Are you a creative mother? If so, I want to hear from you, and this Mother's Day I want to give you copy of my book: Feeling My Way: Finding Motherhood Without Losing Myself. See the contest rules at the bottom of this blog post.
And check out these other Mother's Day giveaways for creative moms, including a chance to stream the amazing documentary Lost in Living for free (huge thanks to Expressing Motherhood for putting this together!).
Bringing Together Artist-Moms
When I say "creative," I'm not talking about "we dipped the popsicle sticks in homemade paint made from beet juice" or "I found a great recipe for overnight oatmeal" creative. I respect the women who derive enjoyment from channeling their full creative energy into their role as mothers. That is not me. And that is not what my book is about.
My book is about: What do you do when you are a passionate artist and human being with multiple interests and needs who wants to find a way to fit motherhood in with the rest of it all? And, let's be honest -- "fitting in motherhood" isn't exactly like fitting tap dancing lessons into your Google calendar. It's an all-consuming, transformative experience -- and yet for some of us, it CAN'T be all-consuming, because if we don't feed the other parts of ourselves, we shrivel up and die inside. We want to do more, be more, engage with the world more.
But how? With financial constraints, time constraints, energy constraints... How do you balance being a mother and an artist - honoring both parts of yourself, and maybe even finding ways for one to feed the other?
My book doesn't answer those questions - I wrote it while I was pregnant and during my first year of motherhood, when I was hurtling head first into these issues and sorting them out for the first time. But it shares the very real, very honest tension that a new mother feels between opening herself to this new role while keeping the other parts of herself that she values intact. Many artist-moms have written to me or posted reviews on Amazon to say how much the book resonates for them and makes them feel less alone.
The question of how to be an artist and a mother is very particular slice of the larger "can women have it all?" discussion. For those of us who are artists, this conversation takes on a slightly different sheen. It's not "just" about career and marriage and motherhood -- it's also about a very particular need and drive for self-expression and fulfillment. (For a humorous take on "having it all," by the way, see my other blog, Having a Ball Having it All, where my comedic alter ego Melody Bell offers stories and advice from her perfect life.)
If the woman I'm describing here sounds like you, I want to give you a copy of my book. It's only available on Kindle at the moment, so if that doesn't work for you, you may not want to enter (though I'd still really like to hear from you).
Post a comment below OR tweet @amanda_hirsch with a link to a piece of art you've made since you became a mother. That's it! Examples include: A piece of writing, a video, a photo, a painting or drawing, a collage, a song...an album, a book, a film... etc. Everyting "counts," no matter how seemingly big or small. If you want to share what this piece of art means to you, I would love to hear -- but that is not a requirement. My goal is simply to get creative moms sharing and consuming each other's art.
The deadline is midnight ET on Mother's Day (May 11, 2014).
The two winners will be chosen at random -- I'll literally just put all the names in a hat and draw two. If you participate in the contest by tweeting to @amanda_hirsch, I'll tweet back to you to let you know you've won. If you enter by posting a comment here on my blog, please include some way for me to reach you (Twitter, Facebook, email, link to contact page of your website, etc). I'll announce the winners on Monday, May 12.
Thanks so much, and here's to you.