Motherhood is settling upon me like moss. It’s growing out of my pores, is soft to the touch, and is weighty, like wet sponge. It doesn’t feel permanent as such, more like a new skin that will slowly grow and evolve as I stumble through new terrain.
My son, Noah, has had a few early little health issues, but still guffaws at silly dancing and having his feet kissed. I’m starting to understand what parents mean when they say their children make them want to be a better person. You want to personify safety, love, comfort. To be the soft landing wherever they fall. The bed of moss, growing wherever they step.
But I also want to inspire him one day. To be imaginative and the make things. This doesn’t need to be words or paintings or anything physical. It could be the ability to make people laugh, or The make people feel nice with a warm hug.
We all feel better, brighter, when we make things. I make stories, that’s what I do. Even when it’s a sculpture or drawing – there’s a story there.
It’s a part of me. Always was, always will be.
Since having Noah, I’ve had lots of ‘say goodbye to your leisure time!’ and ‘dream on if you think you’ll still have time to write!’ Well you know what, I DO dream. And they’re wrong.
Who is to say that I can’t have a couple of hours a day, while my husband spends time with his son, or while Noah sleeps? If I have the energy to contemplate it now, with a newborn with reflux and a need to be held and entertained at all times, I’m sure I will later, too. I’m sure many will read this and think I’m shockingly naive and perhaps I am.
After all, I’ve never done this before.
But for every author who has quit writing to raise their children there is another who has gone from strength to strength. There is no right or wrong thing to do, both are honourable. And I think I know what I need to do, and it’s all about balance. Time is so precious, I’m not going to squander a single minute of it.
I’ve chosen to resting the pen for a few months while Noah needs all my love. But my brain is already riddling through the next edit of my current manuscript. If my plans work out, I’ll have finished this novel by the winter. And then we’ll see what comes of it after that…
But in the meantime, Noah and I are bumbling along. Today we went to the woods and I taught him about leaves, and he taught me that sometimes a good cuddle solves all the world’s woes (for a while).
Having a baby during a pandemic is no easy task. The vast majority of our family and friends haven’t even met Noah yet, and he’s just shy of three months old now. It’s been isolating, and as I don’t have many close friends who are also mothers, quite disconcerting when I need some down-to-earth advice (though thank you to the ones who have helped, you know who you are! I’ve appreciated every word from you).
A friend, and editor in chief of recently retired Mother’s Milk Publishing, send me a gift through the post last week.
This collection of poetry, prose, art, and musings on motherhood has been extraordinarily comforting. At times when I’ve had a moment to breathe, I’ve flicked through the pages and found myself part of a worldwide community of mothers, all experiencing these joys and trials together. It’s helped me so much.
I believe there may be a copy or two still available on Amazon for a limited time. Read more about the book and the ethos behind Mother’s Milk Publishing here.
Until next time…
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Motherhood gave me a wonderful source of inspirtion for poems, many of which are now handwritten in moleskin notebooks for my two sons. It’s an ongoing project –they are now 24 and 20 and still a source of wonder, laughter and the occasional tears.
Enjoy the journey! The best piece of advice we got was to remember you don’t have a baby, you don’t have a child, you have a person to discover and encourage….
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I love this! And yes – he is very much his own person, and it’s going to be a joy to help him learn about himself 😍
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