Encouragement for Creative Mamas in the Littles Season
In my last post, I mentioned that Gabrielle is crawling and starting to try to stand up now and I know that I’m heading for a season of having to be watching constantly because now they are mobile enough to be into EVERYTHING! So for at least the next year or so I will be ultra-baby focused.
But after some reading and praying and working on being who the Lord made me to be, it is feeling very important to not neglect my gifts but start investing in them. For me right now, this means primarily writing. For you this could be painting, or drawing, or cooking, or dancing or quilting or anything else that makes you come alive. And it is soooo worth figuring out what that is!
So how do we embrace our season of needing to be very focused on our children, but still keep our passion alive and our creative tools sharpened?
1. Decide that it’s important to you and get serious about it.
For me, that happened after listening to Emily P. Freeman's webinar about writing a book proposal and joining Hope*Writers. (Which I can't say enough good things about if you are a writer. It is a community of other writers with great resources and everyone is so super encouraging and totally worth the cost of joining. I wish it had existed 10 years ago!) I knew writing was my thing, but I've been letting it just kind of sit on the shelf for years. Now I decided that it matters and to treat it that way.
2. Assess your time.
How long are you spending on Facebook, Social Media, TV, cleaning, cooking, etc… I still need to log how much time I spend on these things. For now I just estimated, but I’m sure that actually timing how long I spend on things will be very eye opening!
3. What can you cut out?
Do you have to watch 2 hours of Netflix every night? (Preaching to the choir here! We were binge watching a few shows for the last couple months) Can you cut back on Facebook or browsing the internet, bouncing from one thing to another? Maybe you can make super fast easy meals to cut out some prep and cooking time. Can you get the kids napping on the same schedule so you have at least an hour or two free?
4. How can you automate the home stuff to make it easier?
Can you keep some baby wipes in the bathroom and use them to quickly wipe it down? Can you make a standard meal plan/grocery list? Can you start a pick up before moving on to the next thing rule? Clean as you go?
5. What can you let slide in this season?
Does your guest room really have to be vacuumed every week? How clean do you really need it to be? Can your husband cook a dinner or two? Are there extra activities that maybe you need to cut for a while?
6. Just write something everyday.
Or draw, or jot down an idea depending on what your “thing” is. Plan it into your day and block that time out for your "thing" and NOTHING else. Even if you squeeze in one page a day, or one sketch, or five minutes of embroidery, etc,... then it’s keeping your fingers nimble, your brain active, and slowly but surely improving your technique.
7. Reject the “Hurry"
This happens to me where I feel like I need to “hurry up” and write a book, grow my blog, or whatever thing I’m using to measure my “success” in relation to other people. But it doesn’t matter if it takes you ten years to write a book or finish a project or what have you. It’s not about how much you produce and it’s not a race.
I repeat, it is NOT a race.
I wrote here about picking the word “SLOW” for this year. When I feel the anxiety of the hurry feeling come over me, I use “SLOW” as the antidote. I reject it (Most of the time. This is a growing process after all!) and think about how I can do life slowly today. My goal is to make small steady progress in my gift and enjoy my life, my husband, my children, and my season along the way.
I hope this has been encouraging for you. Let's go on this creative journey together! What is your "thing"? Do you have any other suggestions on how to make time for it?
Let me know in the comments!