motherhood and creativity – part two

otherhood and creativity part two geoffrey and grace image

As promised is here is the second part to ‘motherhood and creativity’, you can read the first post here. This part focuses on how I manage my creative time with a two year old. Here are four simple things that have really helped me make the most of my time. Hope they are of some use to you other creative mamas out there.

1. Raise your hand if you love a good list? I write lists for everything and couldn’t function without them. Well written lists help me use my time efficiently. If I didn’t have organised detailed lists I would be lost. When I did get any free time it would take me 15 minutes to remember what it was I needed to be getting on with, and then another 15 minutes deciding which of the many jobs I was actually going to do.

2. I also ‘time group’ my jobs in to small, medium or large. That way, if know I will only grab 30 mins before dinner, I can pick a couple of small things. Where as if I have a few hours, I can tackle something that might take me a while to get into. Sometimes when I am writing or making it can take me 30 minutes to find my rhythm and really get absorbed into what I am doing, so I really need a good hour plus for an activity like this.

3. I have learnt to ignore social media for parts of my day and actually switch off completely for some days. It can be such a time killer. Even though it is a powerful tool in helping you connect with others, it can leave you feeling like you’ve not actually done anything. Also I find I enjoy my day with Bailey more, if for at least one day a week I just have my Mama hat on, and I’m not trying to juggle everything. This way when I do use social media, I find I am much more proactive and productive with it.

4. Working from home you also have the constant distraction of things that need doing around the house; the heap of washing-up on the side, or that massive pile of laundry waiting to be done. I like a clean, organised house, and I like to feel on top of things, but I also know that if I spend my time doing only this, by the end of the day there is a large piece of me that is left feeling unfulfilled and flat. I have learnt that it is sometimes better to ignore the housework and chores, to enable me to have the time to make and be creative. I have to be focused about what it is I want to achieve and tune the other stuff out. Plus a little bit of mess never hurt anyone.

Somedays I feel like I am making headway, and the creative stuff and motherhood play nicely together. Other days it all goes wrong, and I don’t feel like I have a handle on either of them. There are times when my list of things that I want to make and do seems so long that it’s really overwhelming, and not being able to get on with any of it leaves me feeling stifled.

Of course now that Bailey is getting a bit older there are more and more creative things that we can do together. I love spending an hour or so doing a creative activity with her. She seems to really enjoy making and thrives off the sense of achievement. As she grows, I know there will be even more we can do together, and I can’t wait for her to be old enough to start sewing.

There are no magic beans here….. and it is what it is. I am a mother – and wouldn’t want it any other way – and I am creative, if anything more so since having Bailey. So I have to figure out some way that these two things, that I love dearly, can sit calmly next to each other and get along. I have a feeling though, that as both motherhood and creativity are constantly changing and evolving, that as soon as I think I have figured it out, it could shift and all become fuzzy again.

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  • Sound advice there – and not just for mothers! I pretty much do all 4 things on your list – turning off social media is such an important one – for ages I kept feeling so frustrated that I wasn’t creating anything and just reading about what others were doing….One of my mottos this year is “create more and consume less” – now I use prime time when I have energy for creating (and ignore the piles of washing!) – working for me so far!

  • Melanie,
    That is all exactly it. Your suggestions are very very good ones. I’m a lister but I can’t say I sort out my jobs by size. The other trick, besides ignoring the social media and the laundry, is to be able to have a reliable child care person on a regular basis. My gal went to college and I miss her four weekly hours of hands-free time. Like you said, I was the most productive ever in that four hours. Empire indeed!
    Awesome and I’m there with you.
    Love,
    Shalagh