Mum Guilt and is painting a job?!

Posted by Caroline Valpied on

Every mother knows this feeling. Your needs don't always match up to your little one's needs and there is a push/pull. At the beginning you kind of have to get out of bed and feed the baby (how dare they be hungry when you're desperately trying to get just one hour shut-eye?!) and look after them the rest of the time. If you're a completely deranged control freak like me (and there are no local grandparents to detach you from your new family member) you think you should be with them all the time until you go completely mad. I don't recommend this. 

N.B. This is the daycare (how fun! so much stuff! nature!) not my backyard.

My point is that we've put Salvador in daycare and I've been transitioning to this new reality, just like he has. He actually really likes it. I only rang up 12 times on the first day. It's gone down a bit since then. 

He's only in two days a week, but from next week it will be three. Is this fair? Is painting a real job? Does it warrant incarcerating my child? *slight hysteria rising in voice* Well, clients are paying me to paint so it's a freelance job that's earning us an income. What about when I'm painting for an exhibition? What about when I take a break? Am I allowed to take breaks?

Most of us have to work and that usually means their children have to be looked after by others. It just feels so weird to be entirely freelance so no boss, no hours to keep to, at home, but without Salvador. I think the weird part is that painting doesn't feel like a job. It's a part of me I need to feed to calm me down and make me (relatively, ah-hem) normal. If I didn't like my job, would that validate daycare somehow?

What do you think? To daycare or not to daycare. To follow your passion and build an art career or to smother your little one in kisses all day (which let's face it, is a pretty good way to spend your time). These are my questions...

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3 comments

  • Caroline! Thank You for that post, You expressed many of my thoughts and doubts because I am in very similar situation, as an artist having two little ones. And they are both at daycare while I am painting in the studio. :) Creative job or rather Urge to Create is still not considered as the “real job”, but as You said “If I didn’t like my job, would that validate daycare” :) Good luck!

    Katarzyna Adamek-Chase on
  • You are doing what you love by painting, the happiness you feel by painting benefits Salvador because a happy Mummy is better than an unhappy Mummy.
    The self worth you receive from selling your paintings and contributing financially to your family also benefits Salvador. It teachers him to follow his passions and work hard to do a job he loves.
    You are doing the right thing. Mummy guilt is a real thing but my darling Caroline it is all about balance and I believe the most important thing you can do is listen to your Mummy instinct. Xx

    Kirsty on
  • Caroline my darling girl, if I have one regret in my long wonderful life, it is that I never pursued a life of my own, apart from my four absolutely beautiful children, to whom I dedicated my every waking hour and every bit of energy. Suffice to say, they left home and there I was, with nothing, not knowing who or what I was and having never allocated time for me, to do a career/ follow any real interests/whatever. I ended up a half-being, something I am still trying to find and rebuild. Please, do not ever feel you must be there 24/7 for Salvador. He doesn’t just need a mother, he needs a whole happy person, who is his mother, and also his role model, for the rest of his life. Children are remarkably resilient, they benefit most from communal upbringing and he will benefit most from a mother who feels whole, happy and complete. Please give yourself permission to do those things you must, to be that person. In doing that you actually give him permission to do the same for himself in his own time and that is the greatest gift you can offer him. I watch my daughters being super sacrificial and realise that this is what they were taught by my actions. Hang in there beautiful, talented woman xxxx.

    Lorraine OB on

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