I’ve had a few ‘creative phases’ in my life. In high school, it was writing. Later, it was designing and sewing children’s clothes. More recently, I’ve taken a brush to canvas. In each of those creative activities, I have particularly enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that comes when the end product turns out as I’d hoped. If the poem is satisfying, I will repeat it to myself often – just because it pleases me. When a little girl’s dress or a baby’s playsuit is finished, I like to put it on a hanger where I can see it – just for the satisfaction it brings to me. (It doesn’t need to meet anyone else’s standard – just so long as it pleases me.) There is also a creative art to mothering.
Find your creative outlet
There are many different ways people can be creative: maybe cooking, gardening, singing, knitting or crochet, timber craft, sketching, vlogging, blogging, restoration; and, whatever your creative preference, I’m sure we are all familiar with the experience of personal fulfilment that comes through the act of creation.
Finding a creative outlet that you love and that challenges your mind will enrich you as a person. This is super important for us mums and we should not neglect this need during our years of mothering. What are your creative skills?
If we take care to nurture our creative side, we may find some of the benefits transfer to how we view mothering. The work of mothering is much more than the sum of our daily tasks! As a mum, you are being creative every day, in ways like:
- fitting your daily plans around baby sleep times.
- finding a balance between adventure and safety in your children’s play.
- strategising non-confrontational ways to get healthy vegetables into resistant kids.
- managing and/or circumventing toddler tantrums.
- creating nutritious meals (and school lunches!) for children with food allergies.
- managing sibling relationships.
- training your child while ensuring their individuality and own personality flourishes.
- keeping the family in clean clothes during an extended wet spell.
- finding ways to help your child learn tasks that are difficult for them.
- coordinating play dates, music lessons, sporting activities and other appointments.
I wonder what you would say is your most creative challenge as a mother?
Pause and think about what you do every day – what plans do you make; what tools do you assemble; what preparations do you make; and, finally, how do you bring them to fruition? Even a necessary activity like making plans requires creativity – sometimes lots!! As you reflect on and enjoy your creative achievements, maybe that same pleasure can be found in reflecting on the creative mothering that you do on a daily basis.
Do you take time to step back and enjoy the results of your work? In the Christian account of the creation of the world, the bible records that, at the end of each day, God “looked at what he had made, and saw that it was good”. So – if you have ever done something like that, you’re in good company!
Are you taking time to enjoy your children? Do you see how they are developing as people? It’s easy to notice the work that still needs to be done – but it’s important to also allow yourself the satisfaction of noticing what has been achieved. Do you allow yourself credit for the many positive experiences you create for your family day in, day out? Please do. It will feed your soul. Allowing yourself to acknowledge that you have done a good job is one of the rewards that comes with the creative work of mothering.