Hanging on to Creativity as a Mom
Never in my life have I been more aware of time than I am right now. A one-month-old has that effect. Lately, I’ve felt like there will never be enough hours in the day. At times I’ve felt like giving up on creative endeavors altogether, and that’s when my husband reminds me that I’ve never let difficulties keep me from accomplishing what I set my mind to do. And he’s right.
Creativity is precious just as time is precious. It’s something I’m realizing we have to hold on to with all of our might. It’s also something we have to make time for, especially as moms, when we’re torn multiple directions at once. Though it may seem selfish, creativity can fuel us in ways nothing else can. It can drive us to accomplish great things, and it can have a positive effect not only on our lives but also on the lives of those around us, including our children. (Insert Hanging on to Creativity as a Mom photo)
So, how do we effectively hang on to creativity and allow it to grow and blossom in our lives?
Find pockets of time to read. Go to the library and browse through shelves and shelves of good books. Find authors you love, and try out different genres of books. I love reading for myself, and I also love reading to my kids, so a trip to the library is a win for all. Not just books, though… Find magazines and online publications that inspire you. Even if it’s a few minutes before bed or a sliver of time before the baby wakes up, just those few minutes can plant a tiny seed that begins to grow into a blossom of an idea.
Get outside and into nature. There have been times when I’ve felt completely drained… physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then our family decides to go for a hike or spend a little time outdoors. There’s nothing quite as rejuvenating to the entire body, mind, and soul as time spent outside in nature. As John Muir puts it…
Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
As important as it is to get outside, it’s also important for moms to keep those connections with friends. Whether you go for lunch together or plan a moms’ night out, it’s important to have those times where you connect with other adults. Find friends you can get together with, talk with, share ideas, and inspire one another. You’ll likely walk away feeling so refreshed and ready to tackle your next project.
Get your hands in the dirt. Did you know that gardening can be beneficial to emotional well-being? Plant something! Even if it’s a pot of flowers, get outside and get your fingers in the dirt. Plant something colorful and pretty. Surround yourself with beauty in the form of living plants. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to spark a little creativity.
Set a daily quiet time. Though it may not involve naptime, create a habit of a daily quiet time for both yourself and your kids. I did this when my older boys were younger; my toddler would go down for a nap, and my oldest would read books or maybe watch a movie. It was a relatively short period of time I could count on for more creative endeavors or work projects. Even if it seems impossible right now, just remember that a habit takes time and work, as well as patience. Eventually, that habit, if nurtured, will become your new norm.
Create Pin boards, all kinds of Pin boards! Who doesn’t love Pinterest? It’s so easy to find inspiration there, especially when you’re just not feeling inspired. Create boards for things you’re passionate about, and watch the creative ideas begin to flow.
Keep a stash of craft supplies on hand. When you have a chance, hit a Rhea Lana’s sale. Look for craft supplies that interest you, and start dreaming. Build up a stash that makes your heart happy. You can do this for both you and the kids. Some of my favorite things to keep on hand for all sorts of projects are scrapbook paper and embellishments, paint, Mod Podge, colorful markers or pens, construction paper, felt, fabric, burlap, cute little cartons or containers, and more.
Speaking of craft supplies for the kids, get creative with your kids. Find projects you can create together. There are loads of great blogs filled with crafty inspiration, some of which will likely give inspiration for your own projects, as well. A few of my faves are as follows:
- No Time for Flashcards
- Create – Celebrate - Explore
- Kids Activities Blog
- The Artful Parent
- Red Ted Art
- Nap Time Creations
- The Simple Parent
- Hands On As We Grow
I know there are way more, but the blogs listed above give a great head start on finding loads of amazing projects, especially for the kids.
This goes without saying, but make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. I am so guilty of not doing this. I tend to stay up late to either work on things after the kids are in bed or sometimes just to watch a favorite show with my husband. No matter what anyone may say, sleep is not overrated, and you need it in order for you to be at your healthiest. Sleep is a necessary ingredient for optimal brain function and for creativity. Just sleep.
Finally, make time for fun! All of the above can be quite fun, but make sure you’re getting out and having fun with your family. Live life! Just simply living life beyond the boundaries of work, school, and home can provide boatloads of creative inspiration that far surpasses anything else you could do. So live it. Live out your story.
It is possible to nurture and hang on to creativity as a mom. We just have to want it enough to actually hang on to it. Whatever you do, don’t be discouraged, because it can be done.
What are your favorite tips for hanging on to creativity as a mom? Share in the comments!