What do you think of when you hear $5 Friday? Some of you are thinking $5 pizzas, $5 tequila shots, $5 appetizers, $5 glasses of wine. Anything and everything to do with Happy Hour right?? Well for a mom of three under three, $5 Friday means $5 art night!
That’s right, last night we had our monthly art night with the fam. Although coming home after 9pm is very late for me, I arrived home feeling refreshed. I felt light, unburdened, tranquil. It’s pretty incredible what throwing a little paint on a slab of wood can do.
Now I am not a good artist, in the traditional sense. I am dedicated to experiencing art, but I cannot draw a straight line or an even circle to save my life; however, what I lack in actual skill, I make up for in enjoyment. I love our art nights. The sense of peace derived from blending and brushing colors is a tangible experience. I can feel the grain of the wood as I stroke paint across its surface. The colors sing to me, begging me to mix a little this with a little that. The result ends up being a mother with her sanity re-established.
I went into last night’s art night depleted, running on embers. It had been a long week of interrupted sleep, potty training accidents, and time-out rebellions. The toddler tantrum reigned supreme this week, and mama was broken. It’s incredible what a little me-time can do.
Fellow mothers (and fathers), I implore you to set aside time for yourself. Sometimes it seems counterintuitive to spend time doing anything other than sleeping when exhausted, but engaging in art and other forms of self-care restore stabilization to mental health. If I have rested the body but neglected the soul, I retain a busy mind and a wearied spirit.
Self-care for me involves quieting my internal monologue. I need a break from rehashing the stressors of every day life: financial, familial, social, vocational, educational. I used to think I could rest once I had completed my to-do list, but I learned the list never goes away. There is never a moment when everything is done, so I have learned to prioritize my needs and create rest stops on my journey through life. If I can’t enjoy my life, I’m missing out on a wonderful opportunity that only comes once.