I knew when I became a mum for the first time that it would change me. I discovered reserves of patience that I never knew I had, depths of emotions, a fierce protectiveness and a desire to make the world a better place for my sons and future generations.
I was prepared to nurture my sons’ growth and development. But what I hadn’t bargained for was how becoming a mum opened me up to my own creativity and potential to do and be more.
Not just a ‘baby brain’!
As Lucy Pearce writes (in her book The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood) whether we are artistic or not becoming a parent makes us all more creative.
There are many reasons for this: a bubbling over of deep love and other powerful emotions; an awakening of forgotten memories and dreams; having a different rhythm to our days; a greater reliance on our intuition; altered wake-sleep cycles; an economic need to be thrifty and creative with what we have; increased opportunities for play; exposure to different people- and perhaps, most important of all, the changes in our hormonal state during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting encounters.
In fact I was intrigued to learn that scientists have now proven that having a baby physically alters the structure of a mother’s brain in that new brain circuits grow alongside the baby. They have found that hormones released during pregnancy and labour effectively rewire a mother’s brain so she might not remember everyday information (hello Baby Brain!!) but she instinctively learns new things to become more efficient in looking after and feeding her baby. And in surrendering and trusting her instincts, she unearths dormant creative pathways as she becomes more ‘right brained’. What’s more they believe these changes could last the rest of her life.
The urge to do and be more
So now there’s biological proof that having a baby profoundly changes us. Little wonder then that when you return to your old work role and routine it may feel like it no longer fits. You have literally outgrown it!
I remember feeling this when I returned from my first maternity leave. I felt stuck and stymied in my former role where there was no room for creativity or growth. I suddenly felt a compulsion to develop my own business and create a work-life balance that fitted around my own terms, having never had any entrepreneurial desires before having my son.
I remember around this time having a reiki treatment and the therapist telling me that she was picking up that I needed to utilise my creativity more. I had no idea what she meant at the time as the artistic gene in my family has firmly given me the slip, judging from my lame efforts in Pictionary! However when I read Lucy Pearce’s article about motherhood and its impact on our creativity in a magazine I suddenly realised that my venturing into the world of business was really my way of expressing my creative skills and talents that were not being utilised fully in my day job.
I’m learning to find my voice and explore my ideas through writing my web copy, writing my give away guide and developing this blog. I’m learning to develop creative ways to engage with other mums who may be hearing the same call to take action on their, as yet unclaimed, creative talents.
How about you?
What’s your experience of creativity after motherhood? Are you feeling the urge to do and be more? Please share your experiences in the comments box below, I’d love to hear them!
P.S. Need some help with navigating your own career crossroads?
Take a look at my ‘There’s More in Me’ career coaching programme. You can fill in the form there and then schedule a FREE consultation to get some clarity on the situation you are facing.