Motherhood and the Pursuit of Self



So far I’ve briefly mentioned three chapters in my past; beginnings in Barbados, education in different states, and cultural studies in Newcastle upon Tyne. After these sojourns I ended up in Safety Harbor.


I literally ran into my husband playing soccer in North City Park and ten years into our marriage, we are raising three beautiful children together. There is something people don’t talk about motherhood, a shift in identity, which brings me to the gap. 


For a long time I put my paintbrushes down. Okay yes, I dabbled here and there with acrylic on tiles, an interesting project called Motherhood in Residence, a few third Fridays, and different classes, and my day job was and still is being a mother yet deep down something about myself was not aligned and the gap seemed to be getting wider. 


The lack of practice at your primary mode of creative expression can lead to a faltering of confidence. Introspection led me to realize I was longing for a deeper connection with my community, and the wider artistic community.


To tackle the first, I volunteered at Safety Harbor Elementary School, and began leading the Bilingual Spanish storytime sessions at the Safety Harbor Library. I overcame my fears of public speaking by reading to children and made heartfelt connections with admirable business owners like Mary Kate and Jon of Tides Market


For the wider artistic community I knew I needed to be better at networking and getting into the art spaces. I had to tackle the self-limiting belief that I didn’t have time to put art as a priority. I compelled my children to join me on art adventures, taking them to exhibitions and events and writing about the experience from their perspective. I am so very grateful that these articles have been published to the Arts Coast magazine.


Fears and doubts subsided but what does my artistic voice sound like after being silent for so long? I put in place simple parameters to help focus: paint with oils; paint from photographs taken in my natural surroundings; share my search and love for a sense of place and the healing side of nature; never stop learning.


I’ll end by encouraging other young mothers with little ones who long to express themselves – You are a vessel of creative energy. You are brave and courageous when you carve out space or time to make art. The world will be a better place when you get your children involved.

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