Creating Art as a Parent of Littles
If you have little ones underfoot at home, you probably shake your head at the notion of “creative time” armed with reasons why it’s just not possible in your situation. If this sounds anything like you, then you are a lot like me! The other day I caught myself complaining about how my little ones are always interrupting me just as I’m getting in the groove of a creative project, and wishing I had more “creative time.”
Often as parents we are thinking of ways to facilitate our children’s learning and creativity, but seldom do we stop to think about the importance of our own creativity! Being proactive about creating habits that support our desire for more creative is essential. Here are some tips/questions to get you started in CREATing more creative time as a parent.
- Write out 3-5 possible times that you could utilize creative time throughout the week. For example: When the baby is taking a nap, when the kids are at preschool, at 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays when you’ll have a babysitter come over for at least an hour or two, on the weekends when your partner isn’t working or when the kids can spend some time with the grandparents, or maybe early in the morning an hour before the kids wake up. Write out EVERY possible opportunity that you have or can create at least 10 minutes to yourself.
- Make a list of the things you enjoy doing, your passions, stuff that gets your creative juices going, whether it be walking in nature, sitting down to write, swimming or dancing, painting, getting fancy in the kitchen (I know what it’s like to cook with kids underfoot!), making collages or Treasure Maps, exercise, brainstorming for your business, ANYthing that brings you joy and increases your energy.
- To start with, pick ONE activity and schedule it in for 2-5 times a week, whatever will work for you to start with. Don’t overwhelm yourself by saying “I’m going to paint, everyday for an hour and a half!” when all you can really manage right now is a half hour, twice a week. If you’ve got support lined up to allow yourself to take advantage of more creative time, then by all means, go right ahead!
I am a believer in starting with doable changes. Add in a little more than what you’ve got right now (which might very well be close to nothing if you are in the place I was in not long ago!) and make it a commitment to keep it up. Don’t add more unless you’ve lined up support for yourself to keep from becoming overwhelmed.
Some bonus tips:
- Involve the kids! I personally have a lot of resistance around this, but maybe you love making art with your children, so don’t let me stop you there.
- Find groups/organizations that offer activities for both kids and adults, so you and your kids can get your creative time in (together or apart) in one session!
- Be gentle with yourself, and LOVE yourself with radical self-care. It is not selfish to give yourself the gift of happiness so that your children can model that same healthy habit.
You can do this. If you have questions or comments about this post, please share with me below! I’d love to hear your feedback if you are already making this work for you, or if you have more/better ideas to add to the discussion. Have a beautiful day!!
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