Thursday, September 19, 2013
On motherhood and writing. With GIFs.
When a woman becomes a mother it is one of the most transforming, beautiful moments of her life.
But when a woman becomes a mother, she also suddenly has others to answer to in ways she never had to before. Sure you might want to cook for your significant other, or make your bed. But with motherhood comes being needed. By someone in diapers. Who needs you in a way that you never were needed before and who cares not if you're tired or exhausted or need a nap. They want you and they want you now!
To be fair, addressing their needs is their birthright. But they need us, not perfection. And yet, thanks to social media, and the glimpses of rosy exteriors, of kids crafting while mothers bake cupcakes to be eaten after their organic and locally grown dinner is prepared in their spotless and shiny home, we are often chasing an ideal or a standard, set artificially high.
Add to this the difficulty of trying, between those dirty dishes, and laundry, and bottles, and diapers, to find time for you and for pursuing your creativity and it can feel close to impossible. Creativity does not pay bills. It does not dust baseboards. In short, it is something you do for you and only you. And when so much is needed by others, your own needs can take short shrift. And yet, that is all the more reason to make that time for you.
So take that time, and get out of the house. Get in the car, get to a coffee shop. Or a park. Or a parking garage. Away from screams and shouts, and the dusty baseboards. Some place where a kid can't bang on the door, or a husband ask where the diapers might be.
And when you get there? Silence that phone. Click out of your browsers. And write. Even if its horrible and even if it makes you want to do horrible horrible things to your laptop.
Write. Write. Write. You don't get the time often. Make each minute count.
Then do it again. Because taking that time to yourself, to do what you need to do will help give you the inner strength you need to build up the patience that can sometimes be lacking when little munchkins are using you as their personal rock climbing wall while you simmer the rice and stir the lentils and the UPS man is knocking and the kitchen timer is beeping and the dryer is chiming.
Make those brief writing appointments. Make it a point to make that time for you. No, it might never pay the bills. But it will give you peace of mind. That time to find your happy place.
And that? That will always be worth it. Because by taking the time to do you, you can do what you need to take care of the needs of everyone else.
[My first foray into the strange and interesting land of GIFs. Hope you found some inspiration or at the very least, a laugh.]