Hey, pretty momma! I’m on vacation in sunny Florida, but I wanted to share some amazing moms with you who are either struggling with something similar to you or they have an amazing solution for a problem you may be experiencing.
Today, I want to introduce you to the most amazing Bev Feldman. She’s here for all you creative mommas.
Take a moment and think about the last time you did something creative that was purely for your own enjoyment.
Was it yesterday? Last week? Last month? Last year?
Maybe you’re sitting there scratching your head thinking it’s been so long you can’t even remember.
We pour so much time, energy, and emotions into our roles as moms, that it often comes at the sacrifice of our own needs and wants. Things like exercise, seeing friends, reading, and making time for our creative outlets often get tossed to the side like that sock that you know has a mate somewhere in your house. If you wait long enough, surely it will eventually make it appearance.
So you wait and wait, until one day you realize you’re feeling worn and tired — much like that sock — realizing you haven’t done something for yourself in who knows how long.
With so many responsibilities on our proverbial plates, it may seem impossible to make time for those things that nourish our souls.
But the thing is, we need those times to feed our creative side.
We need them to replenish our spirits, to allow us to be more engaged with our children, and to be happy.
(And yes, you deserve to be happy, Mama!)
I know what you’re thinking. I just don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. Who’s going to watch my kids?
I’m here to show you how, without spending a dime or adding another thing to your plate, four easy ways you can build time into your days for creativity.
Schedule time for creativity
As moms, we often put our own self-care last, but when you write it down somewhere it’s more likely to actually happen. Instead of just telling yourself you’re going to one day actually use your DSLR camera that has been collecting dust on your bookshelf since 2014 or you’ll eventually find a few minutes to pull out your watercolors and paint brushes that haven’t seen the light of day since the week before your oldest was born, write it down on your calendar and make a date with yourself. Put it on your family’s calendar and let your partner know you’re busy, and stick to it. Even if you’re tired when that time actually comes and all you want to do is crash on your couch with a glass of Pinot Grigio and the latest episode of Game of Thrones, once you get started I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Set up a creative playdate
This is an extension of the previous tip and is like the creativity triple-threat: your kids get some play time with a friend, you get some hangout time with your grown up friend, and you get to do something creative! Invite your mom bestie (and her kiddo) over for a creative coffee date. While your kids have a blast enjoying each other’s company, you both get some time to do something creative. Sit down with a mug of your favorite hot beverage and chat while you knit that scarf that has been sitting in a basket next to your couch for over a year, pull out a notebook and your trusty pen and write some poetry, or edit some photos from your DSLR camera that you took months ago. If need be, you can take turns keeping an eye on the little ones while you each do your creative thing.
Do a childcare swap with another mom
This is hands down my favorite method for getting things done for my creative business (and thus freeing up time for me to do things that make me happy like make jewelry). Once a week I do an exchange with a local mom who’s daughter is about the same age is mine. One week I watch the girls together at my house for five hours, and the following week my friend watches them. We each get five FREE hours of childcare a week, and our daughters have a blast playing with each other.
Make creative time a part of your daily routine
I found that I wasn’t drinking as much water or getting as much exercise as I would like, so in the mornings, as soon as I wake up, I started drinking a glass of water every day and doing yoga for 10-30 minutes. Right after that I do something creative, whether it’s making jewelry, editing photos, or working on a blog post.
Instead of reaching for your phone the moment you wake up, try doing a creative activity, even if it’s for five minutes. Doodle in your sketchbook, write a haiku, turn on some music and dance — whatever makes your creativity flow and heart sing. It can be part of your morning wake-up routine, your mid-day kid-just-went-down-for-her-nap-I-can-breathe-for-a-minute regrouping time, or your evening wind-down routine. Making this creative time a part of your daily routine will help ensure that it actually happens.
Making time for your creative outlets is not just an excuse for some you time, it can also help us to be engaged and mindful parents. To learn how making time for creativity will benefit you and your children, sign up here to get a free chapter of my book, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity.
What is your creative outlet? How do you make time for it in your days?
Bev Feldman is a mom, jewelry designer, blogger, freelance writer, and author of The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity. Before becoming a mom in 2013, she worked in a family support program and early education and received her Master’s Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Bev has an affinity for kids’ crafts, pinning all the things, inspiring creativity in others, and shopping on Etsy. She lives in the Boston area with her daughter, husband, and cat, Leo. You can connect with Bev on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and check out her blog, Linkouture: Musings on the Creative Side of Life.