Vicki and OliverKids have honestly made me more creative. That’s a fact.

I was of course creative before kids working as a screenwriter, director and magazine editor…you get the picture. I was born creative, baby.

Hear me out though, those kids took my creativity to another level.

Throughout history (and I’ve found throughout my life so far too), creativity arises and thrives within limitations, be it time, budget, tools/access, they exist and are are actually vital in making creativity happen.

Yes it can be hard to work around kids (for everyone, creative or not), to find the time, the space, the energy (particularly with passion projects) but my children have informed my work (this here blog for a start), they’ve inspired me and made me happier (and probably more ambitious) than I was before they arrived.

My tenacity has sky-rocketed too because along with wanting to provide for them, make them proud and I still desperately need to be me in order to be a good, content mother.

It’s different for everyone, I can only write from my personal perspective and I am lucky to have a family who helps with childcare meaning I can afford pre-school.

It is not the same for everyone and the inequality in the workplace for women is real and limiting.

I have kids, yes but I’m still Vicki, the woman I was pre-kids and I want and need to work, doing what I love. Procreation has made me pushier, more determined because time is short and I’m a dab hand at juggling now and more productive than ever.

And let’s not forget kids or not, everyone is working with restrictions…

I interviewed the great movie producer Gil Adler when I screened a film of mine in LA a few years back) and he agreed that whatever the budget you get, you never have enough, everyone wants more from you.. and he produced Superman Returns 2 and Valkyrie amongst others…

Whether it’s big or small budget projects, people always want more than the budget allows-bigger effects, higher production values, the most prominent actors…you are literally pushing everything and everyone to achieve the greatest final product you can in spite of all the constraints and adversities.

It’s probably that passion that makes something great in the end I think.

Of course my freelance filmmaking career was useful training for when kids arrived. Because time and energy is often (OK always) zapped (and a lot of budget too) but that means the windows (large or small) I have, are used more wisely, I have no choice but to get down and focus.

It makes absolute sense too as whenever I have tonnes of time ahead of me to create, I don’t.

I procrastinate, I fidget, I do everything I can, not to stare at the blank page and write. I need pressure and deadlines to thrive and you do too, probably. Even if those deadlines are self-imposed like I gave myself to write this post.

This blog was in fact born from me needing to rediscover my voice ten months after a traumatic birth with my first son Oliver in 2010. It got me writing again. After leading teams of 100 plus on set and writing for a living, desperate to regain a part of me, to get creative again and it did just that.

It gave me back my voice. Like all my writing work, I was writing what I know, my experiences as they happen to connect with others…similar to TV and film projects I penned before the blogs. They became thriving businesses to boot. They gave me another career.

More so, it opened me up to thinking I am more than a screenwriter and director (as much as I love those parts of me) but importantly they don’t have to define me.

The blog has given me the confidence to do on-camera work, to model over on my style blog, to work in advertising as my own boss…and blogging has done exactly the same for so many other brilliant women out there whether they worked in the creative industries before kids or not.

It’s helped us hone our creativity, our technical abilities, to become greater negotiators and business owners. Kids have inspired our blogs and thus our creativity.

We put ourselves in boxes don’t we, all of us do, often letting them define us ( I know I used to) but ticking the ‘mother’ box has freed, rather than contained, me.

I see that now, two kids down.

I didn’t think that would be the case, when I first became pregnant, I worried when people questioned whether I would still work, still feel creative, be ambitious (what a sexist society we live in to even question that)…

…I used to work 15 hour days on set when directing so living on little sleep now, is not going to stop me writing, blogging, doing what drives and stimulates me.

Some days I feel like I’m failing at everything, other days (and they’re getting more frequent) I high-five myself for keeping my dreams in check while bringing home the real cheques- only possible thanks to childcare, and ensuring those monkeys are happy, because having babies doesn’t mean you can’t still be you…in fact it might just help you find a new you and what’s not to love about that?!

Have your kids made you more creative?

 

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25 Responses

  1. Luci - Mother.Wife.Me

    Jeez, that maths question almost stumped me 😉

    RAH! This post totally reflects your PMA approach to life, mothers are awesome, we are the ultimate multitaskers and CEOs of our families, let’s shout about this a little more – especially with International Women’s Day coming up #AllAboutYou
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  2. Katy Acquaye-Tonge

    I love this post Vicki! You are totally right, motherhood greatly inspired me creatively. I think as an Artist I really struggled in the early baby days with surrendering my time to the creatures! However, the process of documenting those struggles and triumphs in my blog became a new way of journalling, of doing what I did before creatively. Finding a place that allowed me to unravel all of the thoughts going on in my head gave me such peace and re-newed inspiration. Finding so many other like minded people and talented creatives like yourself in the blogging community has been such a thrill! Plus, it’s great to find a little competition out there to keep me on my toes, all creatives need that! #AllAboutYou
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    • honestmum

      @Katy thanks for your fab comment, so true, healthy competition always neccessary to thrive and likewise, been amazing to find your brilliant, inspiring blog-I love how blogs have give us creatives a space to keep doing what we love!

      Reply
  3. Franglaise Mummy

    Go you! High fives all round! That is so great 🙂 I too feel that having kids has made me more creative and productive, possibly because of a new world that I am part of now, as a mum. I would never have decided to write bilingual stories for children if I didn’t have my own kids, they are my inspiration and my motivation 🙂
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    • honestmum

      That’s amazing Sophie, you are so right, kids open new paths, careers, life experience, joy! Thanks for your fab comment!
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  4. The Reading Residence

    Yes! Love this post. My kids have definitely made me more creative. I now bake, knit, letter write, blog, and enjoy photography and gardening – I did none of these things when I was all about my career. Of course, there’s then a huge stack of creativity and crafts involved when playing with the kids and setting up fun for them daily. It’s fab! #AllAboutYou
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    • honestmum

      @Readingresidence that’s so wonderful, kids truly inspired don’t they!
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  5. Carolin

    Such a wonderful post. It’s amazing what little ones can do to us, isn’t it? Amy has such a strong effect on me as a person and she’s made me see a lot of things completely different and made me be more open-minded when it comes to places to go or things to do. I am much more likely to try new things now, just because I think, hey Amy might enjoy them and they could actually be fun.
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    • honestmum

      @Carolin thanks for your comment, that’s so wonderful, kids take us out of our comfort zones don’t they and liberate us, mine make me feel really young again too.

      Reply
  6. Steph @MisplacedBrit.com

    This is beautiful sweetie! Everything you’ve written is beautiful …Why I’ve started to blog has a lot to do with finding my creativity again after Little #3 …What you’ve written resonates here too <3

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Steph aw I’m so touched by your comment, thank you. We all want to find ourselves and redefine ourselves once kids come along and they free us as much as they take our time and energy away-great things are borne from limitations and my kids never stop inspiring me. I adore your blog, so glad you started it x

      Reply
  7. Uju @Babesabouttown

    Well you know that I’m 1000% feeling this post don’t you lady! Abso-effing-lutely kids make us more creative. I mean, it’s probably the most creative thing you can do in life – conceive, create and produce an actual human being, beat that. And let’s face it, us mamas are the executive producers running this show 😉 Seriously though I love the creative confidence that motherhood seems to breed because once you’ve conquered the unimaginable (birth/child-rearing), you grow wings and discover so many hidden talents. And like you say, having the constant pressure of little people breathing down your neck forces you to be creative in how and what you do with whatever extra time you can muster up. Yes time is a challenge and it can feel like a BATTLE getting to do what your heart desires, and it’s easy to feel resentful but this post is a very helpful reminder that far from being a hindrance, kids can be our biggest drivers to success. High five indeed! xoxo
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    • honestmum

      @Uju thank you fellow Mama for this AH-Mazing comment, you have nailed it totally, we run the show and yes some days feels so challenging but ultimately they drive, fuel and feed our creativity and ambition. Proud to count you a friend and colleague lady x

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    • honestmum

      @Uju must add (maybe I should add this to the post as well) that having kids made me content, truly happy (my biggest success of all) so the pressure to reach those imagined heady heights of happiness through only my work subsided (not the ambition) but the fact that if I don’t win an Oscar (ha!) one day, it’s OK-that success isn’t just measured in what we achieve (i’m already happy and fluid and open to different opportunities) and with that comes a beautiful freedom and full creativity can be unleashed! Hope that makes sense!

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  8. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Bravo darling! Bravo! One of your best posts to date in my opinion. I found myself furiously nodding and high-fiveing you all the way through!

    Completely agree with all of you what you have said and love the way you speak about creativity as being an integral part of you and how it helped you to retain ‘you’.

    Certainly for me, I’ve found that motherhood has made me more creative, more ambitious, more determined and more excited about trying new things. Not just for me, but because – like you- I want to be the very best role model I can be for Elsie.

    Wonderful post darling. Thank you for sharing and keep on being the creative fabulous person that you are. With love and pouts x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Katie aw darling, thanks for your lovely touching words, can’t tell you how much they mean to me. I think motherhood somehow makes us more fearless doesn’t it. It’s the biggest joy and challenge and I’ve faced so makes me feel like I can do anything-you are an incredible lady yourself, let’s keep rocking lady xx

      Reply
  9. Notmyyearoff

    I definitely started my blog as a way of grabbing onto myself again. I was finding I sad almost sinking away, not using my brain anymore and I found that so hard. Blogging gave that back to me and in doing so its made me a lot more creative. Having so little quality time now means we try to make the most of it and I love that too.
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  10. Michelle @ Bod for tea

    Yes! Yes! As you know I have a background in internet marketing but writing and creativity have always been part of my life and my passion. Like you I started bodfortea.co.uk following a traumatic birth and used it first as therapy and then as a creative outlet to rediscover myself. It’s grown into something so much more, a business as well as a way of connecting with so many wonderful people. And I agree wholeheartedly with the points Zaz makes about limitations and employers recognising the additional skills we have – multitasking has never been more important! Lovely honest post Vicki x
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    • honestmum

      @Michelle thanks for your comment, the blog has become such a huge part of our lives hasn’t it and whpo we are, it is so wonderful we’ve found joy, comfort, friendship and work through them x

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  11. Mama and More aka Zaz

    What a great post, Vicki, and really thought provoking. I wish that employers (without children) could understand what additional skills and how a person is stretched and opened up rather than limited. And of course, it’s important for all of us to remember that we don’t have limitations just because we become parents – as you say, it opens up potentially new dimensions to you. I certainly would never have begun my blog were it not for becoming a parent and going through a lot of new emotions and situations that I really needed to express. Having wanted to write for years, my blog has given me that impetus, the pressure of a deadline and the need to deliver new content regularly. It has opened up a different side of my creativity. Thanks for this post, great one – do link it to #AllAboutYou xx
    Mama and More aka Zaz recently posted…Wearing Winter WhiteMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      @Mama and More thanks for your wonderful comment, so true-employers need to read this and the more those without kids, understand this, the better. I will link up to your fab linky next week, thanks x

      Reply
  12. Ebabee

    Fab post – couldn’t agree more. Coming from a creative background of advertising, I wanted to continue to be creative but not in a corporate environment and through A I managed to find a whole new outlet, my blog. Even beyond work, kids make you creative in so many ways as you constantly have to think on your toes and deliver solutions to problems you never even dreamed existed!
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