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Gina Quarles : Making Time for Creativity – The Secret Problem for Moms

Healing Through Creativity

Making Time for Creativity — 'The Secret Problem' for Moms

By Gina Quarles

I sit here this morning as my 2-½ year old is watching Mickey on TV and I am drinking my coffee. The usual runs through my mind. Hmm, laundry, dishwasher, mopping, pick up my teenager at 3:30pm and off to the orthodontist, and dinner.

I check my email, nothing exciting, check my Facebook, nothing exciting, and say to myself, “I am going to switch something up today,” I am going to write. I find myself in this position almost every morning. The daily routine can get old oh too quickly. It once again occurs to me that not all of this “stuff” needs to get done immediately. I would like to get it all done, but we all know the monkey wrenches that get thrown at us to disrupt our plan of being the “perfect” mom.

What would I like to do today? Honestly, have a day off and do whatever I want to do. That would include sleeping in, reading at my leisure, do some much needed writing for sanity reason, eating when “I “ am hungry, shower, and not be on schedule and possibly go out to lunch with a friend. Well, that realistically is not my life at this time. I have met so many stay at home mom’s that claim being at home is the most rewarding and best job they could every dream of and would love to have this privilege forever. “Oh enjoy it” they say,” it goes by so quickly, I would rather be with my children than anyone in this world.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and watching every milestone as they grow. But, what happens when they are off to school, grow up and flee to the big world and no longer are your full time job?

Maybe I say this because I have a 13-year-old, a 9-year-old and on marriage number two, now a 2-½ year old and 3 steps. No, all six children do not live with us or there would be a completely different tone to this essay. Two of the six do live with us as I write this. Or maybe I say this due to the large gaps in the ages between my biological children and feel the feeling of, “been there, done that?”. All I know is at age 44, I have learned to be honest with myself and know I have needs to fill in order to meet my children’s needs.

Some mothers may be horrified at what I am saying. Others may relate to the feeling and be too ashamed to admit it, or some might shout,”AMEN!”

I am sharing this for all of the mothers out there to give them a sigh of relief. Someone else out there actually understands.

My thought and or remedy for this as I refer to it, ”the secret problem”, is to do something creative for that artistic side of you that is dying to come back and resurface every day. I make it a priority now and refer to it as "my work." It is! Whether I get a paycheck or not, it is a very real part of me. I no longer feel guilty for this or feel like I should be “doing something for the kiddos." In fact I am doing something for the kiddos.

I am expressing my creativity. By doing this, it will overflow into my play time with my kiddos, I will feel refreshed and have that new much needed energizer that is necessary to continue on with my day. The creativity flows over into making food presentation important (not kidding). I think of new ways to do mundane things.

My creativity encourages me to share it with my family and friends. Suddenly, everyone is refreshed and doing new creative things as well. It is a contagious thing. I am more restored and refreshed after I give myself this little treat. I find myself satisfied and smiling. It has helped me conquer the day with more patience, and energy than any energy or vitamin out there.

Whatever you enjoy doing to relax, carve out some time for your creativity in your hobbies, interests, whatever that means for you and I promise the whole household will benefit. As the saying goes in my home, “when mama bears' not happy no one is happy." •

© 2012 Gina Quarles. All rights reserved.

Gina QuarlesGina Quarles is a mom, wife and a creative soul who is passionate about the art of writing. She's currently recovering from a near-death auto accident and working on a book, which is an outlet for her healing. She encourages others along the way through kindness and hope. More »