Mom to Mom: Shana
Of: Julian (11), Maia (2)
1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?
First it completely deconstructed me, then it gave me a sense of hope and renewal. It was shocking how vulnerable I felt when my son was born, and I wasn't so sure I liked that feeling! I really had to recreate myself as the kind of mother I wanted to be, which took tons of effort at the get go. The biggest hurdle was the aftershocks of surviving my own family of origin, of which any sense of predictability and security was devastated by mental illness. I had recently lost my younger brother to suicide and was in many ways was still grieving. Suddenly I found myself a mother to a boy, a son, of whom I wanted to keep safe and be healthy and to nurture but I had no idea how to really do that. Now, eleven years later, I am a wholer person, less full of fears and anxieties about raising a child and more trusting in myself, my extended family and friends, and the world.
2. What is one tip you would like to share about mothering?
Be present. Be patient with your child and trust that they will be just who they need to be. In my experience, the past has a lot to do with how one parents. Being aware of your own fears, anxieties and early childhood experiences can help you to empathize with your child as well as gain insight into your own actions and reactions in stressful situations.
3. What is your creative outlet/medium?
Currently I am very excited about Book Arts. I like the fact that Artists Books can be anything from a collection of transferred images, drawings or photographs to multimedia, 3-d constructions.
Any art form can be included, and I like the idea of using traditional paper making and bookbinding techniques, which are done by hand, in conjunction with design software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. I also am a bibliophile and someone who loves to write, so it appeals to me on lots of levels.
4. How do you find time for creativity?
I work to a deadline; just clear the deck and focus on what must be done next. My husband is a lot like me so we understand each others need to shift gears and responsibilities in order to get the job done and move on. He just started practicing Neurology this past July and we are still figuring out how to cope with the intensity of his on call schedule, which means I am primary parent during the week and do a lot of my work late at night, early in the morning or on the weekends when he is home. I also decided to go back to school a few years ago to work on an art degree, so I always have a few hours a week blocked off for studio classes, which is a life saver on some days!
5. Why do you blog/journal?
My BA is in English Lit and writing and I just love both of them. I used to do The Artists Way morning pages (Journaling) and it helped me sort out my thoughts, emotions, fears, longings, etc. It is great tool to use when feeling stuck. I also love to read personal accounts (autobiographies or creative nonfiction) of womens experiences either growing up or having to do with mental health issues or parenting because they reassure me that I am not alone. Sadly, parenting young children can be a very isolating experience, even when you have friends with small kids, because of nap schedules, work hours, siblings or other responsibilities. There are days when it is just you and your kid for hours upon hour upon hour! Blogging provides a creative outlet as well as a connection to other parents which can be accessed any time of the day or night, and most happily during naps!
6. Which blogs do you frequent?
I think there is so much variety out there in the blogging world. Mom blogs, dad blogs, infertility blogs, blogs about the loss of a child, or adopted children, arty blogs, expectant parent blogs, moms of twins, etc., and they are all interesting to read. I am fascinated by all aspects of parenthood and mothering, and though situations may differ, there is always something that makes me think about things from a different perspective. The ones I most enjoy are the bloggers that use space in a visually interesting way, using photos, drawings, collage or craft and have honest and thoughtful stories to tell about their lives.
7. Who are some bloggers that you would like to meet?
- The author of Gilhooly, who I have met briefly, is the one who got me blogging in the first place. A friend sent me a link to her blog back when she was still expecting her son, Z. I was hooked immediately and I though... I must do this too!
- I'd love to live next door to the author of Lucky Beans (But then Id have to move to Malawi... which is a place my husband would like to return to someday : Muli Bwanji Lucky Beans!)
- or the oh so crafty author of While She Naps
- the wildly creative author of My Topography
- Jocelyn of Jocelyn's Stories
- and Hula Seventy, just because they have outrageous adventures in a photo booth! A thank you to Wendy for being organized and passionate enough toinclude the Mom to Mom section in her own meditative and thoughtful blog (withgreat pictures mind you)!
Labels: Mom to Mom Interviews