“Barely Dried” or “Dumb Mom”

The scene:
Tonight was the last night of my Beginning Acrylic class through UTech (it will always be UTech to me), and I have a stack of four canvases sitting on my kitchen table splattered with paint that has been rather sloppily and haphazardly applied via unsteady and insecure novice–me. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with said canvases. The practical part of me wants to either get rid of them as soon as possible to reduce clutter around the house or figure out a way to salvage them by painting over them.

The paint has barely dried, so to speak, and I’m wanting to move on to the next thing.

I took this art class as an escape, my “last hurrah” before Baby #2 comes. I christened it as my “last hurrah” before I considered the connotation–that Baby #2 will herald in a new era of difficulty. And, very possibly, he may.

The truth is is that I’ve been feeling more than ever before like just a “dumb mom.” Please understand: I don’t think moms are dumb–they have some of the most important and undervalued jobs in our society. And usually, when my head is above water, and I’m optimistic about the world and flying about the house, reveling in the joys of Oxi Clean or congratulating myself on repairing a lamp with a hot glue gun, I am able to preach the joys of motherhood like any other mom. But on days like today, when my homemade whole wheat bread has turned out a dry, shaggy rock or I’ve ruined my shoes with old, flaking shoe polish, the dumbness of my role creeps up on me, resting its pointy elbows into my shoulders, making me hunched and closed and 90 years old. Oh and terribly pessimistic about who I am.

I want to make a difference where I am.
And I know, I know. Being a mom is to make a huge difference in the world.
I get that.
Or rather, my head gets that, but I can’t quite seem to make the rest of me feel it.
It’s difficult not to notice the progress of others around me–to compare my contribution to the world with theirs.

Who am I? What am I meant to do?

I’ve been reading about meditation, and one of the goals is to free oneself from wanting anything–money, power, recognition, the ladder that says that no amount of success is ever good enough. I keep thinking: Is this even possible? It would be great (sort of) if it were. It would free me of the ache I feel at not achieving my goals (whatever they are). But then again, wouldn’t it also take away the joy of finally reaching them?

At the end of the day, I’m left with the unanswerable question: Why am I here?

And I can honestly tell you: I don’t know.

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