For better and worse, becoming a parent has been a creative-life game changer for me and I feel like it’s a rarely addressed topic in the arts industry.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this article about motherhood and creative careers that I related to so acutely I felt like crying in solidarity, frustration and joy. If you find keeping both parenthood and creativity alive a struggle, I really recommend you read it and know you’re not alone! In my own creative practice as a musician, balancing my needs to both create and be the kind of mother I want to be for my 2 small boys and 3 teenage step children looms ever large. Rehearsals with small, half dressed humans underfoot, contributing percussion, injuries, civil wars and various fluids and solids on their way in and out, are a far cry from the lengthy afternoon jams of my early 20s (and those sessions never ended with a band member rushing off to pick up their child from Sunday sport). Feeling motivated to play late night gigs in the knowledge that I’ll be woken up some 4 hours after arriving home is a conflict between desperation to play and perform and desperation to sleep. Finding the headspace, energy and inspiration to create new material occasionally borders on impossible. And then there’s my own insecurity over who would want to see a middle aged woman with avocado at 3 year old hand height smeared on the back of her jeans play music anyway. Rock and roll.
In spite of the challenges, motherhood has also offered me so many unexpected opportunities as a creator. The lack of time has given me a focus and clarity my younger childless self didn’t have. The desire to give my children a life where their passions and dreams are embraced forces me to follow my own dreams and passions to show them what’s possible. My time management skills are at military level these days and my ability to accept creative imperfection and chaos grows with every passing year of motherhood. This article I wrote for the amazing Mama Bake community dives a little deeper into the many creative gifts parenthood has given me.
One of the ways I’ve learned to nurture my creativity as a mother is by spending time in Bali every year where outsourcing childcare and my (never ending) domestic responsibilities is affordable and easy. Plus I find the vibrancy, culture and weather gets my flow on big time! These getaways have been such a blessing to me that this will be the second year I’ll be running my Glow – Women’s Creativity Retreat in Ubud, Bali, so that I can share the experience with other mothers and women generally. I so deeply believe that a creatively nurtured, fulfilled and connected parent is a happier, more energetic person with so much more to give the world and those around them. Even if Bali feels out of reach, taking time out to meet your own creative needs as a parent can actually make you a better one. This blog by psychologist Lauren Tober talks a bit more about why that’s so.
Finding ways to embrace all the realities of creative life as a parent and looking after yourself as a creative person is a challenge for sure but in my experience it’s not optional. If creativity is so intrinsically a part of who you are, then to be an authentic and energized parent it has to be in all your artistic glory. Not only can you be both a parent and a creator but really I think you must! Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday, I hope for all you creative mummas it involves foot massages, breakfast in bed and time out to nurture your creative passion.
This article was taken from the May 2016 Very Arty News, sign up here if you liked it and want a monthly dose straight to your inbox.
May Retreat Special – To celebrate creative Mummas and Women (because let’s face it even those of you without kids probably do your fair share of “mothering”!) and to super charge the nurture factor of the divine Glow, Women’s Creativity Retreat, I am running a special May bonus. This gift is not only for the wonderful women attending but also the local Balinese and beyond community and is included in the retreat packages for all women who book for the July 17-24th retreat or lock in their own custom retreat by May 31st. So if you or a woman you know could do with 8 blissful days and 7 magical nights in Bali then check out the details below.
Book your ticket, pack your bags and gift yourself 8 blissful days and 7 magical nights of creativity, nurture and inspiration in magical Ubud, Bali. Create, connect and be inspired!
💝SPECIAL GIFT 💝Book into the 2016 Glow Retreat or lock in a private group by May 31st to receive a SUPER PAMPER & GIVING PACK
🌺The pamper pack includes my favourite princess treat, an in room 1.5hour honey and lime body scrub and Balinese massage followed by a relaxing flower petal bath, a gorgeous hand made soap pack, a special essential oil blend made custom for the retreat to encourage creative flow all wrapped up in a tote bag perfect for your Ubud market shopping spree.
🙏🏻To spread the love a little wider, I will make a US$50 donation on your behalf to the Bumi Sehat foundation as a part of our local giving program where we already contribute a portion of retreat profits to support the local community (last year we were able to provide life saving aid to a baby suffering hydrocephalus). The Bumi Sehat community health centre and organization serves women and families throughout Indonesia with health and community services, including Ubud’s very own natural birth centre.
US$295 by May 31st secures your spot and your special gift. Only 4 more rooms available and a maximum of 6 spots for the Glow 2016, July retreat. Email email@example.com to book in or learn more here.