as a chronic maker, i can’t help but have my head and hands focussed on the next project. i am just beginning to understand that it is at the essence of my being… it is something that builds and replenishes me, a core desire. cool! problem. the wisdom of motherhood has only allowed me to understand this about myself because i have so much less time (and as if to prove this point, as i italicized ‘time’ my daughter just popped out of bed!) to create. i’m really feeling the effects of running ragged after the chaotic whims of a 1.5 & 3 year old, working a day job, husband working nights, night after night of broken sleeps and not having time to focus on getting my creative energies out. i’m really not whining (really?!) – i just wonder if it is possible to find a heathy balance in family, work & recreation with young ones?
it is important to think about this holistically. it isn’t selfish to consider the needs of the mother (&/or father!) when raising crazy little people, no matter how much the martyr syndrom nags you otherwise. if the mother isn’t healthy & happy, how can she fully attend to the needs of her children, let alone create an environment where the family can flourish? so! it is critical that the mother set aside time to replenish and address her core needs, which will be different for everyone (and i now know mine to be creating).
point understood! but, but, but… how? i’m chronically sleep-deprived and my time is booked solid. argh! my naturopath told me of a study undertaken in a few communities on the other side of the globe where people experience far less stress-related diseases. conclusion: they live in extended family units, eat from the land, and spend their evenings sitting around the table eating wonderful meals, drinking wine and yacking until the sun sets (my words, but same content!). and i imagine that the task of raising kids is undertaken by all involved, too. sigh… the way we do things over here is so wrong! i don’t know about you, but i feel the pressure to be strong, independent, need-no-help-from-nobody, raise kids, work job, stay in perfect health, and not screw my kids along the way?! it’s ridiculous… and frankly i’m falling apart trying to manage it all.
solutions? i definitely want to change the way i live – i want to be in community, i want to eat food i grow, enjoy life at a slower pace, live with less, take deep breaths & be “in the moment”. but while i work towards those ideals, i have to look for outlets in the hurricane of present day. these are a few things i’m going to implement:
1. teach my kids how to play by themselves for an hour each day.
it’s true! isla is 3 and she has trouble occupying herself without my intervention… i’m sure i just didn’t give her the opportunity to learn, maybe because she was the first. juniper, who is 1.5, is already much more adept at playing solo for the odd moment & i’m hoping that by the time she’s a little older i will be able to say “play time!” and both the girls can occupy themselves without my direct involvement… maybe i could just knit while supervising!
2. get my girls to participate in my projects.
this is more of an investment plan… i know they already love to “help”, but i end up turning into a dragon protecting my gold, puffing smoke outta my nostrils. this is because my intentions are wrong, my intention is to actually get something done! what i plan on doing is changing my perspective to focus on them and not the project, so that they adopt the love of craft time and then, eventually, we can create together or work on our own projects together (for more then 5 seconds i mean).
3. take the work out of creating.
for me this means when i fit in creative making time, i won’t spend that time doing it as work. i currently run an etsy store with some of my creations and i love doing it; however, when i create for business rather than for pleasure i find myself stressing about how much time it’s taking, if it’s exactly what the customer wants, how much it will cost, etc. i need the freedom to fill that small window of time with the fun of making for the sake of exploration. to apply this in a different way, if your passion is, say, running don’t run to lose weight, run for the exhilaration! restore the passion of whatever you do to fill your tank by rediscovering it like a 5 year old – with wonder & without expectation.
what is your core passion? what do you do to feed it during busy times when it can get neglected?