Notes: This column was printed in the Barrow Journal on March 21, 2012. To read the details of this give-away, please scroll to the bottom of the page. (UPDATE: GIVE-AWAY IS NOW CLOSED.)
I was flattered recently when my favorite blogger, Renee Tougas, asked me to contribute a few words to her first mini e-book titled, “Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms.” The book is “part philosophy and part practical – with ideas for how busy moms can make time for creativity in their lives.”
Whether mothers work, stay-at-home, homeschool or not, many of us find little time to nurture ourselves. For those of us who are creative (who isn’t creative?), it’s very hard to find time for artistic pursuits or other hobbies. This can be draining, and it doesn’t always make us happy mothers.
She asked me what my favorite creative activity was and how do I make time for it during this busy season of my life?
If you read my column every week (thank you!), you can probably guess that I love to write. I have been writing in one form or another since I was ten years old. That’s right, in the fourth grade, I said I wanted to be writer, and unfortunately, I never changed my mind.
I say unfortunately only because I never had the right guidance, discipline or foresight to know what to do with my passion. I believe everyone should go after what they want to do, but you can’t be too picky about your options within that field, and you have to work your butt off to get anywhere. I never worked my butt off until now, which means I don’t make much money with my chosen vocation.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy. If you told me 20 years ago that I would find the creative life I was yearning for in being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I would have been horrified. But here I am – loving every minute of it.
And I learned a few years ago that neither failure nor having children could keep me from putting pen to paper. Just when I gave up on writing, the Barrow Journal landed in my mailbox. I let the idea of a column float around in my head for a few months, and now you know the rest. I don’t know if many people read my corner of the paper, but I appreciate the few people who have stopped me in some local store or sent an e-mail to tell me they like my column.
So no matter what, I’m going to write because it’s just something I do, and I have no idea why I feel the need to tell strangers my story, but I do. It’s as essential to me as breathing. I credit this column for keeping my sanity during these last few years. Even when I want to throw in the towel, I know I can’t because if I didn’t have some kind of creative outlet, I might start to resent motherhood. I dare not let that happen.
So when I do I get a chance to write? Sometimes I write in the afternoon when my boys are watching T.V., but mostly I write at night after they go to bed. I make sure I start early in the week because I never know what kind of interruptions I might get or how tired I might be on any given night.
But it can’t go without saying that in order to do this there’s also a lot I don’t do. My house is not very clean, and (here my husband will stand up and nod vigorously) I rarely cook. I do clean once a week to keep the house livable, and I make sure everyone eats, but my abilities in homemaking are lackluster.
I appreciate my husband’s support in my attempts to keep up with this column and my blog and all my other creative attempts. Though he may grumble from time to time, I think he knows (because he is similar) that without being able to do something for myself and without being able to be creative, I wouldn’t be happy. And you know what they say, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”
AND HERE’S THE BEST PART: Renee is offering one free e-book to one of my readers. I had the pleasure of reading “Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Mothers,” and I assure you it’s worth the time to do so. I found much inspiration and encouragement in her words. In addition, Renee wrote with busy moms in mind – it’s short, under 50 pages. So, you have no excuse not to read it.
To enter this give-away, all you need to do is leave a comment before midnight on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 and tell me why you’d like a copy of this inspirational e-book. That’s it. Nothing else. I will let my five-year-old draw one of your names from a hat on Wednesday, and I’ll contact the winner by e-mail that day. I’ll also post your name on my blog unless you tell me not to. You have nothing to lose and much creative inspiration to gain.
One More Note: The wonderful artwork on this page was created by Erika Hastings of Mud Spice: Mucking about in Art and Motherhood.