Staying creative as a mom of 5 kids is a challenge. Finding creative, frugal hobbies that fit our budget as a family of 7 adds to the challenge. Squeezing in time to be creative on top of working part-time and volunteering is even more challenging.
Benefits of Being Creative
- It keeps our brain active as we grow older
- You learn to live with uncertainty
- Trying new things boosts your confidence
- Taking time to be creative can reduce your stress
- You have an outlet for processing stuff that you may not have elsewhere in your life
- You can make new friends through your hobby
- You can learn new skills that can help you save money
- Your hobby can become a business
How to Become More Creative
Stop saying you aren’t creative. Creativity is simply more than the traditional arts of music, painting, drawing, and photography. Creativity can exist in the kitchen just as it can exist in teaching and taking care of a garden. When you are doing something that makes you feel alive and on fire, you are doing something creative.
Build an idea file. Or an Inspiration Board. If you’re a visual person, having an inspiration board for your ideas is the way to go. Writers like idea files. Musicians have pieces of music they go back to when they’re stuck. Cooks like to prepare old family favorites.
Make time in your day for solitude. Solitude can be a walk or run outside. It can be 15 minutes in the shower. Or, it can be time spent meditating. Make time for something that allows your mind to relax and simply be.
Don’t be afraid to build on other people’s ideas. As Woody Guthrie once said, “Aw, he just stole from me. But I steal from everybody. Why, I’m the biggest song stealer there ever was.” What you’re building is your unique twist formed from your experiences, thoughts, feelings, and personal philosophy. Not everything you create is the next Rembrandt. But it is uniquely you. It is valuable and important.
Participate fully in life. With the caveat – Do a few things well. Find something you’re interested in and follow that rabbit trail for whatever time you need to master it. Maybe you’ve always wanted to make the best shortbread ever. Do it. Master it. Find something else to dig into deeply.
Look for small ways to do something new daily. Maybe today you drive a new way home. Tomorrow, you try a new vegetable. The next day, you take a picture with your phone from a new angle.
My Creative, Frugal Hobbies
Over the years, I’ve tried a few hobbies like scrapbooking and beading that I haven’t stuck to. I spent my youth writing lots and lots of bad poetry. I took calligraphy classes in high school and thought I would go to art school. Most of these hobbies didn’t cost my family much money.
My Current Hobbies: Photography and Knitting
Now I stick to 2 hobbies – photography and knitting. I’ve taken pictures since I was in high school though I didn’t get serious about photography until I got my first Canon Rebel. I have boxes and boxes of pictures I took and printed before digital photography. Thanks to free photography classes at the University of Pennsylvania when I was an employee there, I learned about composition and working in the dark room. Thanks to my kids, I learned to grab moments quickly. Thanks to blogging, I get to take pictures for lots of reasons.
Knitting is more of a side hobby for me. I love knitting socks. Socks are a short-enough, yet complicate enough project that I can work on at night while watching Downton Abbey, Suits, and other favorite tv shows. Usually, I knit socks for my kids, though a few years ago, I knitted socks for 4 extended family members for Christmas.
How Do You Keep the Creative Spark Alive in Your Life as a Mom?