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Space & Mothering

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

Since I gave birth to a whole person, I’ve been searching for space—a place to feel inspired or connected to my work. I used to have a schedule for my writing—right before the sun came up, at my computer, glancing out the window as I thought through my words...But life has changed and I do not have the same space or time that I did before. Now my inspiration comes when it comes and normally it's when I cannot sleep but should be trying to catch up on sleep. 😩

Jennifer holding her son while he sleeps
Jennifer and Kade, January 2022

This blog was first drafted while Kade was napping, with me standing in the kitchen feeling good about the meatloaf I had just put together and I decided to use the audio transcription function on my phone to get my thoughts out. That was the space that was created for me, a quiet moment while I was being creative in the kitchen. That one act made me realize that I had finally found my space. And it’s not tethered to tradition or what others might do as a practice nor is it always ideal. Also, I don't love how long it takes me to write or that my writing life feels out of my control, but it's what works and it offers me the mental space to do what I love.

Instagram post from Raising Mothers—a digital literary magazine.

There is a quote by Imani Perry about writing and mothering that affirmed what I was feeling about creating space for myself and what my writing practice has become. I don't think I connected the two in this way until after I took a moment to think through how being a mother has influenced my writing and the ways it has encouraged me to write from a more vulnerable place than before.

Also, I literally wrote the rest of my novel in between feeding Kade and him sleeping in my arms. I would get my phone during the wee hours of the morning and through my own tiredness, I'd be energized by my characters and the story I was telling. I wrote my ass off in the middle of the night until I finished my book.

What kind of space are you creating for yourself? Do you feel safe in your environment? What does that space look like? How does it feel?

I’m grateful to have a few moments to jot down my thoughts and to keep going with this 12 months of writing. It is one hell of a task but I am up for the challenge no matter where and how I find space. (Blog 3 down, 9 more to go)


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