The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

The Muse of Motherhood

Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.” —Saint Bartholomew

My first muse arrived in 2004, my second a year later, and my most recent in 2009.  My children are my muses; and though prior to their arrival I understood the concept of a muse, I can honestly say that despite my love for and interest in the written word, I never had had a face-to-face encounter with this elusive source of inspiration.  Poets waxed, well, poetically about the magic of the muse.  I just figured it wasn’t for me.

Until Oscar arrived.  And then Edgar.  And finally August. 

The responsibilities of parenthood may at first (and second and third) glance seem incompatible with creativity.  And indeed many times that is the case.  Composing poetry while loading the dishwasher may be a romantic notion that doesn’t actually play out well in real life.  And it’s hard to fold a basket of laundry with one hand and paint a masterpiece with the other.

But life–if not parenthood–is full of paradoxes.

As the mother of three young children, I have never been more physically tired–but I have never been more intellectually awake.

Despite nearly ever hour of every day being fully accounted for, I have never felt more free to create.

Motherhood has made me more attentive, more observant than I have ever been; and words and experiences have meaning that I never before saw.

My children motivate me without their even realizing it.  They make me care more than I ever have.

I do not have to step outside my family to find my muse.  My muses have come to me.

Stephen Nachmanovitch wrote, “The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”   And while I credit my three sons with being my muses, perhaps they are also responsible for releasing the one that was there all along.


About Samantha

Samantha Hines lives with her family in Newport, RI, and is a high school English teacher (twenty-four years and running). In the last several years, she has published in ADDitude and Adoptive Families magazines; and her blog, My Three Sons, was named by Adoptive Families as one of the Top Twenty Adoption Blogs on the internet. She is also the author of "Different Drummer," a blog about her son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. In September 2012, she began her Ph.D. in Humanities at Salve Regina University. You can follow My Three Sons on Facebook and her blog at

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  • Irishwen

    Just wait, suddenly they grown into teens! You then mourn the loss of the small one that you’ve had to let go of, while at the same exact time move into the forgotten realm of teen ups and downs. About the time you master accepting that realm, they leap forward into adulthood. Then real magic happens…you get to become a Nana! It’s like fulfilling every single part of who you really are…all at the same time!

  • Kathy

    I feel the same my family is my muse.

  • Katie V

    Beautifully written and I’d say now I’m even more excited to have children!

  • Tracey

    Well said. I too feel my children are my muses. The younger one also falls into the category of comic relief….

  • Katherine

    I love this! All so very true!

  • Turcotterc

    How wonderful to be inspired by your children.

  • Lendeangelis

    Amazing how children deserve time, yet how much more productive use one makes of the moments when one can write a sentence or read a paragraph, brush a stroke, add a line, knit a row, tat a stitch. The moments are as fleeting as their childhoods but the moments mount. The creativity continues.

  • Kathy

    How true.

  • Christina

    Very sweet! I love their pictures!