Starting Again

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JeansPhotos_05-13_0617

I'd like
to start again.

Do you ever wish you could
do that? Go back to the way it was at the beginning (of whatever).

I feel
like I've lost my way a bit and it took remembering why I started this blog in
the first place (sharing & connection) and my mission statement, if you
will (get kids doing art by inspiring and motivating parents).

As you
can see, I've taken a bit of a break from The Artful Parent over the last
couple of weeks. It was unintentional, as perhaps you know. (Whenever I take an
intentional break, I tell you about it ahead of time and then can't seem to
stay away when I plan to.)

This was
different.

This was me turning away from the computer every time I got close,
unable to face the blog responsibilities or the emails I knew were piling up, flinching when I saw myself around town, avoiding thoughts of
my book. This was me turning inward at a time when I should have been facing
outward. Spiraling downward when everyone around me thought I should be riding
high.

It's funny
what the mind does.

My doctor gave me a little blue pill to help me get a handle on my brain. I'm doing better now. This isn't the first time I've been on an antidepressant. And not the first time I've both welcomed its relief while at the same time counting down the days and ways until I can get off again.

JeansPhotos_05-13_0632

Anyway, I came here today to explain my absence and to also say that I'm ready to start again. To focus on the simple act of sharing the children's art that I am passionate about.

Will you join me?

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Comments

  1. says

    I just had my “little blue pill” bumped up this very morning by my doctor. You are wonderful, hang in there and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the summer.

  2. Amy Fields says

    Always! Glad you are back!! Take as much time as you need. We will be here.

  3. says

    Good for you for hitting the reset button, Jean.
    Stress and pressure and expectations and too-many commitments can wreak havoc on the nervous system of an introvert. The year that my first book came out, I inconveniently came down with three infections back-to-back.
    Hit the reset button again, any time you want. Or whatever helps!

  4. says

    I took a much longer break this spring from blogging and writing, myself. Just tried to take care of absolute basics while getting my mind, heart, and spirit back together. Sometimes we just need to take care of things. Everyone will be here until you are full swing again.

  5. Sandy says

    I think creative types are more prone to mood disorders, myself included. Glad you’re feeling better, and there’s certainly no need to apologize for taking time for yourself!

  6. says

    You know I understand, dear one. When the chemicals are out of balance, we question ourselves, and when we get help, we seem to feel bad about it instead of complimenting ourselves on being proactive. Take all the breaks you need! I understand every single thing you said, even about pulling away when everyone else says “Wow, you must feel so great to have written this book!” It’s all normal, but not always fun. Feel free to spend time with your kids and do family stuff without blogging. We don’t mind. We understand!

  7. says

    You are loved, respected and appreciated! It takes courage to share something so personal. Don’t feel “obligated” to come back before you are ready. Take your time. We’ll still be here :-)

  8. Laura says

    Always with you. Glad to have you back & inspiring me to be creative with my kids.

  9. MommyT says

    You are doing this blog for YOURSELF and your children, not us. You owe us nothing. When you need to take time, you should take time- no explanations necessary. We are lucky to have you when you are able to share.

  10. says

    It’s funny how reading a blog for so many years makes you fell so close to the person. But you slipped into my mind recently and I wondered why I hadn’t heard from you in awhile. I said a small prayer for your well being. Hang in there!

  11. Kelly says

    Good for you for taking a break! Your (and your kids’) wellbeing is the most important thing. We’ll be here!

  12. says

    Gosh, I hope this means you’re eating sugar again. :) Hugs, Jean … always. I am glad you are doing well now.

  13. Carly says

    Glad you’re back. My heart worried for you during your absence. Depression is a hard hole to climb out of.
    Take all the time you need. We’ll be here, grateful for your inspiration and wonderful ideas.

  14. Maggie says

    I’ve been on those little blue pills myself and I hope you start feeling better soon. I couldn’t wait to get off of them but was thankful that they were there when I needed them. I also whole-heartedly agree with everyone else’s warm sentiments. I have been reading your blog for years and am so thankful for the great idea’s you share here and the special moments that they have allowed me to have with my children. Take care of yourself and come back at your own pace whenever you are ready :) Also, your book is wonderful and my children and I are really enjoying it.

  15. says

    I like to think of those little blue pills like a cast. When our hearts or heads need a little extra support, they hold us up while we heal.
    I’ll also add that I think of your blog (and many others) as a free gift. It’s great when you post, I miss it when you don’t, but I don’t expect you to give up your free time to entertain and educate me. I appreciate this space, but don’t feel like you have to offer apologies or explanations when you don’t feel like blogging for a bit. :)

  16. Jane says

    Welcome back! We are glad to have you here again to share ideas with and inspire us. Sending positive energy your way. Jane

  17. Robin says

    awesome, I found that pills do not work for me when I find those moments surrounding me. A 30 minute walk everyday and the chiropractor set me back on my path. I can not wait to see what will be posted next… hang in there.

  18. says

    Hang in there! I’ve felt the same way lately, and I don’t even have the stress of a book on my plate! (But winter almost didn’t end here in Iowa so I’m sure that didn’t help) Looking forward to hearing from you again. And LOVE your book!

  19. Julie says

    ditto all the great comments above, also know that while we patiently wait for your return it gives us ample time to browse through the archives and be reminded of great things!!
    Julie

  20. says

    Sending love, from an admiring fan. I’ll always come back to read, no matter how long you stay away.

  21. says

    Sending support from an avid reader… take all the breaks you need/want, I have a feeling your readers will all still be here when you get back :)

  22. says

    I hope you start to feel better really soon. I always have to comment when someone shares their struggles with depression, medication, and/or anxiety. For so long I felt so alone in my struggles. That’s why I share mine on my blog, and why I am so passionate about cheering others on whoso the same.
    Take your time and feel better.
    Your blog is awesome. I’ve been reading it for quite some time but have always been a lurker.
    Bless you!

  23. says

    I’ve always loved the simplicity of your blog, the way you share things you really do with your kids and not just picture-perfect finished projects. It’s inspiring in a different way, on a more wholesome level. I’ve loved your blog and your sweet-natured self for many years. And, as a blogger myself, I totally understand the need to take a break sometimes. And, at least in my experience, the unplanned breaks, the needed breaks, are the most refreshing. Thanks for being so real. It’s what’s truly inspiring. :)

  24. sara says

    Thank you for sharing your struggles. We have just bought our first house and moved. I have realized that changes and a lots of demands and decisions to make are really unsettling to me. I have to tell you though, that one thing I am very excited about for this house is turning part of the den into a studio/play space and starting a toddler art group!! So, you are inspiring mamas and kids!

  25. says

    happy start again! wish you a cupcake, icecream, latin music, paint pink walls time coming up! send u energy far from vienna:)

  26. Lisa says

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but this seems a good opportunity to say how much I love it – we have tried many of the ideas that you have posted! :)

  27. trish says

    I think you are brave and wonderful for sharing this. I wish you speediness to feeling content within. I’ve been meaning to get your book and I’m going to buy it right now as a show of support… thanks for all your amazing ideas and encouragement for us mums who are not so artistically inclined :)

  28. Kuda says

    Thank you for sharing, and good for you for getting the help you need.
    Always happy to join you.
    Be strong!

  29. katie says

    Your readers don’t have high expectations for you. We don’t mind when you keep it simple or take a break ( just as long as you always come back!)

  30. molly says

    I find that after major excitement in life, like our recent move, and then that time when things are settling in a “back to normal” routine, I find myself in that same place you’ve been describing. Glad you are feeling better, and take comfort that you are certainly not alone with the way you have been feeling! Sidenote: LOVING your book, and using ideas and inspiration daily with the new little ones I have over for daycare. =) Thanks so much for all you do to bring art into our lives!

  31. Dena says

    Lots of warm wishes to you Jean from me and Naomi…………..we are here doing all kinds of wonderfuls because of your blog; when you post something new, I will be here. When you need to take time for yourself, I will be happy that you did.

  32. Michelle says

    Thank you for being so truthful and open- we often look at other people’s lives (or blogs) and see everyone else is coping better, have happier, more intelligent children and never have those off days, or weeks. I really appreciate your honesty it hits home with me right now :) you brave bloggers are making such a difference-thanks x

  33. jane says

    You are an inspiration! Thank you for this blog, and all you do to encourage us to bring art to our children and into our homes.

  34. says

    Jean I love your honesty and how you make everything so real. Take all the time you need and try to spend some time on yourself we all so need that time. You are such an inspiration to mothers out there. My children’s lives and the children in my art class have benefitted enormously from your creative mind. You have so many exciting ideas to try that I could keep reading the archives for months, so take your time….

  35. Suzie says

    After such an amazing accomplishment (your book which I love – well done!), it’s completely understandable to experience an anticlimax and feel down (ironically just when you could be feeling so great!). Great that you’ve taken (or taking) some time out to reset you. We’re not going anywhere so we’ll be here when you return.

  36. Amy says

    Hi Jean,
    I have been reading your blog for a long time. I just bought your book last week, and as a direct result my kids did some truly monumental splatter paintings over the weekend, which I’ve taped all along the stairs to our bedrooms. Now I’ve placed a big order from Discount School Supply, my first foray into liquid watercolors.
    I rarely leave comments on websites, but I just wanted to say that your ideas are very influential, and your website is a treasure trove even when you are away. I know, in my own creative life, there often is a disconnect between when the conditions are perfect for happiness/inspiration/productivity and when I am actually able to create. I too published a book, and now I wish I could go back to that very exciting time just BEFORE it was published and everything was charged with suspense and anticipation. I bet you will find it difficult to go back to the way things were before. Your very success has altered the conditions in which you work, and the challenge is to find a second act that is as fulfilling as the first one was. It is definitely a time to go easy on oneself and just do what you love, over and over.

  37. Mags says

    Hi Jean; Everyone needs time out, to recharge, to explore other ideas, just be, and just be without too many distractions and commitments! Its hard to “do it all” so give yourself a kind break. Take what ever time you need, there is no rush. Thank you for such an honest post.
    I love your book! M (Perth, Australia)

  38. Debbie Rosenkranz says

    Would love to join you again. Sometimes its just the not really knowing what’s next and sort of readdressing that fear! Take all the time you need we will be patiently waiting. :)

  39. Babs says

    I just found your blog a couple weeks ago and already it has made an impact on me and my family. Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re back. And I’m glad you took the time you needed to take care of yourself.

  40. stacey says

    i agree with all the beautiful thoughts above. :) i love your words and honesty and ideas, and so, will keep coming back. personally, i struggle with mood disorder too and so does my daughter. if it weren’t for our medications, well, idk….just not good. with her medications, she is able to be the van gogh/thomas edison genius that she is. without it, i have mr hyde on my hands. so, i count my blessings that there are medications to help me and her and that the medications work for us. congrats on all you have achieved thus far, and i look forward to following your journey when you begin again. :)

  41. says

    Welcome back :-) So lovely to see you here on your beautiful blog.
    I’ve had a difficult couple of days and I absolutely cannot blog when I’m feeling down. And I so miss it, and that makes it worse!
    Thinking of you,
    Lucinda

  42. says

    Hello Jean, first of all I love your ideas and I hope you do not stop putting them into the world. Saying a prayer for you on your new journey!
    Do you remember when you wrote about your enneagram sign, the Peacemaker? I have a family full of them, and I am pretty sure my 4-yo daughter is one too so I’ve read quite a lot about the type. Reading more in depth about your peacemaker motivations may really help you understand your feelings and channel them towards positive manifestations. 9s don’t do well with changes in their lives, they turn inward. But once they become unself-conscious and receptive of change, their influence is profound. Just like this blog. All the best to you.

  43. says

    i LOVE your transparency Jean! And a wise move on your part. Transparency is the gateway to healing, evolving and regaining our balance and zest for life. With immense love and gratitude for your ability to share your gifts with all of us no matter what. Take a break whenever you need to. As you’ve noticed…we’re not going anywhere! xoxoxo

  44. says

    Jean, I’ve been away as well. The move, lots of things (good and bad) happening with friends, family, etc. Your readers will be here when you are ready, even if they may take time away themselves. We love you and what you do here, be it every day or once in a while. Take care of yourself first and foremost. xo

  45. kirsty says

    We are based in the UK and have just bought your book. I regularly mention you as my favourite creative parent to anyone who will listen. Maybe it is good to have a little private family time too with no photos to take or posts to put up. Hope all looks better again soon. Kirsty X

  46. Sarah says

    You are a brave woman! Take all of the time that you need. You’ve posted more than enough to keep us busy for months and months. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  47. says

    Jean
    As a preschool teacher for the past 30 years and a Mom for the past 15 I was thrilled when I found your site awhile back because you inspired me to try some new things and rediscover some of the old things I used to do with the kids.
    I love you, you are an inspiration every day. Hang tight dear girl & know that there are those of us out here in your cyber neighborhood who understand and we send you love, light & hugs.
    Laura

  48. says

    I just “started again” with my blog too. I found Sam-e to be helpful for my mood issues. Hoping you feel like yourself again soon. I’ve recently come to your blog and the work you do is simply wonderful.

  49. Michelle says

    Thank you for being so honest. The mere fact that you take time out of YOUR life to grace us with your wonderful artistic adventures with your children, means in reality we are indebted to you.
    Life happens when we least expect it; and during those times, standing still is all we can do.
    This blog is an extension of you, and when you feel you don’t have enough to extend to us, we’ll wait. Until then, take good care of yourself and your family. I just wanted to say, I use your ideas and suggestions in my classroom and have shared your blog with my colleagues.

  50. Michala says

    I just love and appreciate your honesty so much. When you share such information about yourself it makes me feel like it’s ok that I too get very ‘down’ sometimes,but I pick myself up and carry on and take care of my children the best I can. Thank you for sharing and I wish you every hope of getting through your depression, x