How can you cultivate creativity through the seasons of motherhood? I’m thrilled to welcome Rebekah Hargraves back to Chaotic Life with this guest contribution. While we’re not quite as in sync as we were with Rebekah’s “The True Key to Finding Balance“, her post definitely resonated with me when I read through it to prep it for publication today. Busy Moms who have been blessed with an abundance of creativity, you’ll definitely want to pay attention.
Cultivating Creativity through the Various Seasons of Motherhood
I was so excited to learn that Lauren had chosen “Seasons of Motherhood” to be her topic for May. At first, I was tempted to write something along the lines of “enjoy whatever season you’re in – they all go by so fast!” We have likely all heard our fair share of wisdom along those lines, however, so I began to brainstorm more about this topic and finally came up with what I wanted to share with you all today. I hope you are encouraged!
You Can Still Have Interests and Talents!
Mama, do you remember the woman that you were before you became a mom? Maybe you were the woman who loved to write and had dreams of being an author. Perhaps you loved art and regularly set aside time to make a masterpiece on a canvas. Maybe you were a voracious reader. Maybe you felt so alive when you were out volunteering at your local soup kitchen or women’s shelter. Or perhaps it was an Etsy shop you ran. Maybe it was something else altogether!
But whatever your interest was, it was there. You had interests. You had hobbies. You had your own unique set of giftings that you knew were given to you by God to use for His glory.
Then you became a mom. And you bought into a lie that you are now too busy for any hobbies or talents or interests outside of your children.
Don’t get me wrong – your children are to be your primary priority (after God and your husband) and your calling to mother them well and to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is a vastly important, world-changing mission.
I could write about the importance of that all the livelong day. I am not at all saying you need to take big chunks of time, leave your kids with other people, and go out and find your mission. You are living your primary mission when you are with your family. And we would certainly do well to remember that.
But that isn’t all you’re called to. It isn’t all you have time for. It isn’t meant to be your sole mission 24/7.
Don’t Fall into the Trap!
Today, I want to give you permission and inspiration, mama. Permission to go beyond merely the “me-time” concepts of going out for a manicure or taking the time to watch your favorite tv show and to instead yearn for more. Inspiration to think back and remember what your own unique interests and giftings were before you became a mom and consider how you might be able to implement some of those again little by little in each and every season of life.
After all, Satan would like nothing more than for you to focus all of your time every single day solely on entertaining, caring for, and focusing on your children and their needs. Again, yes, you need to remember that, as a mother, one of your primary roles is to mother your children. But Satan wants you to have a child-centric home, which was something we were, in fact, never meant to have.
The Enemy wants your home to be a child-centric one because he knows that such a family culture oftentimes produces children who have little to no understanding of the concepts of authority and submission, sacrifice, selflessness, gratitude, or working as a team.
Likewise, Satan wants the whole of your time to be focused on the kiddos because he knows that is a sure recipe for burnout and lack of vision for your life as a mom. When all of our time is focused on changing diapers, feeding toddlers, playing with the kiddos, doing their laundry, answering their questions, etc. etc. (all of which are indeed super important!), we quickly lose sight of the big picture, of the importance of what we are doing, and we can easily become despondent, discouraged, and sometimes even a little bitter.
My mothering hero, Sally Clarkson, so often says that a mom at home alone with her children all day every day can quickly become a target for Satan. That’s so true!
Throw in a Little Creativity!
So, here’s what I want you to do today, mama. Again, think back to what your favorite hobbies and interests were, ponder how the Lord has uniquely gifted you, and then brainstorm how you can incorporate a little bit of time for those pursuits into your daily life.
Take it from me – I am a stay-at-home mom of two kiddos 2 and under and yet I have a blog, just started a podcast, and am now beginning work on an ebook. Not because I’m some superwoman. Please hear me on that! I’ll repeat it if need be: I am NOT superwoman! 😉
But, rather, because I dedicate bits of time to those pursuits in the mornings before my kiddos get up or occasionally for a little bit in the evenings while my husband is playing with our little ones or on an occasional afternoon here or there while my mom or another loved one spends a little bit of time with our littles.
It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated! You just have to draw up a plan that works for you and your family. And you have to be willing to tweak it as need be, as you go through the various seasons of your life as a mom.
The main thing is that you remember this – you CAN and SHOULD instill a little creativity into your everyday, whatever that looks like for you.
Be the woman God made you to be while exercising and putting to good use the gifts that He gave to you. Doing so, while exercising within the confounds of proper priorities, is far from selfish or wrong. I believe it is obedience to the God who gave you those gifts and expects you to use them, both in and out of the sphere of motherhood.
After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you want to pour your very best self into the important little people in your life, you are going to have to first fill up your cup. You’ll have to take the illustration from the movie Mom’s Night Out and put it into practice – that illustration of being on an airplane and putting on your oxygen mask before you tend to your seat mate. Because if you are without oxygen, the likelihood is that you will be unable to tend to the needs of the others on the plane with you.
Likewise, when we are taking the time, as our season of motherhood allows, to pursue interests and practice and use our God-given talents and gifts, we are providing our children with a tangible example of how they themselves can and should do that, as well! If all our children ever see is us toiling over our to-do lists and living a life characterized by busyness, that is likely exactly what they will grow up to do themselves.
What a waste of their gifts that would be! Let’s lead by example, mamas! Let’s encourage and inspire our children to use their God-given gifts for His Kingdom as we seek to do so ourselves.
I hope you have been encouraged today, mama. If you are looking for some practical tips for how to make time for these kinds of pursuits, I highly recommend that you check out the article 10 Ways to Make Time for Projects by Lisa Hensley. When it comes to creativity and motherhood, that woman will bless your socks off!
About Rebekah Hargraves
Rebekah Hargraves is a twenty-something Christian, wife, mama, homemaker, homeschool graduate, writer, home business owner, blogger, and Texas-native-turned-Tennessean. How’s that for a mouthful? Her passions include being a helpmeet to her husband, going on once-a-month dates, drinking coffee, writing, homemaking, crafting, cooking and baking, hospitality, enjoying silly dance parties with her little girl, candles, music, reading, and being a student of many topics.
You can visit her website by clicking here.