Mum’s the word: parenthood and creativity can go hand-in-hand, Debut examines how.
Firstly, picture a creative, artistic person. Now picture a mother looking after her children. Who do you imagine when you think of these separate people? It can raise some contradictory images. It is easy to only think of creatives as free and wild, up late at night and out at social events. Even throughout history, artists and writers have famously been represented as hedonistic, living solitary lives and being as far from traditionally “maternal” as one could be. Under this view children are something which only stifle the creative impulses and reduce the amount of time one can spend on projects.
However, this is increasingly being shown as not the case. Strong, artistic, empowered mamas are everywhere. They fill Instagram and other social media platforms with examples of their triumphs, both with and without children. Many of which have been achieved because of the birth of their babies and the experiences gained from motherhood.
Finding time does become harder, especially if you are trying to juggle creative projects on top of a full-time job and parenting. Between work and caring for children during playtime, bathtime and bedtime, much of the day is eaten up so any extra jobs need to be done in the evening. By this point exhaustion might be kicking in.
Depending on whether children are sleeping through the night or not, mums are often running on less than ideal sleep. They need to be driven and especially motivated to make this work. Helpfully, becoming a mum makes you part of a whole new network; a supportive, understanding group ready to be a part of new projects or suggest ideas.
Growing a whole human being, giving birth to them and raising them is an empowering experience and feels like a real achievement. It can galvanise and inspire mums to try new things and set new goals. A new perspective on life is also gained, bringing new ideas with it. Whilst children do become the priority for mothers, this isn’t necessarily at the expense of other aspects in their life. Many mums want to explore new ideas as a way to hold on to their identities, or the changes that come with becoming a mum can cause a revaluation of previous choices.
Creativity and maternity are not incompatible. In fact, the opposite is often true. Motherhood can fuel the imagination. Importantly, there is a desire to accomplish more for the sake of children: to inspire them and show them that they too can achieve what they want to in life.
Words: Lydia Morgan
The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.