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Old 08-03-2009, 12:57 PM
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joolee joolee is offline
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Do your kids numb your creativity?

This is an awful topic for a mum to raise isn't it? But my three kids are off on school holidays and my creative drive, which was at full roar before, has turned into a whimper . I could paint for hours without noticing the time and even got up in the middle of the night but now, even if I do pick up a pastel, I can't think of what to paint and anything I do paint is complete rubbish. I love them dearly but find being with them day after day a bit of a struggle. Anyone else understand this?

Jools
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:32 PM
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Dallen Dallen is offline
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

In a word . . .YES!
and it isn't an awful thing for a Mom to say, it is a realistic, honest thing for a Mom to say. I think every Mom has felt as you do.

I understand completely, I was a full time artist when my kids were young, and yes, they sure can sap your creativity and energy with the constant stream of needs, wants, obstrinance, and other everyday stuff.

It might help to focus on making being with your kids right now, an Art. What is the most creative thing you can think to do with your kids? How can you let yourself really play with them, instead of being a trapped Mommy? When was the last time you played???? ask yourself if there is any way that you can teach them something you think is really valuable about looking at the world? or about being an artist? or about being a person? What can you encourage them to do to lighten your load?

I can hear you groaning from here LOL!
I was where you are, and now my kids are grown and appraching middle age, and I would gladly give a year of my life to have one more afternoon of their childhood with them, one more hour, even a frustrating, whining, sibling bickering hour, or an hour trying to get them to clean their rooms, or eat those vegetables. sadly, nothinh, can bring that time back, nothing.

My point is that when you are mired in kids and their reality, it can be overwhelming, it seems like it will go on forever, but it does not. The time passes, almost without notice, and then it is gone forever before you even know it.

Art will always be there for you to dance with, but your kids won't. Sure, maybe adult versions of your kids will be there . . . if they don't move to other parts of the country, but the little boys or girls, that aggrevating teenager, will only be a memory that lives in your heart.

And . . . . see if a friend or relative will take them for a day and a sleepover, so you can get some artwork done to feed your spirit.

School will start soon!
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"It feels like snow" he said, "and it was all there, all the sadness and all silveryness in a single sentence." ~ George Frazier
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Last edited by Dallen : 08-03-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:59 PM
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Mariette Deveau Mariette Deveau is offline
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joolee
...

Anyone else understand this?

Jools
Yes, totally.
I'm "numb".... period
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:51 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

Great post Dallen! Mine are only 2.5 and 4.5, so they NEED me all the time. Impossible to focus on art that way. I do a bad job and they don't get what they need, so it is a loose/loose scenario. So I get a few hours in once they are in bed. And the more important thing - 98% of the time I accept that, and I am OK with that. I figure all too soon they will be telling me to buzz off, they want to do their own thing. Right now I am glad they want to spend time with me. And I want to spend time with them. Tonight we did hide and seek and guessing game.

Put your brushes away. You will always have the brushes. You will always have your talent. Your child will never be 3 again, never be 7 again, never be 15 again (thank goodness)....

Do you know the song Cat in the Cradle? Good lyrics. See here:
http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.n...256FAB0005F867
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:54 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

Dallen, thank you for your wonderful posting. You are, of course, correct in every respect, but my eldest is coming up to 13 and other than for two years when he was young, I have been around for them all (and, as we are in the singing mood "I've served my sentence, but committed no crime...." Queen - only joking ).

Thank you, Mariette - short response - but I feel you have said enough for me to know you understand!

Hi Allison - you have your hands full - and of course you are right (but let me know how you feel in about 6 years

If you are interested in lyrics though, what about Abba's "Slipping through my fingers"? I saw Mama Mia in the West End and cried all the way through this one.

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/a/abba/sl..._20003005.html

But this is usually where I am at - www.metacafe.com/watch/2265278/mom_song/ - 148k -

Seriously guys, you have to watch this!!!!!

Jools
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:13 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

Jools, when my kids hit their teens I tried to remember that teenagers are just like toddler, except with more options, they aren't kids and they aren't adults yet, just like toddlers aren't babies or kids yet.

It helped me to get through the teen years to know that I would like my kids again when they were 25, a dear older friend told me this, and she was right.
I also spent years muttering under my breath "These are good traits in an adult" when my kids made me crazy with their persistence or risk taking.

In some ways, many divorced Mom have it easier, because they get some weekends off. It always helped me to swap taking my friends kids for a couple of days and her taking mine another weekend.

hang in there
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"It feels like snow" he said, "and it was all there, all the sadness and all silveryness in a single sentence." ~ George Frazier
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Last edited by Dallen : 08-04-2009 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:56 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

we raised six kids, we loved it, or were foolish enough to adopt a special needs (asperger) child. one thing, there is only so much space in a house and no matter how many you have, they take up all the space available. after the six kids, we had to unlearn and re-learn everything. ---but, now with 14 grandchildren, one grandchild has brain cancer, in remission, i understand totally what you are saying, but see the end result also. i would look at the problem of finding your creativity as a core to your artistic self. it can make or break you. it will make you when you interpret the emotion, feelings of helplessness when you can't help your grandchild as the pride of seeing the littles running and enjoying life. if possible, set some time for yourself, it is that important. sometimes you only get ten minutes or so to create, cherish and use it wisely. look to your kids as the source of inner voice. there is no greater gift than a child as there is no greater gift than the ability to create- best to ya, jim!
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:35 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

I loved AND hated raising my kids, some days I just wanted rto run away, I wanted to pry all those loving little fingers off my arm, my life, and my brain. I was a great Mom and some days I was a rotten Mom. I have a saying that helps me.
"Do your best, and know that sometimes your best sucks".

For me, kids & their lives took up ALL my "head space",my spirit was trapped between the peanut butter jar and the lost sneaker that eluded me. Having 10 minutes free was of absoluitely NO USE for making Art. Making Art is a process, and in my case, I need breathing room and a bit of time to get my art engine going, my skills into the flow, and my put my head in the right space. Fitting it in between sandwiches and chauffering never worked at all.
Making Art isn't like doing crafty little projects, you need to access to yourself to make Art.

The only time that did work for me was when they were asleep at night, fortunately for me, I am a night person. On nights when I wasn't too exhausted to see straight, I made Art. But, when you have teenagfers, the nights are shorter and the days are longer, leaving precious little time to get into creative mode.

I love and miss my kids childhood, don't get me wrong, but they sucked the very life out of my creative process.

As I write this, I can still feel how very trapped I felt at that point in my life, the time when I was everything to everybody, and I have compassion for any woman who shares those feelings of overwhelm.

Hang in there, YOU are amazing!
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"It feels like snow" he said, "and it was all there, all the sadness and all silveryness in a single sentence." ~ George Frazier
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Last edited by Dallen : 08-05-2009 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:02 PM
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gingersnap gingersnap is offline
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

joolee,

i saw this thread and thought i can relate. then i saw it was your post. i laughed because i see your work. i see how much work you make and i am baffled. if your creativity is a whimper. mine has flat lined. at 3 and 18 months, i paint in my head all the time. my husband always says what are you looking at. i respond " , i was thinking how i would paint your nose! " after reading these posts it has helped me. they need me. someday i will miss those footsteps across the floor. for now, i will enjoy seeing the artists here with creative time and eventually put all that painting in my head to paper. cheers, ginger
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:53 AM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

I doubt they are numbing your creativity just your art production. I didn't do much art when my kids were young. When my daughter reached her mid to late teens I began to see her creativity bloosom and realized what she was learning from me without my knowledge. When we were building snow sculptures, sandcastles, or making up stories....she was paying attention. When I saw that creativity reflected in her, with her own twist of course, it renewed and expanded it in me as well. In the long run you will bring more creativity into the world by passing it on to your kids.
Harley
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:35 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

I wouldn't say that my creativity is numbed by parenting, but I would say that my creativity is usually spent in other places than doing art right now.

I often feel worn out, played out and needing space. I am an introvert and have a very extroverted child so just trying to find a balance for meeting both our needs while trying to maintain my marital relationship can be challenging.

Right now, my visual arts are on the back burner. I can't take 10 minutes here and there and get any sculpture done. But I have been getting some creative work done through music. I can take 10 minutes at the piano when I get it. This helps keep me sane though I am hoping to start making room for visual arts again once school starts. (We had been homeschooling until now, so this is a big change for us.)
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:44 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

Hi all,
I have just come back from a fabulous week off in Portugal and loved spending some real quality time with the kids. Thank you all for your responses.

Jim, the thought of 6 kids makes me tremble....no really...they are so much work. All credit to you and you are now reaping the benefits with the grandchildren.

Dallen, I really think you have put into words how I feel. It is only now that my youngest two (twins) are 7 that I really feel that I can create anything at all. I think my creative energy went into the garden, which required less from me and could be dropped at a minutes notice. To be honest, I think many women feel "trapped" by kids, whether they are artists or not, although few are prepared to talk about it. I don't think this is something readily understood by men, who may feel trapped, but not to the same extent.

Ginger, your kids are younger than mine. I understand what you say about "flatlining" . No way can you do anything with an 18 month old and a 3 year old. It will get easier - I promise. Yes, it is true that I am still turning stuff out. But the first 2 or 3 weeks of the school holidays scuppered me and it was only getting Harley Brown's book in the post that set me off again. Then I started to feel really frustrated. I feel I could be better than I am now if I had the time to devote to it and I have already lost many years. But I am looking forward rather than backwards.

I agree with you Harley, it isn't the creativity, just the putting that creativity into practice. My head is absolutely buzzing with things I want to paint....aaaaagggghhhhh!!!! All my kids are creative; one is a good artist, one is a good singer and the eldest is fairly good at both

Wow, Dancingpopcorn - homeschooling . I take my hat off to you - but I would be totally insane by now!

On the bright side, just 7 more weekdays to go until school starts - yeah. Now all I need to do it persuade my lot to let me move the computer games stuff from the breakfast room so I can get a proper easel
Jools
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Old 09-08-2009, 03:18 PM
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Re: Do your kids numb your creativity?

Yay school has started! I know just how you feel Jools. To get any work done during the holidays I had to get the paint pots out for the kids, along with a cheap box of pastels and a roll of wallpaper lining paper. It would give me an hour if I was lucky. This year my youngest has started school and I am free!!!!
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