Hello out there. My baby boy is three months old, the fourth trimester has come to an end, and I’ve been slowly returning to my writing practice. In a few weeks, I’ll finish maternity leave and return to preparing grant proposals.
With my first child, I didn’t feel the need or have the energy to write creatively until my daughter was over a year old. At that point, I gathered a few friends and formed a monthly writing group, to help one another achieve our writing dreams by taking small steps— writing, revising, and providing feedback, one essay at a time.
This time around is different. I began writing creatively much earlier postpartum, and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because the tasks of mothering a baby feel more familiar now. Maybe it’s because my identity isn’t going through as much of an earthquake, now that I’m already a mother. Maybe it’s because I’m better able to recognize the restlessness building up in me when I don’t make the time to write.
In any case, I’m writing in short bursts here and there— during nap times, after the kids are asleep, and on weekends when Lyle takes both kids to the park, the baby napping in his stroller or carrier. I’m revising essays I wrote while pregnant, gathering notes for new essays, working on blog posts, and even making time for some fun freewrites.
Here’s something I wrote as part of Coffee + Crumbs’ Instagram freewrite challenge. It’s a micro essay in response to the prompt “grow your hope,” about finding the strength to grow during the season of small children, with their own impressive will to grow. Like tiny seeds, children seem so small and powerless, yet within is a blueprint for the massive potential that lies in each of us, unfurling with breathtaking speed and power.
I wrote this one while nursing Robin, letting him fall asleep in my arms as I typed one-handed at the computer. My own will to grow is pretty fierce, I guess, and writing is part of that.
Here’s to more growth and more writing this spring and beyond.