Jump to content
What The Voice can teach us about motherhood and creativity
1 reply to this topic
Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:18 PM
I’m currently in the last week of rehearsals for my musical Mother, Wife & the Complicated Life, which opens in Adelaide this Friday, so life is pretty hectic at the moment.
When I got to rehearsal yesterday it was at the end of a long day, with a six-year-old home with a cold, a toddler with a broken leg and heaps of work to get through. I felt more like hitting the couch than going off to another job, but by the time I left hours later I was reminded of why all the effort is worth it.
Performing and rehearsing is uninterrupted creativity. When I’m working like that I’m not thinking about who’s hungry, tired or needs their nappy changed. I’m not giving, but filling myself back up. For those hours I’m not Mum, I’m Amity. Free to own all my own thoughts and to express them however I like.
When I got home, exhausted but exhilarated, I turned on the TV to watch The Voice, which I’d recorded. Yes, I’m as addicted to The Voice as the rest of Australia is. And I watched Mahalia Barnes and Prinnie Stevens, both mums, sing their respective arses off.
It was an inspiring performance, their passion and power jumping off the TV and into my lounge room. I imagined how they must have felt in that moment, with their creative expression shining for all Australia to see. They may have been up with sick kids or packing lunches the night before, but in that moment it was all about them.
I’ve been thinking lately about how creativity and motherhood are often incompatible. Both require your undivided attention and focus, an impossible equation.
I’ve started reading the book The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood by Rachel Power. The author interviewed female writers, painters, musicians and performers to question how they balance their conflicting passions of creative expression and motherhood. As she prefaces,
'Art demands what a mother’s routine does not permit: a concentration of self, the liberty to make use of the artistic impulse when it arrives.'
Oh, how those words speak to me! I’ve had many a moment where inspiration for a song or blog post has sparked within me, making me long for hours of uninterrupted time to properly explore it. Yet typically those moments will involve me trying to play the piano with a child on my lap, or accompanying me noisily on his drum kit, or both of them screaming at me while I plead, “MUMMY NEEDS ONE MORE MINUTE!”
I’m sure many writers out there can relate to that too. In a way being a writer is a great job for us mums, as we can work from home, around our children’s needs and schedules. But it’s working around their schedule that’s also the hard part. Creativity and inspiration can’t be turned on and off like a tap – when it’s there, you have to grab it with both hands, to tune out the rest of the world and completely immerse yourself in the moment. Which, for mums, is usually an elusive dream.
But aside from those conflicts, I’ve found that motherhood has impacted my creativity in so many positive ways, too. As Ms Power writes:
'It was strangely liberating to have my children’s needs overtake my own. My ego shrank back to its near invisible place in the cosmos and with that came an unexpected relief, a sense I could die knowing I had done all I needed to do.'
I can totally relate to these words. Motherhood does come with a distinct loss of ego. There’s no room for two divas, and no-one can out-diva a newborn! But in a way, that loss of ego gives you the freedom to be unafraid, to tap into that inner strength motherhood brings, and to express yourself more powerfully and fearlessly than you ever have before. Because as long as your kids are okay, nothing else can ever matter that much.
Ultimately, that’s what I love about The Voice. We’re watching people put their ego on the line and give it their all, singers who’ve worked for years in a tough industry, searching for one more chance. Fathers who’ve put their dreams aside so they can provide for their families, reclaiming their passion and making their kids proud. And mothers, singing like their lives depend on it, and shining in their own light. All the while knowing that, win or lose, they already have everything they need, and will always be winners to those who count.
Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life – The Musical is playing in Adelaide throughout May. For dates and tickets go to www.motherwifemusical.com.
Do you watch The Voice? Do you have a creative job or passion and how do you balance it with motherhood?
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
At just 37 years of age, with two young sons, Vicki was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Now her family wants all women to know the symptoms.
Pregnancy and birth is an intriguing process no matter where you are in the world. One soon-to-be father gleans wisdom from a new guide.
It’s not surprising that IVF is often seen as a negative journey towards the ultimate positive, but having a glass-half-full approach can make a big difference to the experience.
A mum explains why she and her husband are choosing to gift their leftover embryos to help strangers achieve their dream of parenthood.
Just as every baby is unique, so is every pregnancy. And that means morning sickness can vary a lot, too.
Why is it that the word ‘mumsy’ has connotations of such a negative nature – but seems to be the only other option apart from ‘yummy’?
As the waiting game of late pregnancy continues, this mum considers a few things that might hurry things up a little.
It has been a little over a month since William Tyrell disappeared from his grandmother's home, 33 long sleepless nights for his family as they mourn the absence of their cheeky young boy.
Babies born in the summer are much more likely to suffer from mood swings when they grow up, while those born in the winter are less likely to become irritable adults, scientists claim.
Suddenly single with a baby and an 11-year-old son, Tara O?Connell developed an app to improve the lives of mothers who were similarly overwhelmed.
As soon as your baby enters the world, everything else takes a back seat - even the necessities of daily life such as eating are severely compromised, right when you need energy the most.
The Live Lighter campaign will take people inside the human body to show the internal dangers of being overweight.
A new mum's first month of motherhood didn't pan out as expected when she lost a family member weeks after her baby's birth.
Facebook and Apple are hoping to provide women with the freedom to build their careers without the added pressure of having children at or by a certain age.
The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.
Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.
Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.
Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.
One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Top 5 Articles
Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!
I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.
It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.
Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.
A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.
Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.
Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.
There was one more thing Kymberlie Shepherd wanted to experience in life - motherhood. But a rare illness took her first.
Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.
Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.
What's in a name?
Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.