I glanced at my phone, checking to see how much time we had until our bus arrived. Worried that we would miss it, I frantically tried to get my 2-year-old’s coat on her while I simultaneously shoved all of her clothes from the morning into her backpack. Of course, at that moment, my daughter thought it would be hilarious to run around the classroom, giggling at this fun new game where her mama chases after her in a failed attempt to both stay calm and get her out the door.
I felt the heat in me rise as my annoyance at her behavior intensified. I tried to take a deep breath to calm myself down, worried that the annoyance would soon turn to anger.
Finally, I reached my breaking point, and I snapped.
“GET HERE, NOW!”
I watched as her tiny features crumpled. With scrunched eyes she let out a wail as tears streamed down her face.
In that moment, I felt like a horrible human being yelling at my 2-year-old for doing what 2-year-olds do.
As parents, we pour so much of ourselves into the care of our children.
Love, attention, time. It often comes at the sacrifice of our own needs. We may have days, weeks, months where we feel tired both physically and emotionally, drained from that constant giving. It may not necessarily lead to yelling, but it can still leave us feeling depleted and like we’re failing at this parenting gig.
I have found in order to be the best mom I can be — a parent who is happy, engaged, fulfilled, and able to reign in my own feelings when I am on the cusp of losing it — that there is one thing above all us that allows me to be that parent.
Namely, having a creative outlet.
Now I know what you’re thinking. I’m too busy. I don’t have time. I’m not a creative person. I barely have time to take a shower, let alone do something creative.
I’m sure you can think of a thousand reasons why parents having a creative outlet just isn’t going to happen, but I’m going to share a few reasons why you should.
4 Reasons Parents Need A Creative Outlet
1. Creativity leads to mindfulness.
Immersing yourself in something creative forces you to focus on the present moment and can be meditative. If you’re concentrating on figuring out a complicated knitting pattern, coming up with a new recipe that your family will devour, even coloring in a coloring book, your mind is on that moment. This it turns can help you train your mind to be more present with your children when you are spending quality time with them, something that can otherwise be challenging when our devices serve as a constant connection to the outside world and we have a million things running through our mind.
2. Spending time on creative outlets gives you time for yourself.
It’s so important that we take care of ourselves both physically and emotionally. Doing a creative activity that you love is for you and for you alone. — not your kids, not your partner, not your best friend. As we often must put the needs of others before ourselves, it’s essential that we carve out that time for us, whether it be for five minutes or five hours. Not only that, you are modeling for your children the importance of self-care.
3. Creativity is rejuvenating.
As parents, we need to refuel our tanks, which can start to run low after making decisions about other people, balancing our family and work lives, and running our households. Doing creative activities allows us to take a step back and reenter the parenting world back feeling refreshed. I can tell you every time I return from making jewelry I feel like a new person ready to take on my responsibilities as a mom.
4. It makes you happy.
We make a lot of sacrifices when we have children, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be happy. Making time for the things you enjoy and having a way to express yourself creatively, whatever that expression may be, is guaranteed to make you happy. And face it, a happy mom is an essential ingredient to a happy family.
Whatever your creative outlet may be and how much time you devote to it, it can be immensely beneficial to you as a parent. Not only will it help you get through some of those more trying parenting moments, but it will likely appreciate your family even more.
If you’d like to learn strategies for how to make time for creativity in your busy life as a parent, I’m giving away a copy of my book, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity, to one lucky reader of Parenting from the Heart. Giveaway is now closed.. You can also a free chapter of the book sent right to your inbox by filling out the form below:
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