i'm not alone

"You're going to need to find the ability to say no. Up until now, it's been about saying yes. After your baby is born? Choose wisely. Build in those margins." 

I was talking with a friend on the phone when she told me this. It's been just about the only piece of advice I've listened to concerning motherhood+creativity. Probably because this friend is a lot like me. She doesn't just crave those moments of creative respite - she needs them. 

So this past week, my calendar lay bare. I've been filling her up - making sure every spare moment is filled. This week? I took a trip to the library and stocked up on a few books. I cashed in an Amazon gift card and added a few more. I {tried} to sleep and when I couldn't, I allowed myself that extra dose of grace in the morning when it was just too difficult to get out of bed.

I'm slowly putting up the walls. I feel it. A maybe here - a no there - brick by brick I'm building the boundaries I will need in order to not stretch myself too thin. I've scheduled guest posts throughout June, and a friend is armed and waiting to step in to complete the Spring session of Story101. 

I'm realizing slowly: it's better to go deep than wide.

And I have no idea what my life will look like tomorrow or three weeks from now. This isn't me trying to build a schedule of sorts only to have it blown to pieces by colic or diaper changes. 

It is me learning a different type of self-care: one that includes my future son. Every decision I've made in the past few weeks carries the slight overlay of motherhood. Could I host a retreat with my husband and our three month old? Could I start a third round of Story101 in July? Will I have the mental where-with-all to tackle manuscript edits during June? I don't know. But the confidence is growing just in case I can and the grace is waiting even if I can't. Because it's not about proving something. It's not about saying to the world that I can do this or that even when - it's about bringing something out of nothing. It's about the rush of capturing beauty on the page and the thrill that pushes through my veins when the words fall hot. It's about #littlelionman watching his mother come alive before his eyes.

And when my husband chuckles and whispers under his breath no one tells my wife what she can't do, I remember I'm not alone. 

Posted on May 18, 2013 and filed under creativity & motherhood.