Motherhood is a mysterious humanizing marathon. There are sunny days where being a mom feels natural and there are days where it is really f***ing difficult. I write that with immeasurable love for my daughter and to pull back the curtain on my experience. I don’t think women are given enough credit for the physical and emotional expense they bear when becoming mothers. Hormonal changes, relationship struggles, sleep deprivation, challenges merging motherhood with a fulfilling career, and boob saggage are as real as the oxygen we breathe. You will never be the same outside and within, and that’s the point.
It wipes clean the lens of longing for personal desires and brings into sharpness a life vision that feels bigger than my own making. It cuts off the psychological griping that likes to take seat in my brain. It opens me up to my own mortality. It’s not that I was walking around thinking “I’m immortal,” but I better understand that this slice of life I’m living is a brief, fragile happening… Day to day is a dose of aliveness to watch another human being grow and discover something new with fresh presence. A human being that came from me, yet is her own. It’s pushed me to live into larger life questions versus puny opinions. It’s anchored my reasons WHY with nearly everything I stand for and pursue. It’s earth-shattering love and the epicenter of a woman’s strength. It’s made me more brave in my own skin. It’s neurologically made me a better problem-solver (science has backed that up in maternal rats so I’m gonna claim that one for the human ladies too!) It’s helped me to become a better artist-- ferociously prioritizing and forgetting all else.
I used to think that motherhood and a creative career were incompatible. It’s a common belief and undeniable tension in our culture. The pull of a baby is strong, equally is the pull of creative work and often times those paths feel that they may collide. It’s pureeing pears at 11pm and writing this; it’s finding unusual new ways to get stuff done. It’s giving yourself time for the alchemy of two identities to settle. Both tug at the heart and make me incredibly happy and exhausted. Since becoming a mom, my creative drive has swelled. The way I see the world has changed and nothing is more valuable to creativity than a new perspective. I used to think that by writing more, rehearsing more, reading more I’d become more successful, but none of that has enriched my creative work like touching creation itself. I carve out time for my creative work just like I spend time being a hands-on mom. When I’m involved with both, they each make me better at the other.
I don’t know what surprises lay ahead. I feel that my most meaningful life’s work is beginning. What I do know is that it’s okay to not fully understand what you’re doing in the world as a mother and artist, but to trust that one day it will all make sense.
Courtesy of my daughter striking my keyboard-- the most fitting description of motherhood I’ve read.