How Do Parents Make Time To Be Creative?

Finding time to tick one thing off our to-do list each day is tricky enough as a parent, but creating some daily ‘me’ time is more vital than you think.

parent with child

Busy, stressed, exhausted. Welcome to the life of a parent.

With young children continually needing our attention, guidance and a careful watchful eye, it’s tricky to get a minute to ourselves.

So how do you throw in a new creative hobby, when you barely feel like you can get a load of washing done and have a shower?

Whilst seemingly difficult, creating or trying to fit in ‘me’ time is more important than you might think. In fact, studies have shown that in taking up a creative hobby, there is an increase in emotional wellbeing. There’s a growing recognition in psychology research that “creativity is associated with emotional functioning.” By taking part in more everyday creative activities, an “upward spiral” of wellbeing is achieved.

baby with mom mother kiss

It’s said that routine can be helpful for small children, and this may be the key to give yourself that time to be a little bit more creative. In those brief, blissful, yet oddly hectic moments whilst they are napping, at nursery, happily gazing at their mobile or feet-deep in a bucket of Duplo, try to steal 15 minutes to focus on something a bit different.

You might not be able to sit in a room undisturbed for hours with your hobbies like you did before parenthood. But short bursts of creativity can still add up. Former Wired founding editor Mark Frauenfelder says he gives himself 15 minutes a day to indulge in a project or hobby, whether that’s roasting his own beans, making sauerkraut or building his daughter a guitar from a lunchbox.

artists desk

Researchers from the Department of Psychology at New Zealand’s University of Otago identified some of the most beneficial creative hobbies, including creative writing, painting, graphic and visual design, music and drawing.

Recently, the Open College of Art partnered with University for Creative Arts to provide some great online creative courses offering the opportunity to be more creative from your own home, wherever you are in the world.

creative photographer

photographer

One way to squeeze a creative hobby into your routine is to choose something that you can do while spending time with the family. Instead of spiriting yourself away to work on your craft, you can learn how to take a good photograph while out in the park or the beach, illustrate your family activities, or make items for the home using fabrics and textiles.

Making the most of the free time you get, or ensuring you fit some creative ‘me’ time in around your child’s routine will benefit your wellbeing in the long run. It might even give you the energy to tackle the rest of your to-do list.

Have you tried learning a new craft or skill after becoming a parent? What approaches have worked for you? Let us know.

mother daughter creative sunset


Also published on Medium.

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2 comments for “How Do Parents Make Time To Be Creative?

  1. 20 January 2017 at 2:28 pm

    This is so true, I started my photography degree a year after my first child and it helped me get a sense of perspective back in my life. Second time around I was back studying as soon as my baby was asleep, she even came on a couple of study visits, the OCA’s youngest member yet! Plus babies make the most photogenic of subjects!

  2. Sam
    23 January 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Posts like this make me realise that my struggle is real! Being a busy mum tends to suck any creativity out of me but there are moments when I take a moment and look, I mean really look, an idea comes to mind which sparks a passion and hey presto, I make time. I feel refreshed and accomplished after taking time out to be creative and in turn I’m sure it makes me a better mum. So there you have it, making time to be creative, makes you a better parent!

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