When my twin daughters were two I went through a period of depression. I had done nothing but attachment parent for two full years. Cloth diapering, nursing, and the pressures of the unknown for two full years. It never dawned on me to take time for myself. It is common for first time parents to think they need to do it all. Do not get me wrong here, it was not the attachment parenting that sent me to the blues. My father’s sudden cancer had sent me over the edge, but I really felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore.
I whole heartedly believe that attachment parenting is the way to go and the benefits are now apparent. My now seven-year olds are confident, independent, and secure individuals. That being said, attachment parenting for me required the willing commitment of my SELF.
Let me explain. Before I had babies I was a pottery teacher, I made glass beads, and I made a line of funky silk handbags. I worked for Georgies, a large clay and glaze manufacturer in Portland, Oregon. I was doing shows and selling my work all year-long. I always knew that children were in my future, but I always thought that I would still be able to do everything I did before. My mother won’t ever let me forget the time I told her that “My kids will just do everything with me. I won’t have to stop doing anything I love to do.” Which also included white water kayaking. Ha. It still makes me chuckle.
After the girls came along, I hit a standstill in my artistic life. More than anything, I think all of my creative energy was going into my children. When I would sit down to make art, there was none left for me. My SELF was missing. It was being diverted and absorbed by my children.
Fast forward five years:
I just spent the last two weeks working on a line of pottery for my friends shop in Wisconsin. I am thrilled to have the urge to work with my hands again. I am starting to feel like my SELF is back and I am able to fill my life with all of the things I loved to do before I had children. Plus, I now get the added bonus of having three wonderful children to share the activities that make me who I am. It is so nice to hear my daughters ask to do pottery with me. I am now sharing my SELF on a whole new level.
I have a 4-month-old, and I’m starting to feel like that, too. I was finally able to go out to a Halloween party last night with friends while my mom watched her. I felt a little out of sorts, and the entire way to the party, I kept turning around to look at the base of her car seat and missing my baby girl (I did get to turn the music up louder than usual, though!). All my research online right now is dedicated to cloth diapering: becoming a diaper party rep, storing dirty diaper, adding new baby blogs to my Google reader, etc. I still need to take time for me, though! I might just go catch up on a Grey’s episode or two while my little one is taking a nap! Thanks for pointing this out to all the moms out there who need some SELF time! 🙂