It’s 8:30 pm and I’m just sitting down at the end of a long day. The couch has been whispering to me for hours, but the energy of dinner prep, cleanup, after dinner playtime, bath and bedtime have kept me moving. By now my daughter is sleeping soundly in her bed, and the rest of the night is mine. Unfortunately for me, I have always leaned toward an early bedtime which means I now have an hour and a half at most before I’m asleep with a book on my face. These 90 minutes are precious. This cannot be the only time I give myself out of a total of 24 hours. I need this block of uninterrupted adult time to focus on my knitting, my wife, and a good movie (or a bad one. I’m not really that particular these days).
That said, I’m finding that it’s important to fit in small pockets of time throughout the day to create. To connect. To feel inspired. I have to take breaks at work to play with the yarn, to make a new display, take a few photos, move a table.
These moments of creating something, beautifying the space around me, or of feeling connected to my creativity are critical. Without them I would be a frazzled shell of myself. Without them, I would not be happy. So why do we sometimes feel that these moments come last in the hierarchy of care? Why do some of us put our personal needs after everyone else (even the dog’s)?
Before my daughter was born, I could knit pretty much whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted. I made her dozens of things, things I could make while she was around, then plop onto her as soon as they were off the needles. When she was a small baby, I still got in a lot of time with my yarn and needles; she was a great napper! But as time has passed and she’s grown and our work lives have changed, that isn’t possible in the same way.
I keep my knitting out and work on it throughout our time at home. I bring it with me in the car, and to work. And when knitting isn’t possible, I’m creating in other ways: writing, cooking, taking photos, rearranging the mantle…
Making something with my hands every day is a priority.
How do you make time for your creative pursuits? Do you treat yourself after your family has been cared for? Do you fit bursts of making in throughout your day?
To help answer this question, we have invited some other women who have been down this same road as mothers and makers. Once a month we will be sharing this space and having a conversation about what it means to be a creative person, how we find creative bliss in a busy day, and how we incorporate (or don’t) our little ones into the making. Our first interview is with knitter + mother Susan B. Anderson and comes with a book giveaway! Be sure to stay tuned to this space.
Some of the best conversation happens in the comments, so please feel free to share what has and hasn’t worked for you. We’re all doing the best that we can, and to hear support and ideas from one another is invaluable.