Friday, January 27, 2017

motherhood and creativity

Recently I've been completely overwhelmed by all the ideas swimming around in my head. I've got exciting plans and dreams and goals that I'm hoping to work towards. I could spend hours devoted to the projects I've dreamed up in my mind. 

I remember long, coffee-soaked, solitary creative mornings. Writing and knitting and scheming. I felt proud of the work that I did and I enjoyed the process of following my creative whims wherever they took me. 

But this is not the season for that. This is the season of playing on the floor, of long walks pushing the buggy, of holding a baby wide eyed with wonder up to the window to see the birds. 

Of course, there are moments of creativity snapped up here and there- nap times, and evenings, moments when papa takes over. But I always feel like this is borrowed time- snatched and stolen and frantically running out. I multitask a mile a minute in order to get to as many things as I can.

And that's not all that conducive to good work. 

And so. I've decided to arrange childcare. It's minimal- a few hours of babysitting a week, while I work away in the other room. It feels indulgent and sacred and glorious all at the same time. I know it will take me much longer to plod through that list of ideas than it would have previously, but like I said, this is not the season for that. 

my baby will be a baby for just this short amount of time and I don't want to miss that while trying to do ALL the things. But I'm also learning that it's more than okay to do some of them- it's good even. Important. This is the balance that I've found for me and my family- something that every mother (and really, every creative) has to figure out for herself. It looks different for everyone and that's okay- we're all doing our best and that is more than enough. 

So hopefully you'll see some big things from me in the next year. Watch this space.  


  1. Good for you! My friend Marissa Huber ( and a friend of hers created a series of posts called Carve Out Time for Art, about balancing motherhood and art - you are not alone!

  2. Hi Ruth, I know what you mean by creative ideas popping in your head and going with them. This is much easier to do when you do not have a baby. I found it so interesting to read from your perspective as I will also be juggling my creative aspirations with being a mother one day. I would also find it difficult to tear myself away from my baby to knit, design and plan. I guess that there is always nap time which is great to find a moment to get some things done, hope all goes well with having the babysitter for a few hours a week. Have a great weekend!

  3. I'm not sure if i've mentioned it before but there is a great book on just this thing by Lucy Pearce called the Rainbow Way. It examines the rise in creative juices that often comes with motherhood and thinking about how to make space for that and allow ourselves the time and resources to make that happen. Check it out, i wished i'd found it when my kids were little like your lovely. You are right that babies a small for such a short time but it is so important to allow space those other parts of yourself, as well as mama.

  4. good for you!! I love my kids so much, but I was ready and a bit relieved when each of them in turn began daycare. It wasn't just to get my creativity and productivity back - it was to be able to drink beverages while still hot and go to the bathroom alone.Just kidding!!!!! Both my kids thrived in daycare, and the carers are genius. They understand early childhood education and have worked with all sorts of different baby personalities. As they get bigger, they come home with more skills and learning, and they develop wonderful social skills. When I pick up my kids, I can bring my whole self to the moment, having worked and tackled my creative challenges earlier in the day.I'm biased, it's what worked for me and my family, but just in case you felt any kind of guilt, I wanted you to hear from a mama that loves her babies so much and doesn't regret daycare at all.