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Creative Mother Manifesto

After the birth of my daughter four years ago at the age of 46, I began to emerge from my creative closet further. I committed to writing three times weekly on the blog I’d (mistakenly) started. I volunteered for and pursued creative and collaborative projects and attended a conference. And all the while, I noticed an emerging unpleasant theme on being both creatives and mothers simultaneously. As if women were ashamed to be their creative selves when they had to be mothers too.

Women were tossing out casual statements about the inability to find the time to prioritize creative tasks and needs. My hyper-awareness to their words was because these could have been my words too. Obviously, many women felt conflicted to be themselves and the price was their permission to create. We are perpetuating a myth that we will be unable to keep our children happy and healthy if we prioritize ourselves. And it makes me queasy.

We are afraid of living as our creative inner selves. Afraid that if we allow our creative cores to be revealed, we’ll somehow then shirk our responsibilities as mothers and women. That by care taking our personal need to express ourselves, we’ll fail to care take someone else. Falsely we believe we can either be happily ourselves or miserably mothers.

Somehow we’ve struck an agreement with the world to stay small, that we shouldn’t/couldn’t be more or better without messing things up. And having sold our happiness into slavery, we’ve agreed to feel like crap about ourselves. Anxiety and low self-esteem are now givens and we hide and say no, there’s not a problem. I’m fine.

Yet, I think the solution is as easy as valuing creativity. If you allow for its regular expression, you can reform your vision of your life’s value, of your value within the bigger picture, and of your value to you. In moments of being truthfully creatively ourselves, when we treat ourselves with the same care and respect we give everyone else, we as mothers can see that working on our own happiness is the only chance we have at raising a next generation that values themselves. They do as they see, not as we tell them.

Then we could get to our creative work and by example, lead ourselves and others to their creative happiness too. Only in owning my low self-esteem did I raise it. Only in permitting myself to create did I get to be a better artist. Yes, I had to go on some faith that I was worth the effort to begin working but the proof that I was worth it was tenfold when I heard other women/artist/mothers say “Me too”. Thanks for the validation and permission.

We can make all this happen when we choose to engage our conversations, our ears, our hearts to being open to change for the better. We need to model self-love and bravery for our daughters and our sons. Our betterment involves a willingness to create our own plans for our futures, ourselves, and our children. And we get to connect with other souls who help us give ourselves permission to continue the process of growing ourselves whole!

What is one thing that keeps bothering you and makes you unhappy about your life? And what’s the one thing you’ve been avoiding doing to fix it? Write yourself a permission slip to implement the solution (or engage in the process to find another solution and your why) and begin changing the thing that’s been bugging you. Lead by courageous example. Tell your fear thank you for always trying to save you from death but you got this one. Fight for your right to create your stuff and those children will always have permission to create their own lives too.

 

Thanks For Signing up to read my blog and I hope you were inspired.

And here’s A Seven Steps to Take in Persuing a Goal piece to help you further.

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