About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Art and Parenting

The birth of a child is not only the creation of new life; it is also the transformation of a woman into a mother. Eventually it is also the transformation of a man into a father, however, that transformation happens more slowly over time. A parent is someone you become. You are forever changed. In this loss of self-identity, there is morning, no matter how much you enjoy being a mother. Furthermore, parenting is the hardest job you will ever encounter. It is fuller than any full-time job, more demanding than any career, and there is more at stake than in the riskiest stunt.
As an artist, a writer, my biggest loss is that of my art. There is no time for a mother, especially a mother of little ones, to dive head first into art and float on inspiration for a day. All I can do is grab fractions of time here and there, between snotty noses and dirty diapers, and there is not much chance for inspiration in those fleeting moments. When the day comes to an end and the children are asleep, I often have a little time. In my exhaustion, there is little inspiration. Every mother who was once a writer or a painter, a weaver or a gardener, a dancer or a musician misses the woman who could wait for inspiration to come and then seize that beauty and bask in it for as long as it lasted.  
Nevertheless, you must grab all the inspiration you can find and steal every moment you can get. Do not forget to do what you love. Never abandon your art. Your children should see you being yourself and expressing yourself. It may seem there is no time, but really there is. It will not be easy to find, but it is there. Sure, the dishes and laundry might pile up, but you will have to make that sacrifice. In the end you will not look back and regret neglecting your chores, and neither will your kids. On the contrary, the art you accomplish will make you happier, which will reflect positively on your parenting and therefore on your children.
When you are swimming in dishes and laundry it is easy to forget that everything you are doing is important. But the tone of your voice, the expression on your face, and the way you go about your daily duties is teaching your children and influencing who they will become. You don't have to be sitting on the floor playing blocks, engaging, for the art of parenting to be taking place. Everything you do becomes art once you are parenting. Unlike any other art, parenting never stops. The art of parenting is in everything you do and everything you are in every moment you are with your children.  
There is an art to good parenting, but no one knows how to do it. Like artistic beauty, good parenting is in the eye of the beholder. No one should judge art any more than they should judge parenting methods. But no matter the parents’ methods, the creation of an amazing human is the most beautiful work of art on earth. A well rounded young person with a kind heart, nimble mind, and strong body is a reward beyond the wildest artist’s dreams.
So next time you are inspired but you have no time, or you have time but not an ounce of inspiration, just remember that those little ones ARE your art. Now that you are a parent, there is nothing more important, no greater art!



  1. Lovely post Roslyn. And never more true than the season we are now in. I'm lucky enough to realize that every single day I am a better mother than the one before and that in turn encourages me to keep improving my art of motherhood. I've been trying to get back to blogging because writing is something I truly love. I'm stealing a few hours from my sleep to write and redesign my blog this evening. It makes me happy, so I do it.

  2. Good for you Ashley!
    I have been finding time early in the morning before the kids wake up. I am inspired then. But when I can't grab that time, I stay up late. I find that if I force myself to write for about 30 minutes, then it starts flowing. After that it becomes less of a chore, no matter how exhausted I feel!