How has being a mother affected my creativity?

I recently watched Who Does She Think She Is? – an award-winning film by Pamela T Boll  about motherhood and creativity.

I found the film a little disappointing because so much of it was about the politics and practicalities around women as artists. These are important issues for sure, but they aren’t the questions that I’m asking at the moment.

As I try to write here, with Arch climbing on the table saying: “I want to go on the computer, I want to go on the computer,” I find myself thinking about the following things:
  • It’s often said that being a mother is creative and of course it is.  But the whirlwind energy required to care for a child feels very different from the deep uninterrupted concentration required to make art.  In what ways is the creativity of motherhood similar to that of the creativity of the artist and in what ways is it different?
  • I think I have found that being a mother has changed my impulse to make music but not affected my desire to write. Has anybody else noticed a change in their urges since becoming a mother?
  • For me creativity involves connecting with the inner child and letting her come out to play. How does caring for my flesh-and-angel child affect my relationship with my inner child and therefore with my creativity?
  • The film addressed the issue of artists needing to give themselves permission to take the time to withdraw into the solitude necessary for certain types of creative activity. This is undoubtedly an issue.  But there is another dimension to that withdrawal.  How do we detach ourselves emotionally from our children in order to create?  (How do I put to one side Arch’s tears when I banish him from the room so that I can write?)

I’d love to hear from other mothers if their creativity has been affected through having a child.  Top tips on how to manage are always welcome.

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