November 27, 2013 by Zoie at TouchstoneZ
Arrange whatever pieces come your way.
There’s a war going on inside a mother’s heart. The drive to have something that’s solely for ourselves and the drive to nurture our children are rarely able to coexist peaceably. This battle is separate from what society says mothers should want, but is influenced by it.
In conversations with other mothers, we often come upon the topic of deferring our dreams until our children are a little older. We find there’s a mixture of guilt over not being entirely consumed with motherhood and frustration over wanting more for ourselves. We love parenting our children, but can feel like our lives (and our bodies) are not wholly our own.
If we dedicate ourselves full-time to parenting, we look wistfully over the fence at the greener grass of being fulfilled through work, pursuing education or our passions. If we work, we can wonder about whether being the full-time parent would be the better choice. For some, there isn’t a choice due to financial realities, but the questioning can be there still.
Deferring our personal dreams and choosing to do what is best for our families right now is rarely made without some nagging hesitancy. Societal pressures about women’s roles and motherhood roles don’t make the choices any easier. It’s not often to come across any message other than whatever the choice, it’s the wrong one, and how dare you even look for support instead of being eternally giving, patient, and fulfilled by your role as caretaker to all but yourself.
These are the pieces that we have. We receive them in whatever order they come. But what do we make of them?
One of my favorite quotes became more meaningful to me after I had children.
You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
I think about the creative energy we need in order to bring a child into adulthood and how it is exactly the same energy we use when we long for our dreams for ourselves. As parents, we are constantly observing the capacity of children to create with wild abandonment and we identify within it. The creative energy is reflected back into us and we feel triggered to create for ourselves.
We all need a room of our own in which to realize our passions. We need this space now even when work and parenting have us waiting.
The importance of being in the now and in not thinking of the future are vitally important to true happiness. To me this means that visualizing everything that we want as already being right here, right now is how we stave off being frustrated with delaying our dreams as mothers and as individuals.
I spend time, especially the moments where I must stop doing, like when I’m breastfeeding or cuddling while children drift to sleep, repeating that all I have and all I want is here with me in this moment. I picture the things I want as already being here and I look for ways in which they are already occurring.
I make the pictures so real that I can feel what I want is already here within my reach. I can feel content, even if short-lived, with the balance I have chosen.
Every action I take and every word I say is a part of the choices I make for creating work, parenting, and personal dreams. It’s the times that I step out of this flow that I realize my frustrations and worries step in. I stop creating when I stop listening to the pieces I’ve been dealt and the chaos inside.
These other mothers who share their constant struggles to balance their inner war are my inspirations to cultivate creativity all around me. They write blogs, articles, and books. They tweet and update. Their voices matter. They are using their collective inner spark to create passions in themselves, their children, and the world around them by voicing their pain and joy.
Each day they choose to nurture their children and not give in to the personal and societal pressures to give every ounce of their passion to others. Keeping the creative spark inside births, albeit painfully at times, the life that they really want now.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
This post was written for inclusion in the Creativity Carnival. To read the rest and to see the list of links to the rest of the creative posts, please click here.
Post for NaBloPoMo
(Since I’m writing most of these late at night, in bed, while tandem nursing twins, I’m choosing to concentrate on writing rather than formatting, proof-reading, researching or editing as much as I’d like. Please forgive the extra typos and non-nonsensical grammar. Thank you.)
Please visit me at TouchstoneZ: Gentle Parenting & Mindful Living off the Mat
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