Creativity as a Transformational Tool in Motherhood
Creativity coach Desiree East provides top tips on the creative life.
Posted May 5, 2021 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan
- As mothers, we are often in survival mode and neglect self-care. A creative practice can be a powerful tool of transformation for mothers.
- Creative practices that moms can integrate into their lives include journaling, doodling in a sketchbook, or playing an instrument.
- A creative practice has many benefits, including increasing present-moment awareness and gratitude.
How does creativity play a role in our lives as mothers?
At the heart of it all, we are the ultimate creators, bringing life into form, and somehow, between diaper changes, soccer games, and emotional waves that we ride on daily, we’ve lost sight of the miracle that is creativity. As mothers, we are constantly on the go, somewhat in a frenzy of survival mode. That would be our left-brain serving us, so graciously. The meal planning, the scheduling, the decision-making, all the critical skills we need to help us get organized and stay on track. But where does self-care come in? More importantly, how and where do we weave the time in to process all the emotional ups and downs that come with motherhood and parenting?
Using creativity as a tool for self-care and transformation
I naively thought that once I got through the early postpartum stage of motherhood, that things would get easier. Now knowing better, I realize that we are in a constant dance of transformation with our children (and partners). We are constantly evolving and co-creating with our children, supporting any given milestones that they (or we) are mastering at that moment in time.
There are tons of resources for our children to get creative, and most of the time we’re very good at encouraging and supporting their creative growth. No problem there — we’ve got finger paints, watercolors, fun art classes, dance lessons, music lessons, singing lessons, so much fun! But what about the adults? Where along the timeline of our lives did we decide to stop playing and deprive ourselves of creativity?
Sometimes we might say to ourselves, “With the million things to check off of my to-do list, where could I possibly find time to play and create? Creating art or maintaining a creative hobby is a luxury, and besides, I’m not even an artist!” But creativity is your birthright. You are inherently creative. Creativity is how we process the world and the meanings we make of our lives.
Creative practices for moms
Here are some very simple creative practices mothers could apply to their lives.
If you can set time to do creative activities alone, excellent. If you find your little one hanging on for dear life on your pant leg, invite him or her to play. If your teenager is having an emotional week, model what it means to process emotions in healthy ways by teaching him or her how to do so through journaling, painting, or playing music.
Some simple ideas include:
- Weekly journaling or stream of conscious writing
- Doodling in a sketchbook or coloring in coloring books
- Finger painting, painting with watercolors, painting on a canvas, and freely expressing yourself in abstract ways
- Playing an instrument, dancing, singing, and simply being aware of rhythm, breath, and movement
Benefits of a personal creativity practice
There are countless benefits of a personal creativity practice, especially as a form of self-care, including:
- Learning how to sink into present-moment awareness
- Using breath work to calm your nervous system
- Embracing gratitude and appreciation
- Finding the wisdom in the messages that come from art, creativity, and writing
- Finding a new shift, perspective, or meaning regarding life and hardships
- Developing higher emotional intelligence and rewriting healthier belief systems in your life
As mothers, our goal is not to be perfect. Like artists, many might think that we have to create the perfect piece of work that will "wow" the viewer. In my eyes, we’re all doing and trying our best, evolving as the moments teach us what we need to know at that given moment. This is what both art and motherhood invite us to embrace.