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Postpartum, Motherhood and Creativity ft. Author Suzanne Yatim Aslam

Hey there, mama. Let’s get real about something that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough: motherhood and creativity. I know, I know—it feels like there’s barely time to shower most days, let alone write the next great American novel. But as my recent guest Suzanne Yatim Aslam shared with me, tapping into your creative side during the postpartum period can actually be an incredibly powerful way to process all the huge changes and emotions that come with bringing a tiny human into the world.

In this episode, we’re talking to Suzanne Yatim Aslam, a former actress and Miss Arab USA turned author of the Amazon bestseller Post Pardon Me, who shares her experiences with postpartum depression, societal expectations of motherhood, and how she used her emotions as a fuel for creativity.

Whether experiencing the challenges of new motherhood or seeking to channel creativity into writing, this episode offers insights into the transformative power of authenticity, support systems, and knowing your audience.

Suzanne is a former actress and Miss Arab USA turned writer. Her dark comedy Post Pardon Me is now an Amazon best seller and a Reader’s Favorite with 5 stars. She is on a mission to help mamas feel supported in one of the most confusing times of their lives.

Connect with Suzanne at her website, on Instagram, or go ahead and grab her book from Amazon.


What is Postpartum Depression and Anxiety?

First off, let’s break down postpartum depression and anxiety. They’re way more common than most people realize, but we don’t discuss them nearly enough.

Postpartum depression can leave you feeling sad, hopeless, and totally uninterested in the things you used to love. Postpartum anxiety fills your head with constant worries and makes you feel like you’re always on the verge of a freak-out. And both of them can make it really tough to take care of yourself and bond with your baby.

Suzanne dealt with postpartum depression after having both her sons, and she felt angry, betrayed, and seriously alone—basically the total opposite of the glowy Earth Goddess image of motherhood we see plastered everywhere. She told me motherhood and creativity felt like two things that could never go together.

Famous Writers Who Dealt With Postpartum Challenges

But guess what? Tons of insanely talented writers have been through the postpartum wringer too:

Postpartum depression (and postpartum anxiety and OCD, which I, Holly, suffered) is so much more pervasive than we think.

But, writing a book while navigating the ups and downs of new motherhood can be amazingly therapeutic and inspiring.

Suzanne’s Experience Writing a Book Postpartum

That’s exactly what Suzanne found when she channeled all her new mom rage (it’s real, trust me) into her dark comedy, Post Pardon Me, which became an Amazon bestseller. She ended up writing fictionalized journal entries based on her real experiences and emotions during her first year with her son.

To help herself really get back into the headspace of early motherhood while she was writing, Suzanne busted out her calendar from that first year and used it as a guide. She told me going through it helped her capture those raw feelings from a bit of a distance, like she was looking at herself without completely losing herself.


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Motherhood and Creativity: How to Make It Work

The truth is, motherhood and creativity have a complicated relationship.

On one hand, becoming a mom can stir up all these powerful experiences and emotions that are total creative fuel. On the other hand, good luck finding the time and energy to get them down on the page between diaper changes and late-night feedings and the approximately ten million other things on your to-do list.

What’s the phrase? It takes a village to raise a child. Well, I firmly believe that that village is for you and me. I mean, we have to take care of the caretaker. So we’re going to take care of the baby. That’s what we do, and we’re going to figure that out, but who’s taking care of us?

– Suzanne Yatim Aslam

But here’s the key: Suzanne says to look at the postpartum period as an opportunity, even when it feels like anything but.

She told me, “When you’re having, especially if you’re a creative person, if you’re having those really big feelings and you feel really alone, it’s actually a really interesting time to process it and write it all down.”

One of the biggest challenges is the immense pressure moms feel to be happy and glowing about motherhood 24/7. But Suzanne encourages mamas to kick that pressure to the curb when writing a book or exploring their creativity in any form.

“Your journal is your safest place to say how you really feel,” she says.

Giving yourself permission to express the full, unfiltered spectrum of feelings about motherhood—the joyful parts and the hard parts—is the key to finding creative inspiration in this phase of life.

Check Out: Tapping for Creative Abundance ft. Melanie Moore

Remember: You Are Not Alone

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from my conversation with Suzanne, it’s this: If you’re struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or feeling creatively zapped as a new mom, you are absolutely not alone.

PLEASE reach out for support.

And you can also write all your feelings out, and know that your voice and your experiences are so worthy of being shared.

Motherhood and creativity might seem like they’re constantly at odds, but they can actually feed each other in really beautiful ways. By documenting and processing our postpartum experiences through writing a book, journaling, or any other creative outlet, we can find meaning in the difficult moments—and ultimately help other mamas feel seen and supported.

So go fill up that mug of coffee, bust out your pen, and know that whatever you’re feeling is worth exploring and expressing. You’ve got this, mama.

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My Top 3 Takeaways from this Conversation

The 3 things I found most insightful in this conversation with Suzanne were:

  1. The postpartum period, as challenging as it can be, can actually be an incredibly rich source of creative inspiration. When you’re going through such intense emotions and life-altering experiences, there’s so much material to draw from as a writer. It’s all about giving yourself permission to channel those feelings into your work, even when they’re raw and messy.
  2. There’s immense power in moms telling the unfiltered truth about their experiences. So often, we feel pressured to put on a happy face and act like everything’s perfect, but that doesn’t do anyone any favors. When we’re honest about the ups and downs of motherhood, it can be incredibly therapeutic for us—and it can make other moms feel less alone.
  3. Creativity can be a lifeline during the postpartum period. Whether it’s writing a book, journaling, painting, or any other creative pursuit, having an outlet to process your experiences and emotions can be so grounding. It’s a way to maintain a sense of self outside of your new identity as a mom, and to find meaning and beauty in even the toughest moments.

Let’s change some lives,

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Holly

PS — 🩵 When it feels right, here are 3 ways I can help you turn the page:

  1. The Book Map. Imagine having a GPS for your book-writing journey, guiding you from “I think I have an idea!” all the way to “OMG, I did it! I wrote a book!” That’s what the Book Map can do for you. It’s a supercharged roadmap for your writing journey. It’s not just about outlining chapters; it’s about diving deep into what you want to say and the best way to say it, ensuring every word pulls its weight. You’re not just writing a book; you’re crafting a masterpiece that feels as if it almost writes itself. Ready to make your book dream a reality? Let’s Book Map it!
  2. One-to-One Book Coaching. I have a vision of changing the world one book at a time, by teaching world-changers to create a book in a gentler, more effective way. A way that takes both you and your reader on a profound journey. I see a future where we build trust in our words, worlds, and work with our books, and where the world becomes a better place because of the books we write. My commitment is to bring to life books—fiction and nonfiction—founded on integrity. I’ll bring the map, and you’ll take us on the journey. If you’re ready to change the world with your book, your quest awaits. Apply for a free discovery call here. It takes 3 minutes.
  3. Listen to the Podcast. The Book Coach Chronicles: A podcast for writers of books, people who want to be writers of books, and y’all in the back who’ve been thinking about it but don’t yet consider yourself a writer. Listen on AppleSpotify, or Everywhere Else.

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Holly Ostrout is a book coach with a vision of changing the world one book at a time, by teaching big-idea entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers, and authors to create a book in a gentler, more effective way. A way that takes both you and your reader on a profound journey.
Holly Ostrout

Hi I’m Holly. If you’re going to change the world with your book, fiction or nonfiction, I can help you do it.

I'm a book coach for high-achieving, creative coaches, consultants, service providers, speakers, and authors who want to build a sustainable business around their book—whether that’s fiction or nonfiction.

I help you share your wisdom, ideas, and gifts by writing & publishing a life-changing book that helps you streamline your business, bring in more money, and change more lives.

I believe books are the most important human invention. And yours can change the world.

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Joyful, Easy Writing Can Be Yours​

Find that magical zone when the words flow like honey + everything you want to say comes across in perfect harmony. Write your book joyfully + easily with this Writing Ritual Tracker & keep the flow with my helpful newsletter.

Mockup of The Writing Ritual Creator from Holly Ostrout

Joyful, Easy Writing Can Be Yours

Writing Ritual Tracker from Books & Alchemy

Find that magical zone when the words flow like honey + everything you want to say comes across in perfect harmony. Write your book joyfully + easily with this Writing Ritual Tracker & keep the flow with my helpful newsletter.

Mockup of The Writing Ritual Creator from Holly Ostrout
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If You Want to Change the World with Your Book, You've Got to Write It.

Find that magical zone when the words flow like honey + everything you want to say comes across in perfect harmony. Write your book joyfully + easily with this Writing Ritual Creator & keep the flow with my helpful newsletter.