I’ve had this notion for a long time that what I really want to do is to help moms be more creative. One way to do that is to provide them with ideas for things to make and do with and for their kids, which I write a lot about.
But I think it’s just as important — probably more so, really — to encourage moms to have some sort of creative outlet that is just for them. Whether it’s drawing or knitting, sewing by hand, writing poetry, baking or painting or whatever, we need something that we do outside of the things we do for our kids.
Dads need this, too, of course, but I think women find it harder to actually make it happen.
We don’t know what to do if we do find ourselves with time.
We don’t want to feel like we’re wasting time making stuff that isn’t “good” or “useful.”
(Spoiler alert: it’s all good and useful. And absolutely worth the time.)
I was thinking about this again over the weekend because I read The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity by Carrie Bloomston. It’s a quick read that covers things like making space and time for your creativity, giving yourself permission to try, to make a mess, to be imperfect, to take up space in the world.
Important messages all, but not exactly what I was seeking. This would be a great book for someone who isn’t feeling creative and doesn’t know where to start and who needs that bedrock of allowing yourself to play and make space for creativity in your life and to realize how essential it is for you, regardless of what people have told you about your creativity in the past.
It’s Harder for Moms
I think there’s something to how hard it is to sustain creativity as a mom. I often look for blogs and resources on the subject, and so often the sites are not maintained.
Studio Mothers is one great example, a site I love that has fallen into disuse.
There are people like Megan Gray and Cultural ReProducers that feature interviews with working artists who happen to be parents, but we don’t all want to be professional artists. We do all need creativity in our lives.
Something needs a to be said about the hard work of a creative practice in general, as well as the special difficulty of maintaining creative time and space and doing the work when you lack energy and enthusiasm, which is so often the case for moms in particular.
I want to read the book that’s encouraging but also fun, of tools and projects to get busy moms — busy people — back on the creative road.
It’s the sort of book I feel like I need at least once a month. Even though I have a creative career I want the recharge of simple activities I can go back to again and again.
I guess I’ll just have to write it myself.
What are your struggles when it comes to managing creative time and parenting? Are you one of those who wants to make time for making but doesn’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts.