Thursday, April 22, 2010

on being a (creative) mom

I randomly stumbled across this blog this morning and was struck by the quotation in the header:

The moment a child is born a mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.


This morning I was thinking about this blog and what I'm trying to accomplish and this quote just sort of made me understand that things really ARE different and a NEW process HAS to be created because I am not the person, the woman, I was before Emily.

The person I was before being a mom thought that a perfect day included the following:

- rising early to a full pot of coffee
- quiet music
- being in the paint room doing something with my hands
- a morning that stretched into an afternoon with people coming in and out, participating and enjoying their own creativity
- and something (or a lot of somethings) to show for the effort at the end of the day

Then something changed. In 2006 we decided that we wanted to have a child. We started a process that would change us, and at the time we had no idea how much. In 2007, just 10 short days after I made a wish on my birthday candles, the wish came true and Emily was born. And a mother was born from within me.

I've never thought about it that way. That's pretty amazing.

Now my perfect days include a little person who calls me "mommy." The day will likely include something creative, but instead of that creativity stretching all day it's distributed in 2-year-old manageable pieces. The focus is no longer on me and my work, but hers. Honestly I've been frustrated with that sometimes. I miss getting lost in the process. I miss hands filled with paint or tiny bits of paper on my clothing after a day spent cutting or tearing or whatever it is I am doing. I miss all of that me time. And it's taken me 2.5 years to realize that it's perfectly ok for me to feel this way. It doesn't make me a bad person and it doesn't make me love my daughter any less. Sometimes I've struggled with guilt over wanting those days to myself, but when I step back I realize that everyone NEEDS that time. I also recognize that to take the time would be setting an amazing example for my little person who will one day be a woman, and possibly a mother. I want her to know that her personal time is valuable, important and needed. My personal time is not an exception to that rule.

The challenge for me is making the time instead of making excuses. From June 2007 (when Em was born) until last summer, I experienced more change and uncertainty and rode more emotional roller coasters than I have since my teenage years. My creative time was lost during that time. Last summer things things started to settle down, but life threw another curve ball in January and I'm just now starting to feel "normal" from all of the changes that have taken place over the past few months. The thing is, life is always happening. It happened before when I wasn't a mom and it will continue to happen. I will always savor the care-free creative days of the person I once was and I imagine that as Emily grows more independent I will see them again, but for now, I have to find a new normal when it comes to my creativity as a mother. I'm a little gun shy (what if I can't do it?) but I also know myself pretty well. The more I build stuff up (like I'm doing now), the more nervous I get but when I actually sit down to do whatever it is I've been fretting about, I do it and wonder after the fact what I was worried about. I look forward to that moment of wonder. :)


  1. My son is now six and I've finally accepted that my pre-motherhood life will never return. It is important to find time for yourself; you will be a better mom for it. And take advantage of ways you can be creative with your daughter. My son and I make some of our best memories when we're creating together.
    There really are no words to describe the profound changes motherhood brings, but the gifts we get in return are priceless and are engraved on our hearts. Not many other things can do that.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Being creative with your kids, is great isn't it? It's one of my favorite things about being a mom and I'm hoping that through this act of being more committed to my own creative time, I will find even more great things to explore with her.


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