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Finding time to create with little ones around

June 10, 2011

I’ve been trying to figure out how to find time to create with two kids under two while also trying to feed everyone and keep the house off any of those hoarding TV shows. I’ve actually managed to find some inspiration with half my screen with blogs while sharing the other half with youtube Elmo videos for the older one while bouncing the younger one on my knee. When is nap time again??

I came across an interview with Beth Helfter on Quilting Gallery whose words really are an inspiration to me with her “20 Minutes a Day” personal rule.

For those quilters in the throes of raising families, quilting is just one more thing to add to the day’s “to do” list, and in our quest to make everyone in our lives happy except ourselves, something that gives us pleasure is the first thing to go. But it shouldn’t be. I am a firm believer both in “a happy mom means a happy family” and in my own personal 20 Minutes a Day rule…

Sure, that was a lot of 20 minute increments of my life over the course of two and a half years, but those 20 minute increments may have been all that kept me sane and feeling like I was accomplishing something just for me during the first two and a half years of my twins’ lives. And there is a lot to be said for remembering what makes YOU happy while you are trying to keep everyone else in your family happy. I am not sure how to reach all the former quilters who have given up due to a perceived lack of time, but I sort of want to make it a personal quest now to get them back. Because for one thing, the more under 45 quilters we have, the longer I can stay well under the average age. Do it for you. Do it for me.

Well, Beth, count me in at 31 years and small kids! I love the concept of 20 minutes a day–and no one said they should be consecutive. 34 seconds here, 4 minutes there…it will add up.

My wonderful sister-in-law and brother gave me Lyric Kinard’s Art + Quilt: Design, Principals and Creativity Exercises for my birthday. Among other inspirational and practical things, she talks about being creative and realistic with your workspace. She has 5 kids, so she ought to know. She says,

For a few years, I sewed standing up at a corner of the kitchen counter. It was too high for the little ones to reach. I could leave my projects out and take a stitch here and a stitch there…it does help to have some space, no matter how small, dedicated to your artwork.

These women are both inspirational to hear how they managed to create art while having small ones around. I create not to win some sort of race, but as a means of art therapy–to stay sane and as a focus in concentration and patience. Creating during my “me time” gives my brain a break from the constant chaos of kids, and I will take all the inspiration I can get and share it here for people saying, “But I have no time to make anything with kids!” I’m learning I have the same amount of time as anyone else; it’s what I do with that time that will allow me to get something, anything, done. And that is way better than not creating anything at all.

By all means, leave a comment if you have tips!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 2:30 pm

    OMG! I’m so thrilled to be quoted! Who knew my 20 minutes a day rule would be so powerful for so many? It really does work, and I agree, I never said it had to be consecutive minutes! Thanks for making my day – hope you’ll come back to Quilting Hottie Haven (my blog) and I’ll for sure come back and see what you are up to.

  2. June 10, 2011 9:42 pm

    You are so inspirational. Sometimes I get so frustrated with my lack of time for myself, but I just need patience, persistence, and a plan. I love hearing other people’s journeys about how they got where they did!

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