motherhood · Writing

Finding Creative Time

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My alarm pulls me out of whatever deep sleep I can muster with toddler feet in my face at 5 am. I contort my body to turn it off, without opening my eyes my finger finds my phone and turns off the alarm. I roll over and try to fall into a deep sleep, irritated with myself that I don’t have the ability to wake up and pursue my passion. Thoughts roam around in my head, belittling the work that I have started. I won’t get anywhere if I don’t carve out the time to get words down and out of my head, they are there swirling around, bumping into one another, desperate for a home out in the world. I’ll give myself five, ten, twenty more minutes then I will get up and get to work.

Then my children wake up. Jokes on me. 5:30 arrives and now I am up. No words will find their way to the page this morning. I take my kids downstairs and get them their milk, my eyes are still half-shut and I can barely walk a straight line. How would I even attempt to put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard when I can barely stand up? I think to myself as I rummage through the cabinets for a mug, desperate for coffee and the ability to open my eyes to their full capacity. I am not a morning person, I am not a night owl. I don’t know when I will find the time to do what I love. Coffee has finished brewing, I dump some creamer in it, stir it around, and take a sip. I’m starting to feel human again.

Now that my brain is working properly, I begin to process when would be the best time to write, when would I begin to create a routine that I can stick with on (as close to) a daily basis.

11-2, roughly. Those are the best hours for me. One child will be asleep, one child can have a movie. Then maybe I can create something.

There are times when I feel guilty for pursuing a creative hobby while my children are young. There are times when I feel my urge to write pull me away from my most important priorities- my family. There are times when I feel a disconnect between what I need to do (take care of my kids) and what I want to do (write) and I can’t find a common thread to keep them together (I know they can work together). I have been looking to outside sources to find inspiration, to find a reason to write. I haven’t been looking where I need to. My eyes have been set on my phone, rather than on the little people right in front of me. The little people I want to write about.

Part of the reason I have begun writing again is that I missed it. It is something I have always loved. That part of me got buried in the throes of motherhood. I didn’t recognize myself anymore.

I see myself when my kids are grown and gone- I am lost, forgotten. I don’t want to be 50 and have no idea who I am. Here I am at 30, trying to find myself after having lost a vital part of me four years ago. How much worse would it get in 20 years if I hadn’t realized I was missing? That thought frightens me. I want to know who I am when mother is no longer my morning, noon, and night. I want to know that I nurtured myself and gave myself the freedom to create, to live the kind of creative life I didn’t know I wanted. I don’t want to hide, to forget about this writer that lives inside of me, and succumb to motherhood only. Even if nothing comes of this writing while my kids are young, I want to know that I am letting the writer in me grow and learn and become something, without the guilt that can drown out a mother’s identity.