The creative work of mothers

make art

Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own. — Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons

This is just a short story about art, doing the hard and focusing on raising a dream while raising little people.

When my girls were 10 months old, I had just quit working full-time after four grueling months of juggling it all. I was suddenly a stay-at-home mom trying to make a go of freelance writing.

Because, honestly, I’ve never not been giving something a go … my whole life.

So the twins were in their high chairs in our lime green dining room (what were we thinking?) and I was feeding them some watery baby food that, honestly, was the best I could offer because I was absolutely exhausted.

I remember this day so clearly. I had put out a few calls during their morning nap for a story for a regional business publication. Of course, deadlines were looming and naps were over.

So, when the phone rang and I had sweet potatoes on my hands, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up.


The man on the other end introduced himself and we began our conversation. The babies ate spoonfuls of sweet potatoes that I shoved into their gooey faces in between taking notes and asking questions of this prominent business man who was being profiled for being a great leader or something like that.

You know, he was doing it all and so he was being honored.

I tell you this story not to show how well I multi-tasked that day — and most of my days since — but rather to show you how important it is to focus on feeling whole as a mother and a woman.

That day, I chose to put both my girls and my career first without sacrificing either.

It is possible. It’s not easy. But, all of it led to why I am here, being your peaceful mama advocate.

Your creative muscles are not on hold because both hands are full and the house is noisy. If anything, your creative muse is like a huge firework going off inside of you right now, at this very moment.

Your dreams.

Your ideas.

Your projects.

Your art.

Your creativity.

And, the best place to fire that up is right there, sitting on the floor with your children.

You just need a little nudge to see that.

In every interview I give about my work on the Abundant Mama Project, I always tell this same story, and I’m always quick to follow up with the fact that I am absolutely more creative when I am playing with or next to my girls on a relaxed evening or weekend.

And, I’m more productive, too.

In fact, it took my girls being born for me to finally finish a 90,000 word novel.

I’ll happily and gladly take the marathon sprint of taking care of my kids while raising my career at the same time. Because both are equally important. And both make me — me.

Oh, and that spider photo above was taken by one of my dedicated mamas in the Abundant Mama Project who has recently realized that taking photos of nature and adding quotes is something she really loves to do. This is her art. This is her way of using her hands and her brain in a different way that satisfies her and makes her feel whole.

And much like a spider has to demonstrate immense patience and intricate attention to details, busy mothers with dreams need to realize that nothing is built in a day but many wonderful things can be built a little bit at a time.

This is abundance — when we can raise a child and a creative dream at the same time.

For Project 52 | Stay Awake this week … make art. Create something. With your hands. Even if it’s a tree house in the back yard. This is how we stay connected the woman and the mother within.

I’d love for you to share a creative dream that you have spinning as a web in your own head right now. What is it? Release it out into the world here. Magical things will happen when you do.

Get on the waiting list now for the Abundant Mama Project. Registrations will open for the 2014 class in early January.

Spider Web Photo Credit — Hillary Houseman

4 Responses to The creative work of mothers

  1. This is beautiful and so well said! When I started staying home with my daughter, I recommitted myself to writing and art, as well. Yesterday, I was able to give a good friend some homemade beauty products at her bridal shower thanks to allt he times my daughter and I have made bath salts and sugarscrubs in the kitchen

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I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »
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