Creativity takes on so many forms.
It can be the “classic” definition of creativity, you know, the artistic kind of creativity. But it is so much more.
Creativity in motherhood is something that comes up often in my mind. Here are some thoughts.
As a small creative business owner, the more artistic kind of creativity is included in this, but is not reduced simply to art. Here’s how I think creativity and motherhood can go really well together.
1. Take inspiration from your children’s creativity and imagination.
Some of my favourite photographs I have taken of my children are ones of them playing. Watching them in their imaginary world gives me so many fun photography ideas. Their creativity in the way they play draws out creativity in me. I’ve included a few of them here to show you recent examples. I love trying out new things with photography. Getting down to their level, get right in front of them, far back and take in the whole scene...
Watching what your children love also gives ideas for products children would love. For us, anything with a bus on will be a massive hit with our 2-year-old. So I’m planning a birthday card with busses on. Wouldn’t have thought of that without bus chases around the kitchen table!
2. Let your children be inspired by your creativity
I recently took a massive piece of foam board I no longer needed and drew a few roads and squares for houses as well as a hospital on it with a sharpie. My plan was to get the children to build with Lego and add actual buildings on to the foam board and use cars and trains to go along the roads. This did not happen. Instead, Bethany, 7, added buildings of her own - a coffee shop, a petrol station, a farm, a play park... you know, the essentials. She took example from my creativity and expanded using her own ideas. As you can see, it’s been well used since.
A month or so ago, I watched a paint along by Polly Crossman and my 7 and 5 year olds also joined in, painting their own whales and octopi.
They love to join in - so find age appropriate ways to let them whenever you can.
3. Give them opportunities to create.
There are so many toys that have such broad boundaries that they allow heaps of creativity. Lego, duplo, train tracks, magnatiles... if you begin building, they will most likely join in and take over coming up with ideas of their own.
Sidewalk chalk is also great for minimal mess artistic creativity, as are paint sticks.
4. Being a mother requires creativity.
How will I get my child to walk when he is adamant he will not? I try a few things. I get creative. I say I’m going to catch him and make it a game. I say we will get some snack when we’re home. I bounce like a frog and ask him to do it too... how high can he jump? I point out a dog walking over there - let’s see if we can catch up with him! And on and on until I find something that works.
Same with eating dinner. Who hasn’t tried the aeroplane spoon in to the toddler’s mouth?!
God has given us creative minds. All of us. Not just those of us he has also gifted with artistic minds. He has also made some of us mothers. It stands to reason therefore that we should use our creativity in motherhood.
I will be speaking more on this and having a discussion with two other fab mums and small business owners, Jenny and Rach at the Creative Christianity Summit next month. It’s an online event, organised by Menekse of Cheerfully Given, running from 15-19th June with access to all the sessions for a year after (so don’t worry if you miss a few) and there’s also an attendees only podcast so you can listen and be inspired on the go. If you want to find out more about the summit, head over here.