Woman shining a light at night, like seeing the real monster in the dark

The Real Monster from a Thump in the Night

My husband and daughter are sick with the flu. The last thing I needed was a monster in the dark! Fortunately, it turned into a laugh-at-myself moment that I don’t mind sharing

My husband’s been sleeping in the spare room in the basement in an attempt to keep me healthy. Good plan…but last night at 1 a.m. I let my sick daughter into bed to snuggle. Figure I’m more likely to stay healthy if I sleep longer, and her getting some snuggle time was the key to sleep. We do what we gotta do. Anyway… I get up to use the bathroom and tell her I”ll be right back. It’s about 3:30 at this point and I don’t bother turning the light on. I hear a thud, thump thump thump. I know it’s my sweet toddler coming to join me…but it’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m in the dark and my fully adult brain thinks “Oh God! Monster!” 

How to Face a Monster in the Dark

This week I happened to speak with two people on the front end of their careers. We teach what we most need to learn and it’s a funny thing, but what I taught them is something I have learned, but am also still learning. I shared that it’s hard to see the success stories of peers who make big news and not feel like you’re floundering – that because things haven’t lined up perfectly you’re making a mistake. There’s so much anxiety and self-doubt wrapped up in thoughts like that. So much of our own light diminished by these phantoms. They’re like my toddler monster in the dark – something wonderful is coming your way but because you can’t see it yet, you hear thumps and your brain thinks, “Oh God, Monster!” 

Even from this vantage point, with a budget and policy career I could follow as long as I desire… that urge to look around and compare myself to others is still present. Funnily, I don’t compare myself to other moms. I love that you’re out there making home for your sweet children, uniquely and beautifully as only you can. My comparisons are more to do with people who (on the outside) appear to have careers that light them on fire. The ones who wake up every day and love what they do from top to bottom. My dreams are turning toward something like that. I think it involves having a purple streak in my hair. Whatever and whenever that may be. 

Carry On, Sister

In the meantime – my work – our work – is to realize that those monsters in the dark are possibly something wonderful headed our way. We have to be brave enough to step out into the hall where the monster is and take a look for ourselves. Could be she’s the best thing that ever happened to you and you’ll get a lifetime of hugs and smiles and great big “Hooooo-RAHs! because of it. Could be there’s purple hair streaks and maybe more creativity and baking and flowers and gardening and kindred spirits. More sunshine-filled moments that carry us along these beautiful days.

**** What about you? What big or small dream is growing in your heart? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section. My our lovin’ energy inspire and cheer each other on. Go mama! 

Creative space for a busy mom like you? Heck yes!

Someone once told me that becoming a mother is just another layer added to everything you already are. You don’t lose yourself or suddenly find yourself having to become something you never were. I still hold tightly to that idea. Being a mom is a process of meeting yourself in a new space, like any other major transition.

Who were you before your children were born? And have you drawn those dear pieces of yourself back into your present? For me, bringing music back was a milestone in honoring my creativity and my full self. Somewhere during my daughter’s tenth month – time blowing full steam ahead! – I decided my chaotic life was as settled as it would ever be and started checking out and auditioning for local choirs. The one I joined has been so. rewarding. Practicing the music happens in stolen scraps of time, chasing after my daughter who has toddled off with the music or whispering notes to myself as she sleeps. It’s messy, fitting this in, but I wouldn’t trade it. I’ve got a piece of myself back. A place where my spirit feels free.

It’s messy, fitting creativity in, but I wouldn’t trade it. I’ve got a piece of myself back. A place where my spirit feels free.

-Ashley Fisher, gomama.love blogger

Today I caught up with a long-time friend who is in a similar place – navigating the newness of mamahood and our ever-changing children. My friend recently started drawing art back into her life, capturing beauty on paper in some form that feels good to her. There’s no money in it. No fame. No audience, even. It just feels good. She remarked that once you start doing one creative thing, it starts snowballing. She’s making art again and has already started considering the best way to make music part of her days.

Once you start doing one creative thing, it starts snowballing.

Isn’t it wonderful to be alive? To watch opportunity show up as soon as we say, ok, I’m ready now to do this thing that my heart longs for. To watch that inspiration and creativity snowball into more filling experiences? The best part is, the creation is yours. There are no judges, and permission is already given.

*****Today my question for you is: How did you bring creativity back to your life after you became a mother? And if you are discerning your creative ventures, share what you’re thinking about! Please comment below – I just know your answer will inspire someone else to pursue her creative dreams. May our loving energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!