Illustrated by Swati Ahuja
**Julia (of Frantic Mama) and Swati (of Mammabugbitme) live across the world from each other (Minnesota and India, respectively). Their common language is Motherhood.**
Art connects us to each other when words fail. Pictures can be our common language, our way to connect with those we cannot understand.
Through our experiences as mothers, Swati and I met and became friends. As much as we would like to, we cannot enjoy each other's company in person and confide over cups of hot tea: an ocean divides us. Through computer screens and the occasional snail mail, we have become trusted friends.
Here, I reflect on Swati's watercolors.
Motherhood pulls us in countless directions. Some days, we want to be anywhere but within the walls of our messy, busy, loud homes. The path of least resistance, however, is to occasionally follow our child's lead. Tiring, yes, but sometimes the very best way to remain present, and the only way to stay sane.
“Such a Day”
Is there a single day when we aren't struggling to stay adrift in the the beauty and the beast that is Motherhood? The intense love and intense demands we feel from our children? The mother in this piece still manages a small smile despite the demanding needs of her children. Bravo to her. She remains afloat– but barely– with the aid of two small lifelines attached to her feet. What is your lifeline? How do you stay afloat when life threatens to drown you?
We may not shout it from the rooftops (or share it on Facebook), but yes, some days we want to remain closed to the world's incessant demands. We want to retreat, to take care of ourselves, to simply be “us” instead of Mommy. Here the artist dreams being “closed” is a viable option. The beautiful turquoise door reflects the beauty within each of us.
“Goodbye to Nursing”
Find me a mother who hasn't had moments where she feels alone in the world. Changes and transitions in motherhood are often bittersweet and make us question our place in the world. We may feel a sense of loss, loneliness, and confusion when we say goodbye to one stage and move on to the next. Still, there can also be glimmers of moonshine in it, of fresh starts, and sweet dreams.