Making & Mothering Series : Shannon Cook of Luv in the Mommyhood

Hi everyone, I’m Shannon and I’m the blogger behind www.luvinthemommyhood.com and the sewing/knitting pattern designer behind www.veryshannon.com. I’m so excited that Sonia asked me to join you all on the Stash blog today to talk about making & mothering!

Creativity is like air to me. Without it I’m not a happy person, mommy, wife or friend. You see I need a certain amount of time to create each day or it builds up in me like a kettle about to whistle. I won’t be able to sleep or focus & my hands get twitchy – all I’ll be able to think about is the need to make. The tricky part is not in the making itself (though that is sometimes tricky, we all make oopsies and have off days) it’s in the “not feeling guilty for making time for YOU” part. Not for the kids, the hubby, your chores etc but making time for you. Yes, you. You’re just as important as your family & loved ones are around you. You see your happiness helps keep them happy.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp (my review)

Now don’t get me wrong, we all get bit by the guilt bug. You are not alone. We all have the “I should be cleaning or playing the with the kids” syndrome. There’s laundry, there’s dirty dishes, etc but these things will always be there and believe it or not your kids pick up on your cues to create. Instead of having them whining for your attention when you are having your “creating time” include them. Get them making right alongside you. Involve them in the process. Let them see what a fabulous and wonderful feeling it is to create something with their own two hands. Teach them. Inspire them.

You see, it’s not just you making and creating, it’s your children too. They will be proud of their mom, they will wear the clothes you knit or sew to school and tell everyone and their dog you made it for them and do it with so much love! They will start drawing things for you to make for them. They will eventually ask to learn how to make them for themselves and the day will come that you will realize the guilt is NOT ok. Feel proud for being the mother and woman that you are that is doing something they love and teaching their children to love it too. There is not a single bad thing about that time you enjoyed. Relish in it. Create & find the time to make it a priority for you and your family for it feeds the soul. And don’t we all know that a happy momma means a happy life. Don’t starve yourself of something that you are passionate for. Make it something that you can taste a bit of everyday.

 
I’m not perfect. I have bad and good days. I don’t get to do all the things I wish I could everyday and my house is never fully clean. But the way I try to fit creative time in is with time blocking. I’m a strong believer in doing it when I can. I like to schedule my time efficiently because let’s face it – there is never enough of it. I use my microwave timer to set an alarm for when it’s time to move on to the next block of time. It helps me not to lose track of time sewing or working on the computer and helps my kids to know when mommy is all theirs and when it’s independent play time. It also allows me to feel like my girls and I get some creative time each day together and that’s very important in our household.

I rely heavily on sticky notes and my google calender because since childbirth I swear my memory is not what it once was and have admitted defeat that it will ever regain itself so I now rely on apps and technology to help me keep it all straight. And before you ask, yes, our house is most of the time in chaos. Most days its good chaos though. Crayons, papers, yarn, lego, drawings, paintings, dolls, handmade clothes, projects in the works, dreams being made real…it’s all important that chaos. It’s all a little piece of mine and their imaginations. No matter how old we get we all still need to nurture our imagination and our creativity. No matter how dirty or clean the house is.

So sit down when you have some quiet before bed tonight, take out a blank piece of paper and a pencil and write down what YOU want to make more time for to make you happy. And then do it. No excuses. Wake up each morning and say it and do it. It will become natural like breathing and before you know it you will always have yarn in your purse, sketchbooks & journals in your car, your bags, your house, crayons, hand sewing ready to go….you will find your balance…even if it’s crazy balance because after all life is not perfect – nor should it be, for it’s in the unbalance that we find our sources of inspiration and dig deep inside ourselves to create with meaning.

You can read more posts on the journey for creative balance on my blog luvinthemommyhood.com here:

creative habit: do you have one?
finding inspiration in weird places
finding balance in my daily routine
struggling to find time to be creative

Make sure to pop by and say hi! I’d love to hear from you! Thank you again for having me Sonia!!!

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Thanks for joining us!  This week Shannon and her friend Jane Richmond announced the upcoming publication of a new book collaboration: Journey.  We loved Island, and are thrilled to see this book in person very soon.  You can check out the inspiring, beautiful book trailer here.

We hope you’re enjoying the Making & Mothering Series.  If so, please leave a comment or click on one of the the shiny buttons below this post and share it with a freind.  It may be just the thing she needs to read today!

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