Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The "Art Every Day" of Motherhood

Yarn Stash
As we wrap up the month of November, the Art Every Day challenge is coming to an end.  I didn't blog much about my creative endeavors this month, but I did find little moments throughout the days to create.  I especially enjoyed experimenting with new vegan, gluten-free recipes (that I hope to share soon), and loved getting back to my knitting needles.  I even bought some new yarn for the first time in a long time, and have been working on a few scarves and some felted flower pins.

Rather than making physical art pieces every day, though, I realized that my "art every day" in this moment is actually my practice in mindful mothering.  Balancing being the mother of two and all that comes with staying home with my children, working from home, and making sure my personal self-care and creative interests aren't totally ignored, is quite a challenge for sure!

Here's how I work these days:

Mama working
baby on my chest,

Kes Playing
little boy at my feet,

and kitty above my head.

And some days totally flow (especially the ones when I've gotten sleep)!  I set my expectations aside and simply move from one moment to the next - getting to my art and work in-between the feedings, diaper changes, potty training, laundry, grocery shopping, dinner prepping, playing trains etc.

But some days have me in tears as I throw up my hands and pray for Calgon to take me away! I feel tired, grouchy and frustrated because I can't spend more than one minute on anything without getting interrupted or someone needing something from me.

Being a mother is hard work.  We all know it's a 24/7 job with little breaks.  And here's what I can say without a doubt -  I love being a mom.  I love staying home with my children.  AND I love my creative work.  I used to have a belief system that the household duties somehow held more importance or value over my creativity.  Now I know that is just plain ridiculous.  If I don't make time for me, my art and the work I love so much, than I'm that tired, grouchy mama that no one wants to be around.  But when I put value on and make me, my art and my work a priority - NO MATTER WHAT - than I am joyful, happy and really fun to be with!

Making space for our creativity is absolutely essential.  Learning how to do this is an art form in itself.  For me, this notion of "art every day" will continue way beyond the month of November because I've made a conscious choice to create the life I love - EVERY single day.

laundry pile
This pile of laundry is literally stacked in my living room waiting to be folded.  I made the decision this morning to create first and to post this blog entry before folding the clothes.  Now that I've made time for my creativity I can head towards those baskets and simply enjoy folding the clothes, rather than feeling resentful or sad because I don't ever get time for the things I enjoy most.  (Except now I have a little boy who wants to play trains - hence, going with the flow!)

Making these choices, to make ME a priority in my life, is my art every day.  And it's what allows me to be fully present with my children, so I don't miss moments like this one:

Ashton Smiles

Your Personal Reflection:  What takes up your time and energy?  Do you make space for you, your creativity and your personal interests?  What small changes can you make, starting today, to make you and your creativity a priority in your life?  Are you ready to make the conscious choice to create the life you love - every single day?  You deserve to be happy and your creativity matters!  


  1. Oh, Amen Shannon!
    " Making space for our creativity is absolutely essential. Learning how to do this is an art form in itself. For me, this notion of "art every day" will continue way beyond the month of November because I've made a conscious choice to create the life I love - EVERY single day. " You're so right!!!
    I have a huge pile for ironing, and some other of any kind... but I enjoyed re-designing my blog for christmas, today, as tomorrow is a big day for me...
    Love, xoxo

  2. ohhhh that smile! what a sweetie pie. good reminders, and great pictures, sistah.

  3. What a beautiful life you're living! :-)

  4. You are right. It's an art form, and you are proving to be very skilled in it. Master artisan of You. Oooh, look at dat face!

    And I LOVE the red maple below. Stops you in your tracks, it's that gorgeous.

  5. Wonderful post!

    You are living a beautiful life and doing such important work!

    I'm so glad I found your blog during AEDM!

  6. This blog post was so for me today!! I'm a new mom of two as well, and feeling all those same emotions! I have good days and bad... and every single one is busy and I'm usually tired. So thank you for the great inspiration to do what I love first!! :)


  7. Oh, I had such good intentions for better participation in the Creative Every Day challenge. Big, fat, fail for me! Boo. Good for you for making your creative life a priority. <3

  8. I LOVE the picture of the laundry waiting in the wings :D I think you're absolutely right to make it wait!! And I also know how HARD that can be - to make a conscious decision towards yourself. BIG cheer for you :)
    & your babies are still gorgeous ;)

  9. Dear Shannon, you are so refreshingly open and honest and I love reading your posts. I have been so super busy, but it's always lovely stepping over here. I just want to say YOU ARE AMAZING and totally inspirational. I feel emotion whell up as I totally relate to so much of what you write. You are doing courageously well in fact as I realise now how much better it got when the kids went to school. You are doing the toughest part right now (unless you choose to homeschool of course!:) and it gets easier.

    I have had soooo many moments of resenting the cleaning, shopping, housework etc and now I am honouring the part of me that needed to be an artist I am so much happier and better to be around and the 'obligatory chores' are more bearable because I also fulfil that part of me.

    I am so, so, grateful that I started the experimental art e-courses as it has definitely helped allow me the space to both parent and do art and I love sharing it with others too :)

    Happy to have *met* you and keep up the great work you are doing on many fronts!


  10. Love, love, love what you've shared here. WHY is it so hard for us to remember that daily chores become so much easier when there has been a moment or two for ourselves? Sometimes when I can't get that moment I at least turn on some good music to help lighten my spirit while I fold or wash or sweep.


Thanks for sharing!