During an interview a few months ago a journalist asked me how I managed to do it all. Doing it all: Having a home, a daughter, running a business which I share responsibilities with my husband and as the cherry on top, capture my creativity in my designs and bring it to the enterprise level. I replied: Organization, I organize and delegate. And it was true. At that time I could _apparently_ do everything. But it was also true that at that time I had only one daughter (And of course, the journalist had not seen my dark circles concealed by makeup, nor all the running around behind the scenes to be still with her at that moment).
As my husband says, women my generation want to do everything and we want to do everything right. He says: “You want to be a good mother, a good wife, a good artist / designer, and on the way to have a good spiritual and healthy life, be a good human being” … And yes, he is right. I want it all.
But what I want to say today is that after having my second child (9 months) and _literally_ nearly dying in the process, is NO. I can not do everything and not do it all well.
I must write this about the reality I live today because I will read this within a few years and I’ll have to remind myself of this. I do not want to reproach myself. Because life goes on, and very quickly, and everyone advances.
I remember the visit of a Portuguese friend very clearly, 3 months after giving birth to my son, she said, “Carola, do not stop doing this, it’s your art but what you need to do is slow down, a lot!” … tears rolled my eyes while listening … I like to speed up a lot, I thought.
Since the birth of my first child (3½ years) I have had to learn to pick my battles and not waste time on nonsense that might had caught my attention when younger. I learned to juggle being my very self (that includes my art, yoga, meditation, travel, etc.) and at the same time being a mother. And what I love being for the most part at this time of my life is being a mother.
And I repeat it because we are all different, because I find that when we talk about being a mother there is a word next to it: “sacrifice” (I grew up listenimng to that Word and honestly, it sounds very heavy, daunting for women who are not mothers) and I mean _on a personal level_ I am doing this because I like it, it is not “sacrifice”, at least not on a negative connotation (motherhood does have a lot of challenges and it is very hard work indeed, if not the toughest job). No. I just like to be with my children. It might also be linked to what my homeopath says, “You do not like feeling guilty, do you?” And it’s true, I do not like burdens and the burden of guilt weighs heavily, so I prefer to walk the walk of life very light. I prefer to one day look back and know that I enjoyed every time I baked cookies with my daughter or all times I breastfed my son, or read stories with them, or took pictures of my children at random moments. I am a mother surrendered to motherhood. If you had asked me five years ago, I probably would have said that it was not possible, but I have an artistic reason to support it.
I am the only privileged woman throughout the world who can witness how these two beings grow before my eyes, how they develop day by day. How, from not being able to distinguish more than shadows, they come to see me and recognize-me, from not being able to not feed themselves, they come to manipulate and ingest food, from being a cell, they are now whole beings. From being unable to move by themselves, they come to crawl, walk !. Won.der.ful. If there is a more genious process – artistic process other than the evolution of the human being, I have not seen it yet.
This magic, changing every second, is what has captivated me. I had never seen such transformation… so now I understand many other women before me, who have left everything to observe, experience, be part of the lives of these children. Tell me if we are not lucky? It is a mix of science, art, human curiosity, a time to look within myself and other human beings, observe and love, submerge in love.
So many things … meanwhile, 4 years have gone by and I have designed one collection (although I have several collections in the pipeline and many projects, I managed to finish only one). The days have a list of 50 things to do and if I manage to chieve two, I am lucky and maybe I even achieve them poorly. People who started with me are now very “far”. In my house, the only one who has come a long way is my daughter, she handles the scooter to perfection I love to see her passing at such speed, it even scares me.
If amidst all this rush that is the world today, I manage to do something with my creative process, I really appreciate it in my heart, because that is my inner magic. It is also what makes me happy every day. The process of creating something is certainly also what makes me a better human being and therefore a better mother. And eventhough my husband keeps saying that perhaps I should leave one of the activities because all together becomes stressful, but it also frees my being, my soul, it all makes me feel Carola Solis at last.
I have finished writing these lines, it is a miracle, I have been interrupted so many times by my children playing around me. But that is how life goes … This is how I wake up every day. Sometimes exhausted, but eager to do it all again and wanting to do everything well.
Ps. I owe the title of this article to my yoga teacher, who said “I who nursed you so lovingly” with much nostalgia, as she watched her teenage daughter leaving without saying goodbye. <3.
Photographs: Sasha Cecia Vásquez, Carola Solís