Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Welcome Guest Poster, Alena!

The Maternal Creative

How Impending Motherhood Has Affected Me Artistically

Not long ago, a woman I know commented to me how it "must be nice" that, because I am about to become a mother, I can "finally stop worrying about that writing and photography thing" and put my energy into more domestic pursuits. This woman has known me for a long time, and it saddened me that this intelligent, thoughtful person somehow believes that my creative interests are nothing more than an attempt to fill a hole, and that to her, motherhood and "domestic things" are somehow the ultimate fulfillment for a woman. The encounter was short, but it has stayed with me, and caused me to really think about how becoming a mother has and will affect my artistic side, and about my motivations for my past and current creative endeavors.

Did I express interest in artistic things before I began trying to conceive almost five years ago? Have I allowed the pain of infertility to push me into hobbies or modes of expression that I would not otherwise have pursued? If I had become a mother when Nick and I first starting trying for a baby, would it have changed my creative interests? Am I really an artist, or am I just a woman who used art to replace her missing child and home?

I have always wanted to be a mother. Ask anyone; my childhood was filled with baby dolls, baby siblings, and imagined grown up family. I wanted a baby before I understood where they come from, and before I was ever interested in boys. I wanted to be a mother, not because I am a woman, or because I believed that's what women do, but because I loved babies, and I wanted to take care of one that was my own.
I have also always loved to write. And to sing, and to create. Perhaps, in a way, that is one reason why motherhood has always appealed to me; after all, creating another life, growing it inside of you, is the ultimate expression of art, is it not?

When it became evident that motherhood was not something that would come to me easily - and indeed, perhaps not come to me at all - my art suffered. My dearest, fondest dream lay shattered on the ground; how could I find beauty anywhere when all I could see was blurred by tears, my heart heavy with crumbling remnants of hope? I lost my way, for a while, as an artist and as a dreamer. I stopped writing. I stopped drawing, and learning to play the piano and guitar. I stopped singing, and in many ways, that was my biggest loss. I am carrying a daughter now, and have still not found my voice - beauty was stopped up for so long, it is difficult to let it out again. Losing my dream of motherhood took away my joy for a long time.

No matter the pain or suffering, no artist can stop creating indefinitely. So it was with me, and after the grief became not quite so fresh, I began to write again. Slowly, at first, and much of it not fit for sharing with anyone but a therapist, but I did it; I wrote what was in my heart, and it was ugly.

Time heals, even if we don't notice it happening, or don't want it to happen. My dream of becoming a mother was badly damaged, but like a priceless heirloom, I could not bear to let it go completely, so I packed it away in my heart and did my best to move on. I embraced my role as an aunt to two sweet children, and I began to reach out to others who were hurting from various wounds, seeking to heal where I could not heal myself. In time, my art began to recover, to be beautiful again, and I extended it to others in hopes of sowing beauty in their lives.

Little Bit Of Wonderful was born ~ a blog about life, love, laughter, family and photography, with a little bit of literary thrown in for flavor. I began to share stories and pictures, moments of my life that I thought might bring a smile to another person's heart. Somewhere in the mire of sadness, I had found photography, and seeing life through a new lens brought perspective and solace, and I found joy in sharing my images with others. My husband gave me a puppy, and I named him Butters (after that happy blonde kid from South Park); he became my constant companion, my friend, and loving him brought me a measure of joy and peace I did not expect to find. My blog became a place I could share all of this with the universe, and that too brought a measure of peace.

I am about to become a mother, now. Four years of infertility and heartbreak, cleansing our home of all things baby when we finally gave up the dream, and now? Now I am carrying a miracle - a little girl, the best part of all that is her father and me.

My changed when I became pregnant, but not how I ever expected it might. I kept writing, but my words became distant - I wrote because I needed to write. I had readers, after all! But I stopped drawing again. The whole year before conception, I had drawn room after room, design after design, dreaming about my someday-home. Now that I had a baby to plan for, no more drawing, no more creating. Why? Was the lady right, that motherhood would replace my art as the ultimate expression of my womanhood, of my being?

I don't think so.

Pregnancy after infertility is not the fairy tale I thought it would be, or that I think most people hope it to be. Am I thrilled beyond belief that in a few short months, I will hold my daughter - my little girl - in my arms at last? Yes. And feelings of joy and excitement are growing, faster now that we are past the "danger zone" where any little thing could end this beautiful dream. But those first five months were filled to overflowing with "what ifs" and fear. I could have lost her at any time, and the thought of it crippled me, artistically and emotionally. I couldn't do it; I couldn't create for someone who might leave me more broken than she found me.

I am beginning to create again. Almost 27 weeks pregnant, we have a ways to go before birth is ideal, but whenever she comes now, she will live. It was like suddenly breathing after half a year holding my breath, afraid to move for fear of unimaginable loss.

Creating a person is the ultimate expression of art. But I do not believe it is the only one, or that my identity as an artist will be fulfilled by my daughter's birth. Her life has lit a candle in a dark room for me, and is helping me find my way back to a place of beauty and life, where creation and art are parts of me, waiting to be realized.


About The Author
Alena Belleque is a wife, friend, soon-to-be mother, and a creative soul. She writes the family and review blog, The Homemade Creative~ a blog about life, love, laughter, family and photography, with a little bit of literary thrown in for flavor! Alena loves to spend time with her niece and nephew, play with her pup, Butters, and find beauty in the ordinary. Her favorite flowers are carnations, and she has the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, which tends to get her into trouble.

**Alena Belleque**

Author of the family and review blog, The Homemade Creative
a blog about life, love, family and photography, with a little
bit of literary thrown in for flavor!

Also check out Alena's:


  1. Another beautiful post, Alena. I truly hope all goes well for you, Nick and baby Serenity. And I hope that your art will once again become a big, important part of your life... whenever it comes back to you in a way you can enjoy!!!

    1. Thank you, Susi, for your sweet words and for being such a devoted reader :) You make my heart happy!



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