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Creating Space for Ourselves to Emerge as Mothers

How do we create space for ourselves to emerge as mothers? By creating space for ourselves to emerge as woman, as people, as individuals, as groups of women, and citizens of the world. Basically we nourish ourselves. Because when we are well nourished women, we are better mothers.

So how can we do this? By "simply" doing things that you love, like and are curious about, both alone and with your children. You don't always have to go to the children's museum, go to an art museum or a history museum. Find a group for woman and mothers that focuses not just on parenting, but womanhood. Engage in activies and consume media that inspires you. Let go of the need to always be child focused, and instead make space for self focus, to create a balance that is family focused. If there is an area that you want to grow in, learn about- do it. You may have to save up your dollars over time, but do it! Your kids have enough toys and they'd rather play with cardboard boxes anyway, so invest in you! And encourage your partner to do the same!

This morning I dragged myself out of my cozy bed on a baby-free morning to attend the Teaching Artist Symposium that happened at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum. I made my chai latte with coconut milk ice cream because I am out of rice milk. Truth be told- I'm out of a lot of things, because I work full time, I'm busy being a mommy of a busy preschooler, and I've been focusing on increasing my physical fitness to support my overall wellness.

So attending at symposium at 9:30 AM wasn't high on my list of preferences for a sunny Saturday morning. But thank Goodness that I did! This workshop allowed me to re-envision what my role is as an art therapist, and my connection to the Arts. I'm not only a mental health professional but I am also a teaching artist and as such I recognize there are areas of growth that I am very excited about. Since this training was held in an art museum I got to see the 37th Annual Contemporary Crafts juried exhibition. The fiber art peices I saw reignited my interest in this feild that I have never explored as an artist.

And so it dawned on to me that I want to reinvest in myself as an artist, I desire to take art classes and grow. Furthermore, a few weeks ago it dawned on me that I want to reinvest in myself as a dancer, as dance was a big part of my childhood. So I'm scheduled to become a Dancing for Birth instructor, and I've been doing Zumba and belly dancing. And I've been settting aside time for yoga as well. I let go of the mommy guilt that says I should be spending all my time with my daughter after a full day of work/daycare. You know what? She enjoys going to the childcare at the gym, and I enjoy my class, and we are both happier for it. In fact, when we decided on this schedule change together, I told her that mommy needs to go to the gym again. She asked "Why?" I said "Because Mommy is too grumpy and the gym helps me feel better." And my beautiful child said to me without missing a beat "Okay, we go to the gym!" Even my child knows that what is good for me, is good for her. We are bonded, we are a team.

So mothers, I ask that you please create space for yourself to become.

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