Yesterday I was paging through Stumbleupon.com (a useful and fun website that generates web pages you might like based on your interests) and found a BBC article on Five Ways to be More Creative. The first recommendation in the article is to change your routines. They suggested changing the way you do little things, such as make a sandwich or drive to work. But it made a connection for me to something much bigger.
Ever since Edwin was born (well, ever since I started getting past the complete exhaustion and felt human again) I've found myself with an abundance of creative energy. I get new ideas all the time. I feel inspired and excited about writing. I have "lightbulb" moments constantly, about everything from a character in my novel to Edwin's eating habits. I've been attributing this mostly to two things:
1. I'm not working full-time and dealing with the intense stresses and anxieties of school, which leaves me more mental space. (Though being a stay-at-home mom has its own stresses and anxieties, and I recently added up the hours I spend on writing projects and teaching private lessons, and I'm working at least 20 hours a week, the equivalent to a part-time job. And I hate that I just felt the need to justify myself here. That's another post for another day.)
2. Mothering, especially first-time mothering, requires living very intuitively. You can get advice from books and family members, but most of what you do is based on what you feel is right. Living in a state of intuition generates creativity.
The BBC article gave me another explanation, though. Changing your routine can lead to increased creativity. What's the biggest routine-changer of all? Having a baby, of course! Suddenly, your time for work, house-care and personal tasks is cut drastically, and because of the unpredictable nature of babies, you don't even know when that time is going to open up. So your routine is shaken up daily, even hourly. You live minute-to-minute, feeding to feeding, nap to nap, diaper change to diaper change. What could be more of a routine-changer than that?
It's not something I ever expected from motherhood, but I owe Edwin a huge debt of gratitude. Thank you, sweetheart, for not only being such an adorable and amazing little boy, but for re-wiring my synapses for the better. Thank you for boosting my brain while you grow your own every day. Parenting really is the best job on earth!