I’m 34 years old. I have a husband, two kids, and I live in the suburbs. I am a stay at home mom.
I used to have a job all the way up until 2009. Then we moved to San Diego. Shortly after, I got pregnant. At around 5 months or so I gave up looking for a job, since it didn’t look like someone was going to hire a visibly pregnant woman. I had a baby. Along with a baby, I had post-partum depression for 13 months. I got better, eventually. We moved again, this time to Atlanta. We bought a house. We had another baby. And I guess the second I turned 34 I realized I hadn’t done anything of importance in my life, and am wondering if it’s too late.
I worked on this blog since 2009. It almost took off for awhile, then the minute I popped out a kid I only had sporadic bursts of inspiration, enough so to post some recipes or baby stories. When we had the second baby, I posted even less. I barely have time to sit down for five minutes straight without a kid screaming at me. That’s why I’m writing this at 12:27 am.
Some people pour all their effort into their careers, as if that’s what makes them them. Some people pour themselves into motherhood, as if that’s the most important job in the world. And if that works for everyone, great. I wish I felt that way about something. I go to bed at night and wake up with two kids in the morning, and the whole day comprises of making meals, changing diapers, wiping butts, reading books, playing toys, screaming, more screaming, time-outs, cleaning, more cleaning, cleaning again, laundry, cleaning, and cleaning. When my husband comes home he sees me sitting on the couch surfing the web on my i-pad, with the kids running around. It always looks like I did absolutely nothing all day, as the house is a mess and dinner isn’t made. You’d think with all the tasks I accomplish everyday, I’d have something to show for it. Nope. By around 4:30pm I give up and turn on the cartoons so I can get some peace.
I used to do photography. I can’t anymore. I can’t hop into my car and drive somewhere to take pictures. If any of you have kids (or baby and a toddler), you understand, right? I also can’t cook anything blog-worthy. All I cook now is toddler-approved food so I don’t have to make separate meals for each family member. There’s no salmon, no halibut, no lobster, no seafood basically. I could make separate meals, but I barely have time to make one meal as it is.
Lately, I’ve had this hobby of drawing. I used to draw in high school, and I was actually pretty good back then. I had friends and teachers who were encouraging, and I wanted to get into illustration. When I went to college, my father told me I couldn’t major in illustration, or fine arts. It was graphic design or nothing. So I went into graphic design, and I hated it. But I ended up with a job as a production artist for 7 years anyway.
So, leaving a job I didn’t particularly enjoy wasn’t a bummer for me. I started drawing more as the kids played inside the house. It gave me something to focus on and helped me calm down when I started feeling like I was going crazy, with no one to talk to and two young children to cater to all day.
This triptych is still currently in the making. It’s of my 9 month old baby, and she makes the most unique expressions. I like capturing the asymmetrical eyes and mouth.
This was a 1 hr. drawing I did last week of my oldest daughter.
This one a couple days ago.
This was my favorite drawing I did this year. I like the glassy eyes and the way she looks like she’s about to cry.
This was from one of my favorite photos I took from the San Diego Zoo. Maybe took 30 minutes. It seems as if the less time I take the more I like it.
I have around 30 more drawings but those were the latest ones I have done. I guess I’m posting all this for some sort of validation. I’ve been told (repeatedly) that I’m average, that they are nothing special, that anyone with enough practice, can do this. That the features are exaggerated, that they are cartoonish, that they are mediocre. Since I am my own toughest critic, I say this stuff to myself all the time. But to also hear it from others, I don’t know if I should just give up or keep going. Why am I doing this if I’m constantly told that I’m, well, mediocre?
I’m 34. I have a husband and two kids. I live in the suburbs. I am a stay at home mom. Everything I seem to do is mediocre. I am not special, nor do I want anyone to tell me that I’m special. I’m not gifted. I don’t want fake compliments. I’m not here fishing. I’m not trying to humble-brag. I want a reason to do something, and I feel like I don’t have a reason to do anything. I get more negative criticism than positive criticism. Not just with the drawings. But in life in general. Being unemployed. Being a mom.
It would be great if anyone with an art background could give me some helpful tips on how to improve. Instead of just telling me that I’m average without offering any other advice. Because I am 34, married with two kids, and a stay at home mom who is desperate to not feel like a waste of space and a leech on society.
So that’s it. I guess I’ll crawl back into my hole now.