In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

How to Make Time for the Creative Life when your Kids are Little

One of my goals for 2013 is to do something creative every single day.  It doesn't need to be a big project, in fact it can be as small as arranging some flowers in a eye pleasing way or taking pictures of something I wouldn't normally think to photograph.  Here are some ways that I am learning to incorporate creativity into my busy diaper-filled days.

1. Make it a priority. When things get stressful it's easy to start eliminating the non essential things on our to-do list.  We think that we don't have time for the tasks that refresh and rejuvenate us.  But it is exactly when we are overwhelmed that we need those things the most. So choose to make room for creativity.

2. Surround yourself with beautiful materials. Buy a stack of pretty papers of fabrics or paints or whatever and put it where you will see it often.  Let the colours and patterns inspire you and spark your imagination.

3. When you are excited about a project, tackle it right away.  So often when I dream up a project I put it to the bottom of an already long list of ideas.  By the time I get to it, my vision and excitement for the project is gone.  Put projects you are excited about at the top of the list!

4. Leave the dishes undone.   I can't tell you how many times I've intended to work on a project after I got the kitchen tidied up from dinner and the kids bathed and off to bed, and then when it was all said and done just collapsed on the couch instead.  Leave the dishes in the sink once in a while and create something beautiful. 

5. Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.  Get creative and crafty with the things that need to be done anyways.  Sew your daughter a dress instead of buying one (It may actually take less time than it does to take kids to the mall!), arrange dinner artfully on the plate, decorate a birthday cake with some flair.

6. Involve the kids.  Sit down at the kitchen table with some art supplies and let the kids come and experiment and create and learn.   We show our kids an immense amount of respect when we let them freely create.

7. Make it an event.  Later this month I'm having some ladies over for a sewing night. I can't wait!  

8. Stop doubting your own creativity.   Embrace your own style.  Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes.  Experiment with materials that are new to you.  You are created in the image of a Creator, so create something beautiful today!

What ways do you make time for the creative life?

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  1. Thanks for this post! I'm pregnant with #5 and feeling overwhelmed and sick and find myself dreaming of having the time to start creating again. I need to just do it because it always makes me feel refreshed. Really needed this encouragement today! Thanks again!

  2. I know the sister of a famous sculptor...she said her family's home was always messy because Mommy was on the floor, helping all the kids with their art projects. Those kids grew up, knowing they had talent, knowing their parents and siblings supported their creativity, making family memories AND THEY HAD FUN!

    How could this possibly be a bad thing?

    You are a very wise Mommy and I know you are doing a great job, having some fun along the way!

    Hugs to you all,
    Mother Connie

  3. Love this--- my husband really encourages me to make creating a priority; he knows it refreshes and rejuvenates me!

    I'm getting better at it. Found too that by the time everything is done at night, I'm too tired to sew or even think about what it is I wanted to do.

    One thing that helps me is to just start something; like cut out the fabric so it's ready to sew. That way I can just sit down and work on it when I have a minute!

  4. I love your last point. I know I tend to put creating things low on my list of priority. I have all these hard piano pieces I want to learn, but that would take 30 minutes a day for a few months, and it just doesn't seem to matter as much as the other things. That we're imitating God by being creative really helps put it in perspective--it *is* important!

  5. Kelly, you know I agree with you on this one... creativity feeds us, and you are one of my biggest inspirations -- if you manage to fit it in, I can't figure out a good reason why I shouldn't be able to!

    I wrote a series about creativity's importance back in January:

    and featured you on day 25!

    Thanks for encouraging us - I love your line about being created in the image of a Creator. It's true.

  6. It's number one and number four that always get me! Thanks for the motivation to embrace my creative side. I really do put it off all too often and find myself unnecessarily overwhelmed and worn out.

  7. Love the post!

    Doing this kind of stuff is always what makes being a parent fun!

  8. Thank you for this!

    "Stop doubting your own creativity. Embrace your own style."

    I don't always feel overly creative. I'm not sure WHO it is I'm trying to impress!!

  9. Thank you so much for this post! You make me feel liberated to just do something I like rather than continue doing the tasks repeatedly that make my life tedious. The last point is so thoughtful - we are created to create things! What liberation!

    Love your blog :-)

  10. I find it easy to get stuck in the rut of chores, thanks for a lovely reminder to have some fun along the way :) One creative thing I do is spend one Monday night a month with girlfriends making cards. We've diaried the night so it gets priority and we have so much fun creating, chatting, eating, praying for each's so much more than paper craft!

  11. Hi Kelly, I am a Grandma, and I still find your advice so true. My number on your list is #3. I have a lot of enthusiasm for a project, put it at the bottom of my list, and poof, when (and if) I get to that idea all my energy for this item is deflated. Thanks for sharing. Love your little sweets with brushes. A true loving photo. Blessings and smiles, Emilou :-)

  12. Creativity feeds us. Great post thanks for sharing with us.

  13. I am writing a series on this right now! Amazing how this topic is on so many hearts right now. My big takeaway? Drop stuff from the schedule that isn't really important.
    ( )

  14. There are so many crafty projects I want to take on so I really need to focus on #3 and just start one already! I always put them off because I figure why start one when I won't be able to finish it? Who knows, maybe I would surprise myself and actually finish one!

  15. Thanks for the great post. I needed this today! I really enjoy your blog. :)

  16. Monique EinwechterMarch 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Hi Kelly,
    Thanks so much for this post. I am mamma to three children under three.

    When I first read your post, I confess, I gave into a moment of despair - pretty much everything I do is necessary and can't really be dropped. But then it hit me, all three of my little ones are having quiet time, now's my chance. I've got my sewing machine out and am off to spend a few minutes working on flannel sheets!

    ~ Monique

  17. Awesome ideas! What are you making for your sewing night? It sounds like fun!

    1. We all made aprons. There was more talking and chocolate eating done than actual sewing, but it was great fun! :)

  18. That sounds like a great idea! I need to do this in my 'hood. I know a couple of ladies who sew. My church has a group but they get together at a time that is tough to reconcile with my schedule.

  19. I love this post. I have a 16 month old and the second he goes to sleep or nap I read my bible first and then craft until he wakes up. I get so excited every day for that time. I really enjoy your blog and feel inspired by another Christian crafter. I am doing the 31 Days to build a better blog and I'm analyzing your blog because it's one of the best!


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