Monday, November 30, 2015

The Most Creative Years of My Life

I am not very creative when I am pregnant.

I realized this about myself several babies back. I've learned that my usual enthusiasm and passion for writing exponentially decreases in proportion to the size of my belly. It isn't just that I am more tired or busy, though I am sure those things factor in. It is more that I only have a certain amount of creative power stored up in my soul and that, without even being consciously aware of it, most of that power is being greedily channeled towards the little person growing inside of me. 

I know that after this baby is born and my soul is no longer focused on creating another human being, that all that creative power will flow into other channels, but right now the writer in me feels robbed. The part of me that needs and yearns to write, to create with words on the page, can't help but feel jealous. Jealous that the other part of me, the part the needs and yearns to create a new life, has the monopoly on my creative power. When I think about all the things I would like to be writing, and all the ideas that won't quite come together, I can't help but feel a bit resentful that my creativity is being sucked up by all these little people who monopolize my body, my time, and my energy. 

And then... I look at these four little people I have created with my body, nourished with my breasts, infused with my love, taught with my passion, and shaped with daily acts of charity and I realize that they are my masterpieces. 

Women are creators, powerful creators. There is something innate, perhaps the most innate part of us, that yearns and desires to create; to create life, to create homes, to create families, to create beauty, to create peace, and to create people.... good people. So much of what women do on this earth is creative work-- the shaping, the building, the molding, the teaching. Our creative power defines who we are as women, perhaps more so than any other attribute or role,  and I don't think there is a woman on the earth who escapes its pull. 

In fact, I wish that we could re-frame our construct of the word "mother", not just as someone who gives birth to or nurtures a child, but as an embodiment of women's creative power. To use "mother" as a title of creation, like we would the words "artist", "architect" or "author". A woman at her core, the mother in her, is like an artist. She spends her time creating and shaping something that has never existed before. Yet unlike an artist a mother's magnum opus will not be found in any museum, library or gallery, it will not be made from stone, or canvas or paper, and it should never be for sale because her medium is not paint or clay... but human life. 

With the passion and skill of a master, women throw themselves into the creation of the human family. Investing their time, their energy, their love, their hopes, their intellect, their flesh, and their blood into creating people, little and big. Perhaps it is because we are so good at this work, and such prolific artists, that our works are not always recognized by the world. It is easy to appreciate the work and skill that goes into beautiful paintings, buildings or sculptures, but harder to recognize the work that goes into creating a person... it is a much more complex type of creation. 

What I am coming to realize is that these years, the years when I feel like my creative power is being hijacked by tiny people who can't even go to the bathroom by themselves, are the most creative years of my life. I am thick in the throes of the conception and formulation of the greatest type of masterpiece, and while at times it is hard to remember just exactly what it is I am working on, something beautiful is emerging before my eyes. 

I know that in other times and seasons of my life my creative power will have different channels, and that I will never stop shaping and influencing these little souls entrusted to me, or the numerous souls that pass through my life. Yet, this is a special time... a building time... and right now even as you read this I am putting the building blocks in place for yet another miracle, for yet another masterpiece the world has never seen, for yet another human life. 

So while the writer in me might bemoan my current lack of creative energy, the woman in me is relishing in it. She knows she is creating the most important type of artwork, the only type that will continue on beyond the grave, the only type created in the image of God.

So little person, whom I have not met yet, know I love you.

You are my next great work. 


  1. I love your perspective here, Heather. Mine is a little bit different. I spent many years yearning to be a mother, and I struggled with a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness. I felt frustrated in all my creative endeavors and that my full creative potential was unrealized. I feel that becoming a mother has expanded my creative power in every direction. I feel it has given greater depth and meaning to every creative endeavor I undertake. Certainly time management and physical tiredness play a part in what I can actually realize on any given day, but I feel more creative than I ever have.

    1. Erika I'd agree with you that motherhood has made me way more creative in general, but I've found that when I'm pregnant that creative energy is sapped. After the baby it comes back in full force and even more than before, but pregnancy is a whole different story :)

    2. I feel inclined to agree with Erika on receiving a greater depth of creativity since Motherhood. As a child I used to enjoy being the "artistic" one in the family, but somewhere along the way I lost the will to continue creating. Only when I fell pregnant with my first child, did that desire begin to manifest itself more completely - with each of my 3 babies, I had undertaken a project or two, specifically with my unborn children in mind. They were great bursts of creativity, sometimes during the still, quiet hours of the night while all were asleep, is when my mind would be most alert and at its peak, inundated with ideas and theories about what I wanted to accomplish. I guess everyone is different! :)

  2. Beautiful and just what I needed right now.

  3. I am a mother of young children and have lately been feeling starved of the creative outlets that I am more naturally drawn to. Your post was a beautiful reminder of the most important thing I could channel my time and energy into. ...I just wish my kids could go to the bathroom by themselves too;)

  4. Profound and beautiful. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for sharing your powerful awareness through word phrasing ... Your children are beautiful and vibrant. I look forward to reading more of your work! With tremendous admiration, Anne (mother, grandmother, professional musician, illuminator, iconographer)