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Eyes Shut, Heart Open: Doodling Two Opposing Moments in Motherhood

Updated: Mar 3

Motherhood, they say, is a rollercoaster. But have you ever stopped to see the twists and turns, the sudden drops and exhilarating climbs? In my latest exploration with Maternal Journal's mini guide, I did just that – not with words, but with blind scribbles.

Maternal Journal Ocean Grove Exercise

The prompt was simple: draw how my body felt during a joyful and a challenging parenting moment, eyes closed. My first drawn line, fuelled by the memory of my daughters peaceful solo play on the carpet with Lego figurines, felt like sunshine – a warm burst of gold radiating outwards. My chest expanded, my heart felt like it was glowing.

Then came the sharp turn, the memory of my girls squealing loudly and arguing in the backyard while I was trying to concentrate on my work, a tangled web of frustration choking my insides. Red and black lines and zigzags scribbled robotically, shapes contorting in distress.

Seeing these two drawings side-by-side was jarring. It was the same body. Just moments later. It wasn't just the stark contrast of colours and shapes that surprised me; it was the realisation of how seamlessly these extremes weave into the daily tapestry of parenthood. Those blissful moments, where our hearts overflow with sunshine, are often just a heartbeat away from the harsh frustration, the emotional storms we navigate with gritted teeth. I was so surprised seeing these two images next to each other and thought "Oh wow. I do go through a lot in one day, don't I!?"

We soothe our children's tears while silently swallowing our own, shifting from happiness and glowing warmth to black edges in a blink. We become anchors of stability amidst the swirling chaos, our own needs often fading into the background.

But how often do we pause? How often do we acknowledge the emotional toll, the constant work of self-regulation that motherhood demands? This blind scribble exercise, this unexpected visual diary, was a stark reminder – our own experiences matter too.

So, next time you have a moment, you might want to pick up your journal again. Not just for your children and family, but for YOU. To acknowledge the ups and downs you go though as a parent.

Join me to journal about motherhood in a beautiful group in Ocean Grove.

Find out more here.

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