Artist Caitlin Connolly, Who Once Struggled With Infertility, Gives A Profound Meaning To Motherhood
- IWB Post
- May 16, 2018
Last Sunday on 13th May, Utah artist Caitlin Connolly wished herself ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ on behalf of her adorable 6-month-old twins with a heartwarming Instagram post.
Now a mother to two adorable boys, she once doubted her womanhood due to infertility. During those seven struggling years, she thought, “not a mother, not a nurturer, not a good woman — just not enough.” She often wondered if she wanted to have kids and sometimes thought being a mom looked really hard. And as she explored her feelings on the subject, they were brought to life before her eyes.
My first Mother’s Day was absolutely the best. I told Robbie that I wanted to be the one to get my boys out of bed and play with them all morning. I spent my day mothering and it was the most joyful day. I spent a lot of years waiting for these boys and they are better than I could have ever imagined. 💙💙
2,018 Likes, 58 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “My first Mother’s Day was absolutely the best. I told Robbie that I wanted to be the one to get my…”
1,312 Likes, 100 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “I hid myself”
She brought the joy of motherhood into life through her paintings. She said, “No, I hadn’t physically borne children, but I had brought into existence hundreds and hundreds of characters that wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t created them,” she said. “That changed my heart and I understood my own ability as a nurturer differently after that point. And I think that’s true for everyone, not just me as an artist. What have you created and cared for that wouldn’t exist if you hadn’t cared for it?”
1,776 Likes, 142 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “waiting”
“A lot of my paintings looked at the joy of motherhood, the struggle with motherhood, and I think that was a lot of me coming to terms with, ‘What would this be like if this was my life? What would it be like to have kids?’ ”added Connolly.
Connolly and her husband Robbie decided to welcome babies in their lives through in vitro fertilization (IVF) when Connolly “felt very ready to become a mother.” During the IVF process, Caitlin was working on a 13-foot painting. It was a painting that depicted a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother with their posterity.
977 Likes, 73 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “the loss of a mothers milk”
a piece of me Happy (almost) Mother’s Day! Today and tomorrow only, use the code “MOTHERSDAY” to receive 10% off your entire order at caitlinconnolly.com/store. ❤️ Place your order today to make sure it gets out even faster, orders placed tomorrow will be sent by priority mail 💌
1,417 Likes, 49 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “a piece of me Happy (almost) Mother’s Day! Today and tomorrow only, use the code “MOTHERSDAY” to…”
Several paintings on motherhood and now a mother herself made Connolly realised that the whole journey of having or not having children plays a very emotional part in a woman’s journey. The emotion that varies from woman to woman. She explained, “One thing I have learned through exploring themes of womanhood and motherhood is that having children or not having children is such a central and emotional journey for women. Some women have children when they don’t want to, some women want to have children and they can’t, some women lose their children, some women have children and don’t like being mothers, some women love being mothers — it’s such a personal and unique experience.“
She adds, “I feel very grateful for my experience with infertility and with fertility. My chapter of infertility was both difficult and very refining, and it prepared me for motherhood in a way that was very important and necessary for me.”
It’s through Connolly’s art that she searches for answers. There’s an idea, a story behind every piece of hers.
One of Connolly’s most recent works is a sculpture in which she captures “the intense and very new dynamic I felt being pregnant with our first children, our twin boys, last year and how I needed to lean on (Robbie) more than I ever had before.” It is titled, “Man Bearing Woman and Woman Bearing Man.”
She describes being a mother as a really emotionally and physically exhausting and draining way to spend time but says that with the help of others, she is happier than she has been in the past. And that worth she was searching to understand? Connolly spins around in a chair in her studio to face the many characters she has given life to, visibly pondering the question.
697 Likes, 15 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “a brief inconvenience”
Connolly talking further adds that her paintings reflect experiences. She said, “My painting process reflects that experience. I work in a very subtractive and additive process. I build things up with paint and then I sand them down. I will spend hours and hours on a painting only to take it into my woodshop days or months later and sand it down (parts or the whole) to begin again. And it is this play, between the building and the removing of what isn’t working, that produces my favorite paintings. It is a very symbolic and healing process for me on a personal level and reminds me that it is OK that I am a work in progress. I need experiences that sand me down and refine me, and I will have other experiences that build me back up, and I know that over time I am progressing and that is good.”
1,072 Likes, 68 Comments – Caitlin Connolly (@caitlin_connolly_) on Instagram: “protector by day and by night 🌝🌞”
H/T: Desert News