The darkness and the silence are wrapped up all around me, pulling me tight into their fatigued trance. I’m fighting to keep my eyes open, but I know that this is the space that I have in which to work. So I’m making the most of it.
For creatives with a bent toward the arts, silence is golden. It is where artistry finds its footing, and we find our solace. But what do we do when we walk this line of creativity with children by our sides? Where do we go to find that much longed for silence?
I’d love to tell you that I have the perfect formula for you – a checklist to offer that will free up a whole new realm of quiet space inside your crazy busy days. I don’t have any such thing. But if you do would you please share it with the rest of us?!
I can offer a few tips, though, for ways to create space so that you can dive into the things that give flight to the pieces of you that were there long before children arrived.
3 Tips for Creating Space
1.) Ask for it
It seems so simple, but sometimes moms forget to tell the people around them what’s going on inside. We are notorious for powering through when the going gets tough, because really what other option do we have?
So we move through the motions, everything slowly building up until we crumble under the weight of it all. And as we sit on the couch in a fit of tears, or stomp around the house in inexplicable rage, our people stare at us in shock because they have no idea that life just got to be too much.
So you need to ask for time away. Let your loved ones know when you need a little space, and when they agree, take it. Check guilt at the door, and walk peacefully out.
2.) Manufacture it
It’s so important to carve out a tiny space for yourself as a mother, particularly if you’re a creative mother. It doesn’t have to be an entire room – it could be a wall in the house where you hang a few pictures, or next to a bookshelf stacked with books that tickle your brain.
Sometimes creativity just needs a little corner of the world in which to bloom. A pretty chair, recovered in that fabric you’ve had your eye on, or a pretty picture that sets you dreaming may be all it takes to free you of life’s noise.
3.) Steal it
Sometimes sneaking away just isn’t an option. Busy life schedules mean that alone time is a luxury you simply can’t afford, and that’s okay…as long as it doesn’t last forever.
But in those seasons when more is needed of you, find ways to steal those soul-breathing moments right there in the midst of all the chaos. My friend Wendy is extraordinarily good at this. In a house bustling with little boy energy, Wendy finds solace in her kitchen on those days when she just can’t sneak away.
Mixing ingredients together releases the tension in her shoulders, and sets her creative soul at ease, all while the boys whoop and holler in the other room. Because it’s true that our children are our most beautiful creations, but there’s more to life than motherhood, and we need to connect with that ‘more’ every now and then.
“So I pull away and bake a cake and pick some flowers. And the most beautiful part of all is that they think it’s all for them, diving into chocolate or scones or a glass pitcher of homemade lemonade. But truth be told, this creative act was entirely, selfishly, for me. Confectionary therapy.” Wendy Speake
Are you tired? Is your soul crying out for a little space in which to breathe? Do you long to step away and create space – whether it is a physical, tangible creation, or simply the quiet space in which to breathe?
Take a step today, even a small one, toward the freedom waiting for you in the wings of your own quiet space.