Believe me when I say, I know what it feels like to have zero creative time. Or at least, it feels that way. Your kids wake up before you do, and earlier than you ever could. There’s a flurry of feeding them multiple times a day and all the dishes that come along with that. Projects and activities and loads laundry. You homeschool the older kids while simultaneously trying to avoid the nuclear meltdowns of the toddler. Nap time becomes your own nap time, because sanity. By the time your day is over, you’re ready to crash in bed, but not before you’ve mourned a little for the loss of your creativity that’s itching to get out of you and on to your canvas of choice.
But I’m also here to tell you it’s possible to make time.
It takes some sacrifice, sure. You might need to drink some extra coffee or go to bed a bit early to get that much needed sleep, but it can be done.
Nix the Netflix.
This was a huge one for me. I would turn on my favorite crime shows the moment I’d get my toddler down for a nap. And binge for hours before bed. I’m not saying I never watch anymore, but it’s a lot less frequent. I’ll binge when a new season shows up on Netflix, but then ignore it for weeks at a time. My only remaining not-even-guilty Netflix pleasure is when a new amazing docu gets added, which I’ll watch while I paint or design for clients.
Duh. You’re a parent, so you drink this by the gallon anyway. But coffee is my creative beverage of choice, and taking the time to make my favorite drink (cappuccino in the winter, iced macchiato in the summer) before a bout of creativity gets me in that mindset.
Have project time with your kids.
This is a big one, especially if you homeschool. Set them up at the table with you or in the same room. Give them their direction, equipment, homework, whatever. Then you all get to work. Show them that you can be just as dedicated to your work as they should be towards their schoolwork. If they’re done with their schoolwork for the day, have a stash of art supplies that they can use – they love to use the fancy art supplies you do, so have a box of whatever medium you create in that they’re allowed to play around with.
Create a spot to leave your supplies out.
It’s too much work to lug everything out, then realize nap time will be over in twenty minutes, and then have to frantically clean everything up before the toddler grabs your messy brushes. I love those tiered IKEA carts for this reason. Everything I need is always right next to my easel, I’ve got canisters for water or mineral spirits, all my paints, and extra supplies lower down. If needed, it can be rolled away to a locked room if you have one of those toddlers with a propensity to bite tubes of paint. #iknownothingaboutthistypeoftoddler
Set a timer.
If it’s too daunting to have large, unstructured times to create, set yourself 30 minutes to an hour that you’ll work during. This also gets you used to being super productive in short bursts, which is all you might get when you have kiddos.
Any tips for me?
Let me know what you do to get that creative time in when you’re a mum…because us busy artist mums can use all the help we can get!