When, according to The Daily Dot, an artist named Marina Abramovic admitted in an interview that she had three abortions to essentially avoid sacrificing her talent for her kids, another Brooklyn-based artist and mom, Hein Koh, felt she needed to respond.
And Koh did it in the most awesome way imaginable. She posted a photo of herself to Instagram tandem-breastfeeding her then-5-week-old twins, while working away on her laptop.
“Despite the sleep deprivation and frequent (every 2-3 hours, 24-7, 45 min at a time)#breastfeeding, I was still getting sh-t done,” Koh wrote in the accompanying caption. Then she directly addressed Abramovic, who had said she “thinks children hold women back in the art world.”
“All Marina knows is her own experience,” Koh wrote, “and it may be true for her, but that is not everyone’s experience nor truth. Becoming a #mom (of twins no less) has personally helped me become a better #artist.”
How exactly has motherhood sharpened her skills? “I learned to be extremely efficient with my time, prioritize what’s important and let go of the rest, and #multitask like a champ,” Koh writes. “I learned to function (even if barely) on very little sleep, and out of the chaos, insanity and even torture at times, a flood of new emotions entered into my work, becoming more interesting & layered as a result.”
Lest you think Koh is under the impression that parents are somehow superior, she clarifies, “I’m also not saying that artist parents are better artists than non-parent artists, or that choosing not to be a parent will deny you access to these learning experiences. What I am saying is that parenting is like any other challenge in life – the biggest f-ing challenge in my own life thus far – and if you embrace it and figure out creative solutions, you can emerge a better person. It’s important to think about the ways in which these challenges can help you move forward, rather than hold you back.”
Please excuse me while I get down on the ground and worship this mama! Like the many commenters who hailed Koh a “momboss,” “shero,” and a “superhero,” I couldn’t agree with her comments more. You most definitely have to be creative to get your sh-t down. Consider that this morning, I was writing with my naked toddler (whom I’m potty training) sitting on my lap, trying to push every button on the computer. Still made my deadline. Bam!
So, I personally cannot imagine not having children to somehow preserve my creativity. Because in my opinion, life has so much more meaning when you’re a parent, and isn’t that the ultimate source of creativity?