Creativity in Motherhood

I’ve never considered myself much of a creative person. I’m the one drawing stick people and a house whilst my husband Ben is sketching faces full of character. I’m just no good at drawing and whilst I appreciate so many forms of creativity, “creative” has just never been an adjective I would have used to describe myself.

Since Motherhood transformed my life, I’ve realised that my words are my creativity and that I crave time to write because there is just so much to say. Sometimes I feel like I could write a chapter about each day that goes by raising these kiddos and that in itself, is creative. Making time for writing has now shifted way higher up my priority list in a way that I never expected. As Mothers, we devote our days to our small people and at times, the days can feel repetitive, tiresome and like one big exercise in planning and logistics.

Just as others may crave going for a run, making a new recipe, planning a yoga sequence, sinking into a good book or perhaps good old retail therapy, for me, having an outlet to write and share my emotions, tell stories, write poems and document the highs and lows of this motherhood journey…that’s my creativity. My blogs and even my Instagram captions are a way for me to write about my life now, as it happens. To write about my children, my emotions, my joys and my vulnerabilities. To write about my interests and my learnings, a place to write about my personal growth and for those words to then exist as something concrete and outside of my mind, for my children to one day read, for others to read if they choose to and for me to treasure as my work.

Writing has become a therapeutic outlet. It’s my way of trying to make sense of the craziness of life and be it about pregnancy, babies, toddlers, veganism, minimalism or anything else at all, it doesn’t matter. It’s the process of creating something that matters. The process of pouring words out and working on them until they mirror the emotions in my mind and the feelings in my body so that anyone who reads them can “get it” too.

I have developed a new appreciation for creativity, in particular around the theme of motherhood. I value what is being created by Mothers, for Mother’s whether that is art, music, podcasts, blogs, comedy, books, interiors, clothing and more.

These words are my art, my contribution to the female collective, to the sisterhood of Mothers and most importantly, for myself.

To the lady who made my daughter cry

Dear unknown lady who made my daughter cry,

I do understand that what you did had good intentions, that you didn’t set out to make my daughter cry and that you were trying to be helpful. I do understand that it wasn’t the most convenient thing for my two year old to want to walk independently down the stairs of Oxford Circus Underground station by herself, at her two year old, slower-than-average pace, at a busy time of day on New Years Eve. She wanted to navigate those stairs by herself and why shouldn’t she, seeing as she does all other stairs by herself all day long. On top of that, her father and I had our hands full carrying her baby sister in the buggy downstairs because there’s no lift access at many of London’s major tube stations.

According to you, however, my two year old walking down the stairs had caused a little queue behind her. A queue of busy adults in a busy adult rush tutting their busy adult tuts at having to wait a few more seconds to reach the station. You appeared next to my daughter and briefly asked me if I’d like any help, which at first I thought was very kind and considerate of you, because actually, it was a little stressful trying not to drop anything or anyone down those stairs. I politely said “no thank you” knowing full well that my daughter was capable of doing the stairs by herself and more-so, that she wanted to. Also, I didn’t really think it was a problem! Perhaps you are a mother yourself, knowledgeable that toddlers can be a little slower to get things done and just genuinely wanted to help. I get it, trust me, but I’d like to explain a little more about what happened next.

Despite me declining your offer to help, you suddenly picked up my daughter by the armpits and swiftly jogged her down the stairs before quickly disappearing to catch your train, leaving her standing alone waiting for us. My daughter, clearly shocked, highly uncomfortable and pretty angry let out a huge scream. A scream of discomfort, a scream of “hey, what the hell just happened?” A scream that filled Oxford Circus tube station for several minutes. A scream that needed me to explain to her why a lady had just picked her up for no apparent reason, violated her personal space, her ability to make decisions for herself and her choice to be physically touched by a stranger. If you think I’m overreacting, I urge you to keep reading.

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You didn’t stop to ask her if she wanted to be carried downstairs (I guarantee you she would’ve said no). You didn’t stop afterwards to apologise for making her cry (I guarantee you heard her, she is not one to cry quietly). You didn’t stop to consider whether or not it was appropriate to physically handle my child without her consent or mine.

So I’d like to ask you, lady from the tube station, would you have also done the same to a slower paced adult who was forming a queue behind them? An elderly person with a walking stick? Someone with a disability? A teenager on crutches? Would you have picked them up without their consent too? I didn’t think so. Does my daughter, simply because of her young age and portable size, not deserve the same respect and courtesy that you would show someone else? Is she not as entitled to use the stairs and complete them herself just as everyone else can? Is it appropriate to touch her just to make life more convenient for the adult population?

“I didn’t like that lady pick me up,” my daughter said to me once she had regained composure. “I know sweetheart,” I replied, “I didn’t either.” I fumbled for an explanation but my whole body ached with empathy towards her as she stood with tears rolling down her cheeks and a look of sadness and confusion in her eyes. My child did not want to be touched by a stranger during a special family day out in London anymore than you or I would want to be.

Sadly I see it all too frequently. Adults picking up children without their consent, for reasons that are usually rather selfish, the child then trying to wriggle away in discomfort. Children deserve ownership of their bodies as much as they deserve ownership over their precious possessions. So in future, lady from the train station, please consider the thoughts and emotions of my child, or any other child, before picking them up. Wait for consent and if it is not given, please respect that choice.

Yours sincerely,

Naomi

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Is it just me?

Is it just me who loves being a Mum
But also wishes I could have more fun?
Is it just me who finds it so tough,
Day in day out, it can be so rough.

Is it just me whose house is always a mess,
Who frantically tidies before having guests?
Is it just me who feels like a winner,
When I don’t just make pesto pasta for dinner?

Is it just me who wishes for time
For yoga and books and other things mine?
Is it just me who always feels tired
But being a good mum keeps me feeling inspired.

Is it just me who plays all day long
Whose baby smiles at her favourite song?
Is it just me who worries too much
Because I’m not doing enough of such and such?

Is it just me who wishes for sleep
Who hears the baby wake as soon as they peep?
Is it just me who sometimes cries
When you suddenly realise how time flies?

Is it just me who opens the door
To check on her babies just one time more?
Is it just me who wants to run away
To forget my responsibilities just for one day?

Is it just me whose eyes fill with tears
As I think about my hopes and fears?
Is it just me who never quite knew
Just how much I’d change having you?

Is it just me who learns every day
Because you are the ones who show me the way?
Is it just me who stares into your eyes
And wonders how I won the prize?

Is it just me who is awake all the night
Feeding and cuddling and holding you tight?
Is it just me who needs to be told
“You’re doing great,”… that never gets old.

Is it just me who needs a break
Perhaps a hot tea and a big piece of cake?
Is it just me who gets driven mad
Who feels everything in between happy and sad?

Is it just me who worries about you
Like sometimes I just don’t know what to do?
Is it just me who can’t do it alone
And is thankful for all the mums in my phone?

Is it just me who escapes to the shower
For 5 quiet minutes but wants a whole hour?
Is it just me who can’t stop kissing those cheeks
Who wants to slow down the passing weeks?

Is it just me who feels incredibly proud
Who wants to show the world and shout it out loud?
Is it just me who never feels good enough
I should probably be doing more crafty stuff?

Is it just me whose dream has come true
By becoming a mummy to both of you?
Is it just me who doesn’t want you to grow
Yet wants you to, so there’s more I can know.

Is it just me who needs more time for self-care
For exercise, napping or washing my hair?
Is it just me who thought I knew how it would be
But then becoming a mother truly humbled me.

Is it just me who has a big dark fear
That something bad will happen when I’m not near?
Is it just me who does the same as my Mum
Giving a magic kiss better when you hurt your thumb?

Is it just me who needs her friends
To help with all that motherhood sends?
Is it just me who gives a laugh and smile
When I watch that old video I haven’t seen for a while?

Is it just me who wants to protect you from bad
In a world that can sometimes seem a little bit mad?
Is it just me who has marks on her skin
From the days from when I grew you within?

Is it just me who wants to give all Mums a hug
To offer support with a drink in a mug.
Is it just me who wouldn’t change a thing
Who can’t wait to see what the future will bring.