This is less an instructional post, than a casting about for answers. I have this ever-present struggle that varies in intensity. Sometimes it's no big deal, and other times I find it completely overwhelming. And those are the times I think, "Am I the only one that feels like this? Or am I just not doing something right?"
So, my question to you wise readers is, how do you feed your passion? Or do you find yourself completely satisfied with the creativity and intellectual challenges of mothering and home making? Because, certainly those endeavors do cause us to exercise our minds, our creativity and stretch and grow in all ways. I am completely committed to the idea that mothering is the most important thing that I could be doing with my time. I wouldn't choose to do something different. But, if I'm being completely honest, I don't find myself 100% fulfilled by it, 100% of the time. I know it's common to feel drained and exhausted, because this hugely important work that we're tasked with is really hard!! But, it's on another level that I feel out of balance. For me, the thing that fuels my creativity is writing. That's what I really enjoy and can get completely lost in. Sewing, reading, creating, those things are all satisfying too. But writing recharges me. It engages my mind on an entirely different level than mothering. And it somehow brings me back in balance.
The trick though, is time, or rather, the lack of time. Is it just me? Am I not managing my time well? Is it just a phase of life? Perhaps when my children are a little older and less reliant on me for all things, there will be more time for my own creative pursuits? Or perhaps it's just the sacrifice that we make as mothers, that for twenty plus years we set aside that part of ourselves in order to give our children the strongest foundation from which to spring. I don't think that would really be wrong if that were the case, though if it is, my next question is, how?!
So, what do you do? When I was writing that novel for Nanowrimo, I got up at 5am to write; it was the only time I had. And then near the end I called in some babysitting favors so I could finish up the novel. It was hard, but I loved that month! And maybe that's the answer, that while the kids are awake I'm theirs and the time that they sleep is mine. Is that how the rest of you manage to find some creative balance? I'd really love to hear your thoughts, advice, experience, perhaps especially from moms who have older kids. Does it change when they're older? Is there some time-bending trick I need to know about? Or Jedi technique where I can get by on less than three hours of sleep? Tell me your secrets, or at least tell me I'm not alone in this!
PS Maybe I just need my own backyard writing studio...