I have been teaching kids music, dance, and fitness for several years in daycare's and schools across MB. It wasen;'t until I gave birth to my own child that I discovered the challenges of post par-tum recovery. Like many moms, I felt the birthing experience was very traumatic, and I wasent sure how to deal with my emotions with so many changes happening all at once. Most of the time you are so sleep deprived, it is hard to have much energy to do anything else other than to care for your baby.
I was staring at the flowers my mom had bought me for the hospital which were starting to fade, and I thought to myself..."If I glue these petals to a painting they will last forever." So I did just that. This time what I was painting was not about creating a masterpiece for myself, or a piece to sell, but just to let out the emotions that were boiling over. I worked on it 10 mins here and there over a week or so, and at the end I looked at it and cried. It was a good cry though. I knew that every brush stroke was a release, and a step in the healing direction.
Now, just like the belly cast I created for my son, I keep these paintings as a reminder of where I came from, where I am, and where I am going with my new family. I hang them on the wall with honor, like a warrior woman who has won the first part of the battle, birthing a healthy child.
I am so glad I decided to paint during my pregnancy. In the 6 months I was home on maternity leave I painted over 15 paintings, and completed so many other small works of arts as gifts to friends. My child inspired me so much. He brought so much life, and beauty to my brush that I couldn't have painted otherwise if he had not been growing inside my womb.
I do believe that a healthy mom, raises healthy children. I also believe that in order for a recovering mom to feel good about herself, her new body, and new life, it starts with harnessing the beauty she has inside of her. One of the best ways to bring it out is through creativity. Mom's in our pursuit of perfection at home, can loose sight of what makes us special and happy too. Yes! your kids come first, but leaving yourself behind is not the answer.
You make sure your kids have adequate arts education at school and at home, give yourself that gift too.
I encourage you to invest in yourself a couple of hours once a week or a few times a month by taking an art class.
Classes offered: Monday afternoons 1pm,-3pm and Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm (Beginner-Adults) at Michaels (Polo Park) - 840 St. James Street. Wpg. MB. **Register in person to learn more.***
Stephanie A.E Strugar
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
She is a retired Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Caricaturist. She is currently an active
Public Speaker, Consultant, and Arts Educator in the Manitoba and greater Canada area.