Thoughts on Creative Idleness as a New Mama

I remember (re)reading May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude towards the end of my pregnancy.  I am a huge fan of solitude,  and how it fills my creative wells. As excited as I was to be welcoming my son into the world I felt worried that I would never have a moment to myself again! I believe I was reading it so close towards the end of my pregnancy to affirm what I knew about myself, but also to prepare myself how to navigate through that as a new mother. Graeme actually arrived three weeks early so I never finished the book, but I took that as a sign that I was fully equipped and ready to roll. 

Now that sweet baby G is nearing 7 months I have been consciously trying to allow space to fill my creative wells and I have enjoyed (mostly) redefining what that looks like in my new world. Recently I have been reading Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write (highly recommend for any type of creating) - what I love about her writing is how she reminds us to show up everyday to our art even if you just sit there and twirl your hair. She says:

I learned from them that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.
 I thought for sure my time for solitude would be when Graeme naps - I had always thought as rule babies nap for HOURS!, but he only naps in 20 minute increments. That's when I get the dishes done or the laundry folded. Or sometimes I just sit on the couch in silence. Although I am not alone, I find that somehow on long walks with Graeme and our pup give me a sense of solitude. Or when I am rocking him to sleep I just keep rocking him as he sleeps - I am loving that kind of idleness.

Then there is always the evening. Ideally, I try to get some reading in but some nights I just need to zone out in front of the TV. Just last night I went into our bedroom to read only to fall asleep by 8:30!


kari maxwell said...

Love this post, Heather! Love hearing how creatively conscious you are and how there isn't one particular formula but various ways of priming the pump. Thank you. More Please!