He was only three, my oldest son with the high-pitched voice and sweet "Yes, Ma'am." His younger brother was a rolly-polly one year old with a laugh that left a happy trail of slobber. And my belly was so full of baby that I could barely breath. My insides were as cram-packed as our days. Playdates and naps, followed by long walks to the grocery store. We pulled baby brother in the red wagon, picking his sippy-cup off the sidewalk a bazillion times. It was the brothers' first official game. And my feet were swollen. Though the days stretched long, they were full of blessings and babies. No complaints. No complaints. I was humbled and grateful to be there. Yet something strained in a place inside me, deeper than my third born occupied... down deep within my soul. I feared I was losing myself.
Though my life as their mom was a dream come true... there were other dreams I was losing touch with.
The poet and the painter and the prophet, the reader and the thinker, now dormant parts of my life before children - my life creative.
If you're a mom, trying to fit your passions into the practical places of a blessed (but busy) home life, I feel ya. It's not easy - this mashed up, messy experience where motherhood and marriage occupy every square breath.
In this sweet season, raising little people, our creativity, hobbies, and dreams might not fit seamlessly into our days like it once did. Still, I learned in those early years, it is possible for us to gently weave it back into our lives again - as we meet with our children over finger paints, serve our husbands savory new recipes, grow a multi-tiered herb garden in our kitchen window, scrapbook our children's memories, refinish the front porch swing, create hand-sewn banners or chalk board signs, paint the rainbow promise in our journaling Bibles, and sing sweet lullabies to our children at the end of another long day.
This marriage of motherhood and masterpieces is absolutely possible.
Your Life Creative has the potential to be the most beautiful mixed-medium display you've ever imagined. But it can feel isolating. "Am I the only one who feels lost in motherhood? Are there other creative moms who miss their creative hobbies and long for self-expression? Or am I alone as I try to remember the things that used to make my heart soar and sing? Am I the only one looking for ways to fit it in again, right here in my mothering days? The writing, the singing, the painting, the sewing, the dinner parties..."
No. You're not alone.
Creative women, just like you, each with their own unique brand of phenomenal, are part of a modern day Renaissance - overflowing from home offices, nurseries, and kitchens. Moms. Everyday, ordinary moms wearing yoga pants, with their hair thrown up in a messy bun - a child on her hip and another in her belly. Moms making love and making art and making meals. Moms.
Of course, it's not easy. Book writing, canvas painting, graphic designing, home-decorating, recipe-inventing, needle and threading, song-perfecting... with little ones and laundry always calling your name. It doesn't fit like it used to, but it's got to fit... to some degree, even if only in a coloring book beside your toddler with her sweet breath against your cheek.
God didn't screw up when He created you creative and then made you a mom. Creatives don't cease being creative in the midst of motherhood. Their natural bent doesn't just bend over and die with the birth of a child. Instead, it morphs, it ebbs and flows, and eeks out in the most difficult and delightful of moments. A mother's ongoing creativity is a miracle. It's part of her "In His image" design!
And in the very least, if there is no time for our own creativity... we've got to join them in theirs!
My sweet friend, Kelli Stuart and I have written a book on this very subject. Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom, begs the question, "What was God thinking when we created us creative and then gave us children? How can we possibly delight in both blessings in the same season?" Unfortunately, our sweet little book doesn't come out until next fall - which feels like forever and a day! And so, to begin the conversation right now, we've started an Instagram page with our über talented friend Alle McCloskey of Finding Eden Media.
Together we hope to encourage and inspire moms to celebrate this part of their lives again - even in the messy midst of motherhood.
Join us today as we launch @lifecreative on Instagram
God did a good job when He made you creative. And He did a good job when He made you a mother. Life Creative is where we celebrate both sides of your miracle design!
If you long to create; to make and sing and celebrate; write and decorate; if you love art and music, and want to fit all that good stuff into your mothering life again, I invite you to sign up to receive more Life Creative blog posts directly to your email inbox. I'll be speaking more on the subject of creativity and motherhood in the months ahead and would love to turn this monologue into a dialogue. Join me!