Writing Our Way Through Motherhood
I meant to write a blog post about motherhood and creativity yesterday.
I've been collecting links to articles like "Is Parenting the Enemy of Creative Work?" and "The Secret to Being Both a Successful Writer and a Mother: Have Just One Kid," and percolating my own point of view.
But I'd brought the baby to the office that day, and I was having trouble focusing. (There's irony for you.) He slept most of the day, but his presence shook up my normal writing routine. I finished up a few work assignments and surfed the internet, and when the baby woke up we made this GIF.
(It would've been funnier if he'd pounded the keys a little more; but he's non-union talent and doesn't take direction well.)
Unbeknownst to me, author Rufi Thorpe had already done the day's work for me. Her recent essay "Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid" captures all my mixed emotions about writing and motherhood more eloquently than I ever could. It's both refreshingly candid and bittersweet, and the ending left me feeling energized. Optimistic, even.
"If ... the job of art is to unsettle and the job of a mother is to soothe, perhaps there is no more unsettling solution than to insist she can do both, that there is, in fact, no conflict there, that motherhood itself is dark and uncharted and frightening? What if, in fact, motherhood is a boon to the artist? What if writing motherhood is the frontier, is the uncharted territory into which we must step if literature is to advance?"
Go read the whole thing at Vela, then share it with all the creative mamas you know. And let us all unleash our art monsters onto the world.