I wasn’t expected to be creative. Instead I was told what to do, in often entirely contradictory missives, from elders and professionals, and to do it well for the fear of what if. The motherland was a strange new territory. I felt myself lost and at sea. Uneasy in my own skin. I didn’t belong here.
I knew what a mother was supposed to be like, and spent many years trying to fit myself into this mold. But it was always an uncomfortable squeeze. Too many hard edges for my squishy body and big feelings. There wasn’t enough space for the “me” that I was in the mold that was motherhood. There were too many should and oughts constricting me. I was always too opinionated, too messy, too self-centered, too introverted, too overwhelmed…too contradictory. I was too much…or not enough.
As I could see it two ways lay ahead – keep it in – which is what mothers are supposed to do – martyr themselves to motherhood.
Or let it out.
And so emerged my creative renaissance: painting, writing, blogging, crafting, editing, and every other form of self-expression I could find. It was entirely fueled by the intensity of motherhood – the tumult of love, joy, despair, grief, exhaustion, feelings of failure and glory, depression, and elation that filled my days and that I could find no other way of voicing.
For generations women have been shut down, and shut up. All that was required was the illusion of the perfect wife, the all-loving mother, the angel of the house. Not her inner reality. Simply a pleasant veneer which glossed over the contradictions, appetites, desires, heart breaks, yearnings, exhaustion and confusion of a woman’s inner life.
But things are shifting and changing. The veil of silence is lifting. As women’s voices, lives, emotions, creativity are being seen en masse for perhaps the first time in humanity, expressing the inner worlds which for so long have been hidden.
And from these broken places, these hidden places, from the darkness a new light shines – one of truth, of a more vibrant reality. These models of self-expression act as beacons for other women who had not fully seen or felt or dared voice their own inner worlds, suddenly find themselves seen and heard, often for the first time. And they in turn begin growing into their own skins a little more, filling their own forms, finding self-expression.
It is the end of an ice age, where women have been frozen, stunted, silenced, are beginning to thaw – their innate creativity blooming in the new warmth. Where will it lead us? What impact will it have on the next generation who are growing up in this new era? Only time will tell. But silence and shame are being cast aside. And surely we will all benefit.
Lucy H. Pearce
Lucy’s most recent book, Moods of Motherhood: The Inner Journey of Mothering charts the inner journey of motherhood, giving voice to the often nebulous, unspoken tumble of emotions that motherhood evokes: tenderness, frustration, joy, grief, anger, depression and love. She explores the taboo subjects of maternal ambiguity, competitiveness, and the quest for perfection, offering support, acceptance, and hope to mothers everywhere. This is a book full of Lucy’s trademark searing honesty and raw emotions, which have brought such a global following of mothers to her work. Click here and Lucy will send you a FREE SAMPLE right away!
Lucy is the author of four life-changing non-fiction books for women including the #1 Amazon bestsellers: The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood and Moon Time: A Guide to Celebrating Your Menstrual Cycle.
Former co-editor of JUNO magazine, she is the founder of Womancraft Publishing, which publishes transformational books by women, for women. She is passionate about sharing empowering women’s resources on The Happy Womb.com. She blogs on creativity, mindfulness, motherhood, and world changing over on Dreaming Aloud.net.
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Header image copyright Miranda Hersey.
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