Monday, February 24, 2014

Art - a New Perspective {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

A woke up this morning with two big kids tangled around my legs and an almost-one year old blowing raspberries on my stomach.

I served up cake for breakfast, with strawberries, left over from family dinner last night.

I changed two diapers, kissed one husband, hugged the ten year old when he slipped sleepy arms around my waist.

Cereal was spilled and a few tears, too. Peter dragged a quilt right through the mess and why is it some days feel a little more hopeful than others? Today I smiled.

Some days I feel like I work so, so hard to get it right and still give myself a failing grade at days' end.  With the stoic countenance of an Olympic judge, I hand in my scores.  The trouble with this is, when I really think about it, I'm scoring the wrong stuff.

My scorecard has categories. Under "Housekeeping," I get dreary marks. Under "Creativity," a bit better. Some days my meal planning keeps me in the running under "Nutrition," but other days I drop right off the charts with chicken nuggets or popcorn. Or ice cream. Under "Parenting," I'm all over the map. The tender moments push me higher, while those times where I just can't seem to get a handle on this temper and my oldest stomps up the stairs and slams his door - it seems like I should just quit.

The trouble with all of this is that I end up focusing on the unimportant things...the outward things, the things that I see in other parents but find sorely lacking in myself. My friend tells me not to judge others insides by their outsides. I try to remember that about me, too. I see my messed up insides and wonder if my outsides show the same. I frantically try to shoehorn myself into how I think life should look. But in the process? I miss out on what was here all along.

Ballet isn't an Olympic sport. I always wondered why, as a kid, when I would go to ballet and see strength and beauty that would surely knock the socks off any judge. My Mom would tell me - "It's not a sport, honey. It's art." 

Life's like that. It's not a sport. There's no real way to score it. Not by how Pinterest-worthy your child's birthday party is. Not by how many times you had to give yourself a time out while your child was potty training. It's Art, what you're doing there. What I'm doing. Art sometimes looks like a mess, like what you might find if you looked under my couch cushions (please don't! Goodness!). Art can be the toddler who won't keep pants on. The baby trying out a few wobbly steps. That Mom down the street is not going to medal, leaving you to drag your failing self back home, an unacknowledged Olympian. We're all doing our own thing, creating in our own ways.

Today is good. Today with a quilt dragged through cheerios. Today with an imperfect Mama who, let's be honest, will likely spend too much time online. Who has a deadline tomorrow and hasn't even begun. Today, when I'm not quite sure if the kids are healthy. It's good, in this little house with a sinkful of dishes and no real plan for dinner. It's good, with a clingy baby and the possibility of a shower (alone!) becoming more and more unlikely as time progresses.

On the scorecard of an outward view of life, I'll always fail. But navigating the mess and mayhem with a grateful heart and an eye toward the bigger picture - I'm creating Art. Art that motivates me to keep going, one good day at a time.


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts.  Thank you.


  1. I definitely relate to this. I feel as if I come up short all the time. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. So true -- we do try to "score" ourselves don't we? but life is not so much about the performance perhaps, as it is about all the training and long hours of preparation that come before.

    I loved what one parent said for me when another was being a bit too vocal and critical regarding a parenting issue I had: Goodness - cut her some slack. She's not done yet you know. Her kids aren't grown - they're 9, 6, and 4! how about a little faith that she'll get there just fine, and NOT writing them all off just yet.
    I so loved and appreciated that. I'd much rather have a coach, than a judge, on my side.

  3. You look like you've been busy.
    I agree ballet should be part of the olympics. It is very hard and requires a lot of focused strength.

  4. Have you read Edith Schaeffer's What Is A Family? and Hidden Art? Those are my two go-to books when I'm floundering a bit. In fact it's about time to read them again.....K


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