Several months ago, I read an article about Amanda Peat in Cookie Magazine. She made the comment, “When you’re able to identify your passions, then your child will be able to identify hers.â€ In my head, her comment translated into â€œwhen we keep up our hobbies, it shows our children that hobbies are important.â€
Like many moms, I could not recall what it is I used to enjoy doing. There is a pile of unread books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I realized that when we pull out the art supplies, I tend to stand nearby supervising, but never get involved with my own project. When we turn on the music to dance, I dance for a little while then, busy myself with cleaning while the kids are preoccupied. Cooking has become a chore with the baby crying the whole time at my feet and the older two getting into things or starting fights every five minutes.
Back in June, I took a trip to see my family who live half a world away. I was chatting with my youngest sister about this very topic. She and I share a familiar trait that the house must be clean before we can proceed with any arts and crafts project. Silly isnâ€™t it? Creativity swiftly comes and flutters away. By the time we are finished cleaning and pull out the sewing machine or all the art supplies, we are tired or the inspiration has vanished. My sister was adamant about having a place to put the scrap booking supplies and the sewing machine. A place where the creative projects and material can be left out waiting for her return, allowing her to pick up where she left off.
Some ways that I have been able to incorporate my creative needs in with those of three young children, is I started leaving a book or two in the car for the days we take a drive or are out running errands. (Stephen is driving of course). I also have a couple books in the kitchen I peruse while I eat my breakfast or for later in the day when I steal away to the back patio while the children are napping.
I have a small desk in my bedroom that houses my sewing machine and a small cabinet for all my supplies. I found a basket to store the projects I want to work on and any ideas I have for future crafts.
The childrenâ€™s art supplies are in a cabinet downstairs in the kitchen. I love walking into the room and seeing them creating. Even Everett, who is one, is passionate about his drawing. Their favorite masterpieces are displayed throughout the kitchen taped to cabinet doors and on the walls. Their eyes light up every time they spot a favorite picture they created.
Mason and Adelin get a real kick when I sit down with them to work on a drawing or painting. Knowing they will want to do what I am doing, I try to come up with an idea that is similar to what I am working on. While I knit, they use their yarn needles and a square of plastic canvas or make crochet chains. If I want to scrapbook, I give the kids their own stickers, scissors and paper. If I am cooking, they grab their aprons to help out.
I canâ€™t believe I allowed myself to miss out on all of the fun. It certainly takes patience, but I am learning to laugh it off. The most important thing is the TV is off and we are together exploring through creating.