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In Progress: March

March 18, 2014

31::365::72-75

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about working at home with children and balancing the work of a creative life along with the work of family life.  I’m sometimes asked how I “manage” to get things done with young children at home.  The truth is we’ve learned along the way.  The creative work I do is a part of our days, just as ingrained as making breakfast or the bedtime routine.  It is our normal.  My children are used to seeing my hands busy with one thing or another.  

Every now and then, especially when I’m starting something new, a new technique or a new project, things can get a little nutty.  Children are naturally curious (and thank goodness they are)!  When they see something new, they get excited.  Much of the time while I’m working, I do my best to make it possible for my children to work along side me.  An age appropriate activity with similar materials both delights them as well as gives them meaningful work.  It also keeps their hands out of my work and in their own.  Mostly  importantly, we find a space where we can connect.  Some of our best moments have been found sitting at the kitchen table working in the afternoon light, together.

My best advice for living a creative life with young children?  Do it.  Maybe the kids will tangle your yarn and spill your sewing pins into the carpet.   Then again, maybe they won’t.

*I use the word “work” here in the sense that we all have work, things we want to do, things we must do.  Sometimes work is pleasant.  Sometimes it isn’t.  I like to think it usually is.

**I also want to point out that so often from the other side of the screen we can trick ourselves into thinking other people are accomplishing so much more than we are in their days.  Nonsense.  We all have the same number of hours in our days.  We all have dishes to wash and laundry to fold.  Be kind to yourselves, mamas.♥

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2014 2:35 pm

    Amen! I run into this a lot. People telling me that I must be doing something weird with my kids to be able to bake homemade treats, sew, quilt and garden… The reality is, my kids are usually right there. If there is something I really need to concentrate on, then maybe I’ll use a nap time or stay up late one night, but as I’ve said before : I love that my kids see me passionately working on something. That is the only way to make them discover what passion is. You can’t read about passion, you have to see it, feel it… And yes, it gets messy. But then again, most fun things are!

  2. March 18, 2014 8:46 pm

    Dolls are looking good Carrie! How do you make the blush coloring on their cheeks? (both sets of them) :) I agree that having the little ones “help” you is the best way to accomplish something. It might take longer, but they will enjoy it because they are doing it with you and they are learning skills at the same time. Though I do really enjoy nap times!

    • March 19, 2014 1:48 pm

      Thanks, Katie. The “blush” is non-toxic beeswax crayon (ours are Stockmar). I rub some of the crayon on a piece of scrap fabric and then rub the fabric on the doll. I feel like I get better control over the amount of color this way.
      PS Both my littles have already given up naps! They do sleep nicely at night though. :)

  3. March 21, 2014 10:37 am

    What a lovely philosophy. And those doll faces are so sweet! :)

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