“There's just so much duality to being pregnant and to being a mom. There's so much duality in being excited about my child but also grieving me, like my lifestyle beforehand. And you know, just loving different parts of motherhood and also hating a lot of it.”
We got to sit down with Christine, founder and artist of Tiny Namaste Pottery (as well as a private practice therapist), to discuss juggling the roles of artist, mom, and self.
Christine’s journey took a significant turn in May 2022 when she and her husband tied the knot. This marked the beginning of a pivotal year that was filled with dramatic life changes. Prior to her marriage, she was a medical social worker, a therapist, and an accomplished ceramic artist who had always been busy with three jobs.
But things were about to change. Her pottery business, previously overshadowed by her full-time medical social work job, suddenly skyrocketed in popularity on Instagram. It began to surpass her income as a social worker. Amidst all this, she was planning a wedding, moving to a new city in Orange County, and contemplating a full-time career transition from social work to art.
The Empowerment of Motherhood
Shortly after their honeymoon and an adventurous trip to Burning Man, Christine and her husband decided it was time to start their family. To her surprise, the journey to motherhood unfolded more rapidly than anticipated. She discovered she was pregnant just a month after making the decision and found herself really processing this huge life change that she expected would take much longer.
As her birthday approached, she was feeling all the feels. She had a lot of plans that had to be postponed due to her pregnancy and she found herself really mourning her life and her sense of self. While she was excited for motherhood, she felt the duality of adjusting to a new reality, so she spent time thinking about how she wanted to spend the remainder of her time before baby arrived.
“Pregnancy was empowering for me because I did so much that I didn't think that I would have the ability to do. I guess I really challenged myself and overcame so many limiting beliefs that I had about myself.”
Balancing Art and Motherhood
Tiny Namaste, Christine’s pottery business, has always been her creative outlet. Although motherhood has introduced its own set of challenges, she is determined to find a balance. Her daily routine now involves caring for her daughter Lily, part-time therapy sessions with clients, and precious moments spent creating pottery during brief breaks.
"Color and travel are a big inspiration to me. Just the energy I get from traveling. [Also] Burning Man. When I went last year, it was a huge inspiration for me in pumping me up, bringing back my energy that I had and getting over creative blocks and just wanting to experiment again. If I don't carve out that time for me, then I get depleted and I don't get excited sometimes.”
When it comes to parenting and especially her art, her motto is “start before you’re ready” - it’s an emphasis on the importance of not striving for perfection, but for completion. We’re never truly ready for the things parenthood brings our way each day. But just start. Try something new. Explore a new hobby! Life and parenthood are both a journey of continuous learning.
Finding Her Breath
Christine’s deep connection with yoga, a practice she has embraced since 2012, remains an essential part of her life. While she couldn't engage in the physical aspect of yoga during pregnancy and postpartum, she continued to draw strength from its mindfulness and breath control aspects. Yoga, for her, is a lifestyle and a means of staying grounded amid the challenges of motherhood.
“It's the lifestyle of being grounded and being able to practice your breath or your pranayama, the breath within you. In conjunction with therapy, it helps a lot with not losing my **** for lack of better words.”
Community and Empowerment
Becoming a mother has connected Christine with followers who share similar experiences and struggles. Her honesty and openness about her journey have resonated with many, creating a supportive community among mothers, expectant mothers, and those aspiring to be parents. Her willingness to share her raw moments has not only been therapeutic for her but also incredibly helpful for others who are embarking on similar paths.
“Since the birth of Lily, I've been able to connect with a lot more followers, women and men who have resonated with my struggles. It's just really nice to not feel alone when it could be very isolating and lonesome being a new mom without really any warning beforehand about what you're going to experience.”
Christine’s private practice, online therapy for anxious millennials, also still remains an important part of her life. Although her caseloads are smaller, she enjoys continuing to practice her therapy school skills and supporting other people in their mental health journeys.
“I'm always evolving as an artist, as a human, as myself, and with each new chapter that I've encountered, my life has brought a lot of energy and inspiration. To me, that translates into my art”
Christine’s journey is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of life. Her story underscores the power of embracing imperfections, finding balance, and connecting with a supportive community.