This is an 18x24 monotype collage I titled "Boy Colors."
Like many mothers, I am mired in the complicated push and pull between what I feel I ought to do as a mother vs. what I am doing. Glennon Doyle has a great bit about motherhood and martyrdom in her book, Untamed:
“Mothers have martyred themselves in their children’s names since the beginning of time. We have lived as if she who disappears the most, loves the most. We have been conditioned to prove our love by slowly ceasing to exist.
What a terrible burden for children to bear—to know that they are the reason their mother stopped living. What a terrible burden for our daughters to bear—to know that if they choose to become mothers, this will be their fate, too. Because if we show them that being a martyr is the highest form of love, that is what they will become. They will feel obligated to love as well as their mothers loved, after all. They will believe they have permission to live only as fully as their mothers allowed themselves to live.
If we keep passing down the legacy of martyrdom to our daughters, with whom does it end? Which woman ever gets to live? And when does the death sentence begin? At the wedding altar? In the delivery room? Whose delivery room—our children’s or our own? When we call martyrdom love we teach our children that when love begins, life ends. This is why Jung suggested: There is no greater burden on a child than the unlived life of a parent.”
Having a child exploded my life. I'm delighted by the explosion, but it's a different life now. Forever changed. And I find that in some ways, I'm like a teenager -- trying to figure out who I am in this new reality. And so that's what this piece is a part of. It's a map of a journey.
P.S. It's October 2! Are you participating in PrintInktober?!