Friday, October 20, 2006

Mothering the Mom

I had an idea about Mothering. Well, first off, why should being creative while being a mother be any different than being creative without kids, or as a man?

I think it’s because being creative at all means you have to tackle your demons—we all have them, but mothers have a certain set of demons in common, on top of their regular human being demons.

One issue is about taking care of others. Mothering. Raising children. We need to be mothers—and often, you’ll hear people saying that the children come first… so our identity as mothers is frequently considered the most important part of who we are.

Mothering isn’t just about hugs and kisses. We feed, we clean, we dress, we entertain, we educate, we praise, we punish, we set boundaries, we love. Every human being needs this. It’s hard to overcome lack of mothering—whoever one gets it from.

But I think we forget sometimes that we need mothering too. Not just the rewards and indulgences of unconditional love, but also the discipline, boundary setting, nourishing, and the daily preparing and maintenance that any mother gives those she is responsible for.

Who else is responsible for us? For our creative ambitions? For our art? We are.

What does that mean to our art? I think a lot, I’m still working on everything that means, but right now, I am definitely in the world of boundaries and accountability.

If I am to mother my creativity, my artist self, then I need to say, “no more tv, time to get to work, even if you are tired and would rather snack on chocolate and rot your brain.” I need to require more of myself than relaxing because I am so worn from mothering everyone else all day. I need to set myself some goals, and then, hold myself to them.

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