Do you ever feel like you lose yourself when you have kids? You spend so much time trying to figure out how to be the perfect parent, how to ensure your kids survive, how not to traumatize them for life, how to make sure their lives are made of butterflies and rainbows…You stop hanging out with your friends as much as you used to because you’re all just so busy with your jobs and your families…You don’t engage in your hobbies as much as you used to. I mean, who has time when you’re busy reading fifty different parenting books during the small spans of time that you’re not playing with/caring for your kids?
Yeah okay, not everybody’s lives are like this. Not everybody succumbs. Some people retain their sense of selves strongly and instead of allowing their kids to take over their lives, they just make room for them. But I think there are a lot of factors that can make it easier…family, friends, environment. Some of us just slowly drift away onto an island and there aren’t any strong enough ties elsewhere to drag us back to shore.
I remember as a teenager, even as a kid, I spent a lot of time reading, drawing, writing. I wanted to be an artist and a writer when I grew up. Always, that’s always what I wanted to be. I’d sit at the kitchen table or outside for hours. I wrote stories, drew portraits, photographed nature, read novels in a single day. But nowadays it’s rare that I do anything creative. I don’t even know where to start. I can’t think of what to write about and feel horrified that it’ll be terrible, won’t fit in with or live up to what everyone else is doing. I mean, everyone’s a writer now. Everyone is an artist, a photographer. What could I possibly have to contribute and would anyone even like it?
And when can I find the time to even foster my creativity? Right now I’m sitting in the family room on my computer typing this while my daughter watches The Cat in the Hat and, as I write, my son has just come up to me whining. Immediately that means I’m going to have to stop. Here I am with these thoughts I want to get down, but I’m being pulled away, so they’ll appear in my mind and then vanish before I have a chance to save them.