Hello everyone! I am an American mother living in Toulouse, France. I am a sometimes filmmaker, writer, teacher and translator. At the moment I am teaching English at an Art and Design school and trying to get back into the swing of writing regularly.
Since the birth of my son I have felt both liberated and confined, as I suppose many mothers do. Time has taken on an entirely different character for me — days are divided not into hours but into segments: awake time, nap time, eating time, playtime. While I have less time for myself in a practical sense, I find that I also have more time to think, and I have a lot of new ideas that I just need to find the time to get down.
I’ve also realized, living in a foreign country and a foreign language, that I need a community of other creative people to keep me going. There is always more vacuuming to do, more laundry to wash — I’m hoping that this community will help me set aside the time to write!
Thank you, Miranda, for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful community of artist mothers. I’m a writer living and teaching in Minneapolis. I have two daughters, Stella, who is 4 ½, and Zoe, who is two months old. I’m still in the sleep-deprived early months with a new baby, and I’m getting very little writing done these days. (Someone told me that going from one to two children would be challenging, but I didn’t really believe it. I do now.)
I teach a class called Mother Words at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and I blog about teaching and motherhood literature (as well as my life as a mother) at Mother Words: Mothers Who Write. I’ve written a memoir called Ready for Air about Stella’s premature birth. It’s an account of the final weeks of my pregnancy, the “this-was-not-part-of-the-plan” first weeks of my daughter’s life in the hospital, and the isolated, post-NICU world we inhabited after we took her home. It’s a story about the dark side of pregnancy and motherhood—the fear, the irrationality, the psychic disruption—but it’s also about hope and resolve and writing, which ultimately is the thing that helps me heal and move on. The book is currently being “shopped around,” and I’m hopeful that it will find a home—soon.
Motherhood motivates me to write. I have so little time to actually write that when I do get an hour or two, I’m desperate to get words down, to claim that space for myself on the page. I look forward to being inspired by your wonderful work, lovely words, and stories of balancing motherhood and art.