Creating with a +6m Baby

Before I had to return back to work I felt like I was making some head way on a few projects. But a few weeks later after my return I feel like nothing has gotten done. Trying to balance it, my art and my 6 month old baby, mostly on my own, is definitely overwhelming. I’m desperately trying to find some balance and a routine but honestly, I feel the need to work on my mind set. Which means…

1. BE MFN GRACIOUS and UNDERSTANDING to YOURSELF! I’m guilty of being a perfectionist. I put way too much pressure on myself. I have about 5 WIP’s at the moment and I feel like they equally need my attention. Along with keeping my baby a priority and my home clean (and going back to work). Its too much sometimes but it’s why I have to force myself to stop and take a breather and just enjoy whichever moment I’m in. If it’s the 5 minutes it takes to hold and comfort my baby or the 5 minutes I get to sew or string a bead I need to be mindful and present. Remember that you’re doing your best. Don’t get agitated, this is an adjustment. Which leads to #2.

#2 Don’t feel guilty! Idk about you but I’m definitely the artist that can zone out for hours. Prioritizing my art over basic needs like going to the toilet, sleeping and eating. I know. But seriously if I’m in the midst of a project it has my complete attention; I’m lasered focused and fully committed to it. So there is this twinge that comes over me when I’m working and he is having a fussier than usual day and he won’t let me put him down or his standing chair time will not suffice. I feel guilty that I become impatient at moments, wanting to devote time to my art. I have to remind myself it’s ok. Your project will be there. Love on your baby, enjoy these moments because we all know how fleeting they are.

#3 Enjoy it! Time is precious. When art has been and is your therapy or a form of meditation in your life and your way of loving on yourself; Don’t feel guilty for enjoying it. Soon enough you’ll be able to share it with you’re little one. And they already see what you’re doing. The five minutes I do get you better believe I’m more likely to use them then I was before I had a kid. My little one can sometimes be a 15 minute napper. On those days I must take advantage of that time; Whether its to quickly do the dishes or just take a shower. Time becomes extremely more valuable when you have a demanding Lil baby that needs your attention. So the few seconds you do get, enjoy them and make the best of them.

I think the point is to remember that yes your art is important and you will have to sacrifice some of the time you spend on it but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t an artist anymore. It’s honestly a beautiful journey melding the two. Be open to the process. You do not have to give up your art. I know the feeling. I wondered if I’d have to give it up. Struggling with your identity after having a child is no joke. Just remember it’s just going to take an adjustment, some patience and understanding. When you have a baby, everyday won’t be the same, so just do your best to show up for yourself daily and try and do the one thing you can or need to do today.

I’m the first one that gets annoyed when people suggest day care. I don’t have too many people to rely on or understand that my art is more than a damn hobby to me. If you can afford day care more power to you, take advantage of it or anyone who is willing to help. But if you’re on your own I know how overwhelming the pressure can be. Don’t underestimate the value of: some sleep, a hot shower, a clean space, a cup of coffee or enjoying some nature. Relax, you’re doing great! Your child sees all that you’re doing. Hang in there.

And o one more thing! Becoming a mother is not a choice that should be taken lightly, no woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy or become a mother before she is ready. I’m so glad I waited till now and even at 37, I can admit it’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a fulltime commitment that takes 127% of your time. So enjoy your life and don’t be in a rush and dont let anyone pressure you in having children before you’re ready. I stand by all my fellow pro-choice women and supporters. Reproductive rights are human rights. A women’s rights poster to come soon!

BEautifullyODD

The Pursuit of my Artistic Dreams (while pregnant)

At the beginning of the year I was desperate to get back into the flow of a daily art practice. And for about a month, I was able to.

Then I quickly realized I was pregnant and once sickness over came me, my art practice came to a screeching halt.

I’m now 14 weeks pregnant and am doing a bit better as I’ve entered my 2nd trimester but I have to admit my mental health took a deep dive into the abyss.

We all know that abyss of depression. Now don’t get me wrong I was initially excited but feeling sick 247 just exhausted my enthusiasm to no end. And as silly as this may sound I felt as though my dreams were coming to a screeching halt and that my glorious single life, full of art was about to shrivel up and die.

A much needed trip to Gualala for my birthday.

Realistically my dreams are going to be postponed as taking care of a newborn and getting acclimated is going to be a challenge of its own. I mean just being pregnant is proving to be quite the challenge. And we really need to break the stigma that it’s so glorious and easy… BULLSHIT! Food aversions and constant nausea and prenatal depression is not a joke. If it’s easy for you, more power to you but some woman really struggle and I’ve been blessed that my vomiting sessions haven’t been every single day 2, 3 times a day.

But anyway, as I try to climb or rather swim back to the surface. I had this overwhelming feeling and need to remember thay my dreams are still attainable. Despite contrary belief, I’m not under the impression that once you have a kid your life and needs are over.  But I do feel as though a whole new source of motivation and determination is needed to get me to show up for myself as I move forward with my art.

Honestly, I’m not sure what that’s going to look like. Or how it will manifest itself. And I’m not even going to stress myself out with expectations that I’ll be able to do x,y & z by this time and that while taking care of a newborn. And more importantly I want to enjoy the time as a new mom without feeling stressed about showing up for my art.

Worked on crocheting my babies blanket under the sunset.

It doesn’t mean I don’t need to show up for myself but it does mean I can’t continue to beat myself up if I feel like I can’t. I’m truly grateful I’m starting to feel better, though I still have my moments. But now more than ever its going to take even more effort to set time aside for it. And honestly that scares me cause then I wonder what have I been doing all this time.

Anyway my pregnancy support counselor actually said something rather compelling which was to use my art as therapy. Which duh… makes since. Not every art project needs to be a means to and end or this awesome finished product ready to go on etsy.

I have been art journaling a bit and before all this I did buy a bunch of canvases on sale and I think it’s high time to bust one out. I’ve also got sewing projects on standby as I found some amazing fabric when I was in LA a couple of months ago. And I’m enjoying crocheting my baby boy a blanket.

My goals and artistic dreams have not changed but maybe I needed this lackadaisical approach to getting back into the grove of it; A more authentic way of finding my voice as I create a brand without all these crazy expectations and demands of perfection.

So yea… that’s me right now… navigating becoming a mother while staying true to my idenity as an artist.

BEautifullyODD

Any mom’s out there balancing the two, I’d love some advice. Please feel to share your thoughts.

Finding Peace Through Nature

People are hurting. I feel so much empathy for those experiencing such rude and awful discrimination. My heart breaks. The only hope I can give is to remind all of you that we have a right to achieve our “American” Dream. Do not waste it. Embrace it and be proud of your efforts. Do not run ashamed. Do not fear. You do not stand alone. And I will not stand idly by as bystander. And regardless of your country, continue to fight for your right to dream. I can’t imagine the hate people are experiencing but let that shit be your motivation to rise higher. I can’t let my anger and sadness get the best of me. So today as I was leaving the pharmacy at Kaiser I decided to purchase a bouquet of silver dollar eucalyptus. I say this to suggest a trip to the local park,  some time away from the news is what we need. We need to reconnect to hope, to nature. Tap into it.

To all races, men and woman, LGBT, and religions I stand by you.

Continue to BEautifullyODD

Olisa Rachele

i can’t help but feel happy…

2:23am in the morning and the sky is a solemn orange. It should be black, stars a flame, but it’s not. It’s o’ so beautiful. It speaks to me… telling me how blessed I truly am. As stated in my previous blogs, I never loved myself. But tonight, I do. And believe me… it may seem that my life is or can be perfect. That I have my ducks in a row… but I never have. I’ve been lost in my confusion.

Things are never perfect. Maybe for three seconds, like now. But I know, we all should know, that when the tough times pass… we can come back to the best moments of our lives.

Yes, I can admit, I’m tipsy, but in the morning, when the sun rises, I can stand by what I write because this is who I truly am.

Love me or hate me… for the first time in my life I went out to a club and regardless of all the skinny bitches in their short dresses whom seem mighty desperate… I DIDN’T GIVE A FUCK!!!!

Like I’ve said before, maybe what I say isn’t for you, but if you ever doubted yourself then please hear me now and realize that we are all beautiful. (even them skinny broads who got they ass’s hangin out they dress’).

When I came home, I had an epiphany, and yet I was faced with doubt. Doubt that I couldn’t really achieve my wildest dreams.

But, tonight, after feeling like a million bucks, I was able to realize that God has something beautiful planned for me. And I promise to my friends, family and everyone else, that tonight is only the beginning of something BEAUTIFULLYodd; me.

i love you all.
xoxo.
oli