an ink i did in my process of figuring out how i want the characters to look. it’s just a mess around rough draft, but i really liked how it turned out. my months of doing ink stain work has shaped my drawing skills and given me lots of fodder for other projects.
i’m excited about working on this project. it is my first chance to work as an illustrator. other than my own stuff, that is.
i like collaborating. i always have. i have found that i work well with others. either flushing out their ideas or letting them help me flush out my own.
i hope that this is the first of many collaborations & illustration gigs.

i haven’t gotten much art done.
i have tried to milk sheep with minimal success.

IMG_3607

i have been growing seeds for spring.

IMG_3626

i have been putting in beehives.

IMG_3581

and raising up more chickens.

IMG_3589

and planting potatoes…(no picture here because planting potatoes is not really a photo op)
ah. the life of a homesteading artist.
with kids.
and dog.
and sheep, chickens, and bees.

and, of course, the dysfunctional relationship that i am working really hard to avoid dealing with.

the far beyond

days & days
of staring at an inkstain
drawing a line here
& there
squinting to see the shapes
in shadows & smudges & splatters
meanwhile,
putting up beehives
raising chicks
building pasture
planting seeds
& trees
& flowers…
eleven days into april
just one inking,
but so much work

i’m exhausted. but i finally finally finished this. there were several times when i thought i was done…but then the light would hit it just right & i would see another face…another creature…more magic.

i am having trouble focusing on my artwork. it shouldn’t take me eleven days to do an inking. or should it? i am distracted. with spring and all the work of a budding homestead.

but, also, with dusty around, the little voices whisper to me that he thinks i am wasting my time.that he thinks i am neglecting the minions. that he thinks i am being silly–thinking my art is a worthwhile endeavor. that i should be doing something else–something worthwhile.
when dusty is nearby, it echoes of my childhood & when my dad would enter a room, i feel like i have to look busy…i feel like my artwork is not real work.

i could very well be projecting this.
or i could very well be sensing it from him.
he has made snide comments in the past.

some days i think i can keep dusty in my life.
i am trying really hard to be nice to him
to see if that changes how he treats me…

…but most the time, he is still a turd.

sigh.

cagey

as faux spring passes back into winter
i enjoy the brisk wind
as it pushes against me
and the fire of my brain calms
as my minions go off
to stay with their dad
i embrace my simple solitude
venturing out of the house
only to prove i can.
the anger has softened
the moon is new
i feel,
once again,
like i can handle life.

cagey3

i think it was really tearing me apart that i wanted to celebrate spring, but the spring i wanted to celebrate was actually a dangerous thing that could really fuck up the growing season (not to mention the world)…those beautiful warm days were a bitter reminder that we have an administration in power that wants to go backwards at a time where even going forward isn’t going to stop the damage that has been done. but it’s forward…not backward.

i mean, it’s hard to imagine people of this country, people of the world, embracing a carbon-free lifestyle…i mean, that was difficult enough…now knowing that there are people in power who want to fuck it all the fuck up….

it’s too much for me.

cagey2

warm days in winter spell death to me…not temporary spring…but death.

so as much as i wanted to enjoy those days of 60 & 70 degree weather. it was killing me.

so now that it is cold again, i feel like i can breathe again.
coincidentally, my minions went away to see their dad for a week just as the weather turned cold again.
and i feel like i can breathe again.

i love my minions…but often question whether i can be a mom or not. do i have it in me? was it a mistake? and why even wonder about this when i have four kids and it’s not like i can just say, “hey! do-over!”

but then they go away and i wonder how i would exist without them.

cagey1

something fishy

i have an over-tired toddler in my lap, and wordpress won’t load my image. it’s been doing that a lot lately. i don’t know if it is a bad internet connection or if the crazy energy afloat around me is blocking it. by the time you see this, i will have gotten my inking of the day to load, but i have been trying for awhile now to get it to upload. if anyone knows a solution to this problem….

i am popping popcorn and being kicked by a sleepy three year old who won’t go to sleep. i have bread dough rising and am having a beer. i’m not in a bad mood despite the grumpy minion. that’s different. usually–lately–i have been deadly pissy.

i am still trying to get my picture to load. it is a good one today. one i really like. i had fun doing it. i posted just the start of it on facebook last night and someone suggested it was already done. it was not. i thought of stopping for the interested party…but i could not. i am glad i didn’t stop.

my popcorn is not yet burning…but i need to melt some butter. poppy is still crying in my lap. still crying. but the popcorn is popped. almost every kernel…with minimal burned ones! i tried to milk a sheep into the popcorn bowl earlier today. so i had to wash that out. and i need to remember to buy a milk bucket…and learn how to properly milk a sheep…not just molest her.

popcorn buttered & salted, but my picture still won’t load. poppy followed iggy & the popcorn downstairs to the movie, but i don’t know if he will stay down there. he wants to watch a robot movie & they’re watching a pirate movie. maybe he will stay for a minute & give me a little break. maybe he will fall asleep down there & give me a big break.

this is my life. this is my art. sometimes i love it & sometimes i hate it.

i really wish this picture would load. usually by the umpteenth time i would be losing my mind. but for some reason i am all zen. maybe because my inking turned out the way i like them to.

success! it loaded. but you know that because you saw it already. do you like it? i like it.

 

letting go

i like this one.
i wasn’t sure.
but i do.

i spent a lot of time
during inking it
to not-so-gently remind
the minions
that i do art to relax
and, for the love of god,
please stop bumping my elbow.

when you do art
to stay sane
it’s kinda counter-productive
to have four busy minions
buzzing around you as you do it.

letting go
i’m trying to let go
of my control issues
of my anger
of my patterns of misery
trying to let go
and remember why i am here
if there is in fact
any reason for me to be here
surely my minions figure into that
pretty big
and loud….

i like these chaotic inkings
the ones with god knows what
going on in them.
these are the ones that i find little treasures in
the weird little details.
these are the inkings
i learn the most about my self with.
these are the ones
that i surprise myself the most with.

i rely on instinct
zen art & ink stains
i let my brain go
and look for what i
normally
might not see.

ps. ink stain & yesterday’s work on this inking: