Fill Your Bucket

Small cars and trucks, library books, and dolls were strewn across the diamond-patterned rug. Exhausted on the soft gray couch, my eyes danced back and forth from one child to the next wondering how their small minds and bodies could think and move at such paces. The littlest, still a baby, moved in the bouncer; noises of happy squeals and hungry cries filled the afternoon air simultaneously as I viewed the performance of the 3 Ring Circus. I grabbed one of our favorite books, "Tickle Monster" and suddenly had the kids' attention.

In the midst of tickling, our story was interrupted with the arrival of my husband. The kids pranced to the front door. Through bear hugs and screams, he'd ask how my day was and I'd rehash events of the cheerio explosion, a non-napper, and spelling homework. He'd listen and tell me I was doing a great job. I'm forever grateful for his support in all that I do, especially when there's no how-to book for mothers.

My mind drifted. Something inside of me began itching, more like bursting to get out of me--and to create. Create with my hands. Create with my mind. Create with my heart. Just CREATE!

Then, almost immediately, the guilt came sweeping in, trying to swallow me up with voices remarking that I was being selfish. That I should feel completely satisfied with everything I was doing right then and there as a mother. Of course I was obsessed with my small humans that consumed my daily life! Their discovery in learning to read, capturing a grasshopper, or testing gravity is contagious; I love them fiercely and am extremely proud to be their mother! But sometimes, wiping tears and bums all day is exhausting.

Thankfully, a new voice piped up. It gently reminded me that talents and gifts come from God. That it was my duty...our duty, as humans to continually cultivate the incredible gifts we've been blessed with. These gifts are meant to be shared with others, to uplift and bless people. To make us better individuals. Better friends. Better parents. Not only did I need to create for me, but I needed to create for my kids.

So, one evening after the kids were tucked in bed, the green apple tins were retrieved from the shelf. I pulled off the lids, revealing an army of acrylic paints. A crisp, white canvas stared back at me, anticipating its next adventure. The long black handled brush swirled around the symphony of colors and met the canvas to start their journey. It felt like riding a bike, I knew exactly how to paint and I was thrilled to be creating again. It didn't have to be perfect. It just had to be made.

The next morning, my daughter rushed out of her room excitedly requesting to see the painting I had finished. She exclaimed that it was beautiful! My heart melted and filled with joy in those few words of validation for what I had done while the little ones slept. The spark of creativity was rekindled and I was thrilled to be doing something again that had been missing in my life. My bucket was being filled.

Lets give all mommas the permission to fill their buckets up often so we can share our discoveries and talents with our children. Any time that negative voice starts to creep into your head telling you that you're being selfish in doing something for yourself, tell it to get lost! Filling your bucket will add a bit more energy into your life and you'll feel renewed to conquer Lego cities and slay dragons while rescuing the beautiful princess. So, go on a run. Get a pedicure. Read a book. Have dinner with friends. Write a story. Walk every aisle of Target by yourself. Buy a new outfit. Take a class. You deserve it!

-Marcelle Calder



I'm married to my best friend Scott and we're raising our 3 darling, energetic kiddos in St. Louis. A trip to Greece is on the very top of my bucket list to see the infamous stark white and bright buildings next to the sparkling water! My BFA degree in painting and drawing has led me to dedicating "spare time" to all types of creating and painting. I hardly sit still and absolutely love projects and collaborating with others. You can follow my art adventures on Instagram @marcellecalder. Most days you can find me in my art studio or soaking in the sunshine with my kids at the park while sneaking pieces of chocolate with a camera slung over my shoulder!


Marcelle's Mom Look: 

1. I make sure to LOVE an article of clothing - if it flatters my body type and makes me feel comfortable then I buy it and wear it, simple as that.

2. Earrings are a must in my book - I feel naked without them! Fun earrings can quickly dress up an outfit or give jeans and a t-shirt day more character.