Despite giving many talks on signature style, market stall prep and business planning (yikes!) the topic I’m most asked about is how I’ve managed to combine creativity with motherhood.
I’m so glad when this comes up because it’s a topic that’s incredibly close to my heart!
Firstly, let me tell you a little bit about me.
I’ve been creating for as long as I can recall. It’d be safe to say that it’s in my blood, and it has helped me though many things over the course of my life.
For me, making and creating is a need that feels as necessary to my existence as breathing.
You can imagine then how it was to have my first baby, 10 years ago. All of a sudden there was no time for self-indulgent weekends filled with painting!
I struggled through the first year uncreatively, yearning for the me I thought I’d have to set aside and then one day I realised I could be creative in different ways to before.
Ways that would work with my new role, and ways that would fit in to my new timetable.
The first thing I did was let go of the idea that my only creative outlet was drawing and painting.
I learnt how to sew and appliqué and made clothes for my first-born, which surprisingly to me satisfied my creative urge at the time. Time went quickly as it does with a baby and pretty soon we welcomed our second baby into the family.
Not long after this I discovered something that changed everything for me. I discovered a whole network of other creative mums online! I connected with them and suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore.
I sketched out and designed complicated appliqué designs and began selling my work at local markets and on Etsy.
It’s now 7 years down the track from that first market and along the way I’ve landed back at my first love of painting and drawing with a little woodwork tossed in for good measure!
I still enjoying sewing and crocheting but now I just do those things for my family.
I look at my 3 kids and see the amazing influence staying true to my creative self has had on them as they see creativity as a normal and everyday part of life.
They are excited and encouraging of my artistic achievements and are most importantly confident in their own creative selves.
Here are my top tips for combining motherhood and creativity
1. Relax your mindset
Sometimes you have to change your creative expression up a bit for a short time.
Join a group, make connections with other crafty people and other crafty mums either online or in your local area.
Treasure your creative side, it is valuable and provides your kids with different experiences and skills.
Create when you can squeeze it in. A quick sketch before breakfast or some jewellery making late at night, if it’s important to you make sure you fit it in.
Create around your family. Let your kids see what you’re doing and they will begin to create alongside you.
6. Let go
Release any guilt you feel from indulging your creative side. Having a mum who is sometimes a bit distracted by her latest creation is much better for your kids than a mum who is sad and lost from not following her dreams.
I also recommend reading both editions of The Divided Heart by Rachel Power.
This book made me realise that I wasn’t alone in needing to create and it showed me that being a creative mum is not only possible, it’s inspiring and fun too!
If you’re a mum (or a dad!) for whom being creative is a deep need – how have you balanced this with parenthood? Share with us in the comments.
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