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
A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.
Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.
When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration.
Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.
Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.
While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.
One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.
For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.
Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.
After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.
A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.
She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.
Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.
The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.
Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.
Object of desire
Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.
A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.
A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.
For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.
Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Top 5 Articles
It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.
Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.
Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.
Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.
Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.
Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.
On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?
Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.
A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.
A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.
Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.
Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.
"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."
Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.
Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.
Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.
Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.
Back to School Offer
We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.