Generally, Halloween is the only holiday I do anything for or look forward to. But last week I got a note home from Ezra’s daycare about making sure to give valentines to everyone in the class. My first thought was “do we have to give ANY?” But then I felt like it was an opportunity to turn Valentine’s Day into an art project. The thought of making art for everyone in the class (and please keep in mind Ezra is in the infant class, his oldest classmate is 18 months old) was super appealing.
So I hand-made 17 valentines.
I realize I have postpartum anxiety. I know it by the way that I am compelled to be doing. At all times. I am constantly ready to be doing ANYTHING. There’s a lot to do when taking care of a baby. I am always ready to do any of it. I also project WAY into the future and my heart races thinking about how angry I would be if certain things happened the way they probably won’t happen. Sometimes I spend a lot of time thinking about it.
I also realize I have an issue with anxiety in the way that I sometimes feel really nervous when nothing is wrong. Nervous that I’m not doing the right thing. Nervous that I shouldn’t be doing anything if it’s not for the baby. Intellectually I know it doesn’t make any sense and I can do fun things for just myself. It’s not an intellectual problem. It’s a feeling problem. My feelings are of worry and nervousness even when I know that everything is ok. This is anxiety.
For the past decade my life has been about art education. I have an art education blog about my journey through teaching art. The last few entries haven’t really been about art education though. They’ve been about navigating the intersection of motherhood and working in a public school.