Life,  Mothering

Incorporating Your Craft Into Your Motherhood

Today I want to talk about the relationship between our craft and motherhood. If you’re reading this, chances are you are a mom, and chances are you enjoy crafting. Regardless of the time you spend on crafting while parenting (I know this is a big barrier to crafting), I hope this discussion will encourage you exactly where you need it.

This blog post isn’t meant to be a prescription on how to craft with or without kids. Or even an enlightened form of, “THIS is the right way to enjoy crafting with children !! ” It’s simply a discussion about the value and need for crafting for the sake of sanity with a touch of fighting against the ever present Mom Guilt, and my experience putting the pieces together.

Here’s my take on crafting, little kids, and motherhood.

Meshing all three together is hard! Granted, I’m in what the world has deemed as the “throes of motherhood” aka “the survival years”. Which, let’s just admit that’s a tad dramatic. Yes, babies and toddlers take over your life, but that’s simply motherhood, right?

Over the last four years I struggled with trying to get all three aligned, and became exhausted trying to juggle it all. (I’m currently editing this post with a baby on my hip, drinking my afternoon coffee, because naps didn’t align today.) The beauty that I failed to see during the early years of my son’s life was that crafting and motherhood can seamlessly flow together. We craft when we cook. We craft when we finger paint. We craft when we build with blocks. We craft when mom crochets, and toddler “crochets” next to her.

The beginning of my motherhood.

My desire to start crafting sparked the fullest when I was pregnant with my son. I’ve always felt the urge to create, but pregnancy put an urgency to that desire. Bed rest + 125 degree summer heat in Lake Mead, NV was the perfect inspiration to pick up my hook and make a few things for my baby. After Owen was born, he encompassed my whole life. I was convinced even my heart thumped along solely for him.

Fast forward about 9 months, and I began to notice a lingering, quiet sadness in the background of my life. The combination of birth, a difficult beginning for Owen and me, and the sense of loss for my past life all culminated in that sadness. I simply wanted the full space to live my life the way I wanted it, and not on the 24/7 demands of a baby. Can you relate?

It was time to be creative. Sure, I still cooked new recipes, and spent my time creatively getting my son to sleep. Bless me as a new mom.. the things I did to coax him to sleep. Yet, I longed to paint! Express myself in another way than simple architecture, aka block building, with an infant.

This when my journey to incorporate crafting into my motherhood started. From finishing that painting with Owen in the room with me, I learned that crafting will need to be a stop and go movement. Crafting would need to be put down at any moment to take care of my baby. I learned that pushing pause on crafting was not a bad thing. In fact, taking a step back helps me see the big picture clearer. I’m still learning to manage any frustration when I’m interrupted–it’s not my fault, it’s not my child’s fault, and I can pick this up later.

A few things to remember as you craft.

Crafting is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Crafting teaches our kids value. Value of using our time wisely. Value of sharing a common activity with each other. Value in the handmade over the store bought. (There is nothing wrong with store bought items! But there is a distinct difference in the value of a homemade + handmade item, and something you pick up from the closest box store.) Crafting helps us, as moms, manage the stress and anxiety from life. Finding a way to cope with stress will be one of the best things we will teach our kids.

Crafting makes us better mothers.

Here is where I want to address Mom Guilt. We all experience it. Every single one of us. Guilt is something I battle every. single. day. As I make time to write blog posts, crochet, or practice photography, I feel deeply guilty that I’m not spending my time cleaning the house, meal planning, prepping for dinner, doing laundry, walking the dogs, playing with my kids, teaching my kids, cultivating my marriage, and all the other chores that are LITERALLY NEVER ENDING. Let’s take this moment and ALLOW ourselves a little bit of room to express ourselves creatively. (Yes, I need this allowance, too.)

Mama, you love your kids. Motherhood is hard, challenging, joyous, and probably the best decision you’ve ever made. But Mama, take some time in your days ahead to make room for your craft. It’s important. Your kids need to see you express your creativity.

I would love to hear, or see, how you incorporate your craft into your motherhood! Tag me on Instagram @highdesertyarn or use the #craftingmotherhood in your post. Let’s continue this conversation and support one another as we share our craft with our kids.

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