Intentionally adding creative moments into my every day has changed my life.
That’s a bold statement, but it is 100% true! Recognizing my need for creativity and then feeding that need has been life-changing. I’m happier, more relaxed and more productive. And because I’m happier, I’m also a better mom and a better partner. Scheduling time for creativity has been the best thing I have ever done for myself!
I want you to have that same life changing ‘aha moment’ that I had! So, today I’m sharing my framework for incorporating creative moments into your busy life.
You can totally do this!
The Benefits of Living a Creative Life
Deciding to live a creative life doesn’t mean that you have to start wearing tie dye or have amazing artistic abilities (but if you do – go you!). It means that you recognize creativity as an important aspect of who you are. And when you recognize the impact of creativity on your life, you open yourself to opportunities to grow.
There are countless benefits to living a creative life, but here are a few:
- Feel more energized in the rest of your life
- Feel more productive as you take steps toward your big creative goals
- Help you cope with emotional lows (How Creative Moments Helped me Overcome Postpartum Depression)
- Develop your problem-solving skills
- Gives you the opportunity to try new things in a no pressure environment
- Makes you a happier parent and spouse
- Feel fulfilled in an aspect beyond parenthood
- Feel a sense of accomplishment when you finally finish that project you’ve working toward for months
- Helps you look at your world in a new way
I started planning Creative Moments after I had my son. I didn’t call them Creative Moments in the beginning. It was just time that I set aside to work on any creative project and not worry about work, housework or anything else for a little while. I was pretty overwhelmed as a new mother and these moments were my saving grace.
Plan creative moments, not marathons
Before I had my son I could spend an entire day in the garage building or a whole afternoon in front of my sewing machine. But, it turns out, babies need attention 24/7 and those long days of a creating are a thing of my past.
Instead, I plan Creative Moments. A Creative Moment is a short span of time to work on a project. For me it’s usually during naptime, early in the morning or after my son has gone to sleep for the night.
Projects move a lot slower now with all of the stopping and starting, but those moments are so worth it! And so are the final products!
Make a Schedule
Yes, creative spirit, you do need a schedule
I know that scheduling creativity sounds counterintuitive, but it’s so important! Here’s why:
1. It's practical
Be honest with yourself, do you really have a life where you can just dive into a project right when creativity strikes? Probably not. Most people don’t have that kind of flexibility. It’s more practical to block out time in your schedule when you can work on your projects rather than just hoping to have the time to work when you’re struck with a creative thought.
2. It keeps you accountable to your goals
Designating time to work on your creative projects will help you hold yourself accountable to your big project goals. Are you trying to finish a quilt? Do you want to build a piece of furniture? Are you writing a book? Learning a new skill? The possible creative endeavors are endless. Working in small chunks of time will help you progress to that big goal little by little.
3. It makes creativity a priority
If you want creativity to be a priority in your life, you have to make it happen! By putting it on your calendar you are telling yourself that it is important.
How to create your schedule
There are a few key things to consider when scheduling your creative moments:
Look for opportunities for extra time
You’re busy, I know. I totally get that feeling that are just never enough hours in the day. But, you can totally make this work! And you need to, for yourself and your family. Here are some ways to fit in your creative moments:
- Wake up an hour earlier
- Go to bed an hour later
- Claim your child’s naptime as your creative time
- Take your child to drop-in daycare once a week
- Exchange child care with a friend – take turns watching each other’s kids
- Use your lunch break
- Hire a sitter for one morning a week
You can't do everything
When you decide to make creative moments a priority, some of your other responsibilities may fall to the wayside. You’ll have to get comfortable with that!
That means that sometimes dishes may pile up in the sink or laundry won’t get folded right away. The grass might grow a little longer before it gets cut and your car won’t get cleaned out as often.
It can be hard to resist doing housework when it’s your scheduled creative time, but resist the urge to work through your to do list and instead focus on yourself for just a little bit! The chores will still be there after your creative moment has passed.
Get your partner on board
I am so lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband – it’s not something that I take for granted! He knows that creative time is an important part of my mental health and so earlier this year when I brought up the idea of taking our son to drop-in childcare once a week so I could have a few hours to work alone he immediately agreed.
As moms, it can be hard to admit that we need some time to focus on things other than motherhood. But, we totally need that time – at least I do! Talk to your partner about your need for some time to focus on your personal goals. If you’re in a supportive relationship your partner will be receptive of your needs and willing to work with you to make your creative time happen. Our partners don’t know what we need unless we ask for it.
Be realistic about your time
Lastly, be realistic about your time. I know that juggling motherhood and all of your other responsibilities can be totally overwhelming and draining. If you’re only free time is on Saturdays during naptime – take it! Learn to get comfortable with slowly progressing toward your goal and recognize that each creative moment is bringing you closer.
Also, those kiddos can be pretty finicky about their naptimes. I don’t need to tell you that – you’re living it (me too). Understand that you will have to be flexible with your planned Creative Moments. Sometimes it just won’t work out. That’s a bummer, but it’s okay. Take care of your little corner of the world and know that there will always be another day to nurture your creative spirit.
Are you ready to start prioritizing creativity in your life? Trust me, you will be so happy that you did. I’d love to hear about your big creative goals and how you’re squeezing creative moments into your busy life. Leave a comment below!
If you’re looking for a hobby to channel your creative energy, be sure to check out my list of Realistic Hobbies for Creative Stay at Home Moms.