Jump to content

What The Voice can teach us about motherhood and creativity


  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 AmityD

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?



#2 EBmel

Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:21 PM

I just wanted to point out that Amity is giving away tickets to her musical, so Adelaide mums might want to enter the competition - it looks like a great night out!

The comp is here.

Good luck!

original.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How to tell if your child has a speech or language problem

 Left untreated, children who start school with speech and language difficulties face an increased risk of reading and writing difficulties, more bullying, poorer peer relationships and less enjoyment of school. So, what should parents expect of children at different ages?

Finding your tribe as a new mum

How was my renegade mother's group different from my first? They were my kind of people. My tribe.

Following your child's emotional roadmap

Psychologist Angharad Candlin will guide parents through their child's emotional development during her seminar at the Essential Baby and Toddler Show in Sydney this weekend.

Delivery room surprises: when gender predictions are wrong

Out of all the questions asked of mums-to-be, “Do you know what you're having?” would be right up there in popularity. Sometimes,

The fertility battle we don't talk about

“You’re nowhere near menopausal,” my doctor cheerily informed me, and my heart sank. I don’t want to live with worry about pregnancy anymore.

'My morning sickness was so bad I'm not having any more kids'

“All the horrible stuff was totally worth it to have my son. But there is absolutely no way I could go through it all again.”

The 'no children' wedding invite

It was the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends, and she had invited me to be her bridesmaid. It was quite an honour. But there was one problem.

Baby Dylan recovering well after spending five days alone

 For up to five days he lay alone after his mother died of a suspected drug overdose, but eight-month-old Dylan Micallef has made an incredible recovery.

Win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher

Fill out this quick survey and tell us in 25 words or less your best pregnancy or parenting tip - you'll go in the draw to win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher.

The mystery of William Tyrell, little boy lost

The question remains: How does a little boy simply vanish without a trace?

Woman fights off robber, then gives birth

A thief in the US got more than he bargained for when he try to rob a woman who was nine months pregnant because he figured she would be an easy target.

Video: Two-year-old tells mum off for laughing at her

This little girl is not happy that her mum started laughing during her performance - so she tells her exactly how she feels about it.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else?s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Tearing during delivery: the facts

Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby?s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women?s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

When punishment goes too far

What should you do when a stranger goes too far when disciplining their child in public?

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

My Wellbeing

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.