Back to sleep

9.44am (at home not the studio as planned)

I tried and tried to get Naoise to wake up. I put him in the shower, I dressed him gently, I told hm stories about what he used to do when I dressed him as a baby. I told him that he used to roll over and giggle and tease me as I struggled to put clothes on him. He is so so sleepy. He is even more tired than usual because he was awake in the night.

After dressing him he wanted to go back to bed. I persuaded him out of the bed by promising him eight stars to come downstairs with no more fussing. I sat him at the table in front of a large bowl of plain yoghurt and a warm cup of milky tea. He sat with snuffly in hand and nodded back and forth on his chair. I said I would feed him if he wanted. He refused the help and began sliding off the chair asking to lie down. It was so late. I knew we would be late again, despite my efforts and diligence.

I thought about the situation, it must be day 4 at least of being consistently late. While I am not in official work, I can make decisions to place wellbeing first. He is over tired. Clearly totally shattered. I am an adult and was up in the night with him and I don’t feel able to function so I am sure he cannot either. I decide to send him back to bed. He is so relieved when I tell him he can jump into bed and go back to sleep. I am sure that just for today that this is the right thing to do.
I ring the school and I am blatantly honest. He has exhaustion illness. There is no point in pretending its a lurgy. He might have anaemia I tell them, which is totally possible as he has suffered from the condition many times before.


I look at the jobs online and I find more job descriptions asking for essential criteria that I do not possess. I am over qualified and I feel undervalued and under utilised. This bridge back to work feels impossible to cross. I am going around in perpetual circles. Perhaps dropping my arts training is not even a possibility. Locally there is care work, cafe work, or support work in schools. The support work in schools is impossibly competitive. Do I dumb down or try to look at what I have done and work more effectively with that. Transferable skills or returning to trying to be an artist, making that work.  I am struggling to shrug off my identity as an artist. I don’t want to let go of it. I am so passionate about art, I have struggled this far.

Giving up I thought would be easy, clearly it is not. There are less opportunities than I thought there would be. The rolls of cleaner, carer, support assistant are poorly paid. The hours of support staff would mean that I would struggle to access my studio, so I would’nt be able to continue with my practice, what is the point of all this? Should I let go of my studio that I struggle to get to let alone work in.? Where would I put all my stuff? There is no room here in this house. Should I look at funded PhD’s again? Should I try and self fund my arts projects and services. I don’t have enough money to properly function as an artist, cannot afford my studio let alone material and money. I couldn’t afford to attend an opening that would have been really helpful. All seems hopeless and impossible.

I sound ridiculously immature. I don’t really have a choice. Do I ? Its not enough to look after the children and keep the home in order. Its not enough just to care. Its not enough just to write this. We need cash. Childrearing requires cash and I have failed at providing that.

Ahhhhhhhhh what to do , what to do ?

The first day of October is a black one. I am confused. I am dull and dark. I am fed up of this person. I am sad. I spotted a post on Facebook via Natalie Loveless, a video by a performance artist Verónica Ruth FríasTHE ABRAMOVIC METHOD practiced by Verónica Ruth Frías (does not work when you have children) Have a look it is so brilliant and clever and funny.

I need to make more light of my dark. Just get on with it. Stop being so serious. Its impossible not to be an artist when that is what you want to be. It is impossible not to be a mother when that is what you have to be. Love is the bridge between the two. Neither is perfect, not at all ideal. I cannot shrug mother and I cannot shrug artist. FIND CREATIVITY HELEN. FIND A WAY.


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