A recent Parenting Magazine article explored moms’ self perceptions in a number of categories. On the topic of creativity, a majority of moms said they wouldn’t describe themselves as particularly innovative or creative. Excuse me? In my opinion, creativity is a pre-requisite for motherhood. Heck the act of becoming a mother is fundamentally indicative of our ability to create, and great minds would argue that life is art and art is life.
This brings me to Jeff Foxworthy. What connection could creativity possibly have to comedian Jeff Foxworth? When I began thinking of all the ways moms are creative even when they don’t necessarily see themselves in that light, my thoughts inexplicably came together in the form of Foxworthy’s infamous “You might be a redneck” jokes. These one-liners of 90’s fame hit home with a large segment of the population because the reality is that we all know deep down that we’re a little bit country but don’t really want to wave that freak flag in public. Foxworthy did his best to “out” everyone for their redneck tendencies. Similarly, I think most women are extremely creative but just need someone to give them the one-liners they need to recognize it!
I aim to please, folks.
If you’ve ever put together a last-minute Halloween costume using only a few discarded paper towel rolls, some sweat bands you found in your husband’s 80’s memorabilia box labeled “don’t touch this,” the fishnet pantyhose you bought but have been too afraid to wear, and some pipe cleaners…you just might be a creative mom.
If you’ve ever dragged yourself out of bed 20 minutes early to carve your finicky eater’s lunch sandwich into the shape of Mickey Mouse and cut up vegetables into “trees” and “swords” instead of plain old broccoli and carrots in an attempt to get him to actually put food in his mouth… you just might be a creative mom.
If you’ve ever drug out every blanket from the hall closet and used hair clips and trash bag ties to build a massive fort in order to entertain your child on a rainy Saturday afternoon… you just might be a creative mom.
If you’ve ever pulled off a delicious dinner in under 30 minutes with no advance planning and with only ground turkey, frozen vegetables and chicken broth because you haven’t been to the grocery store in over a week….you just might be a creative mom.
If you’ve ever “MacGyvered” a broken shoe with a stapler and some gum or fashioned a bib out of a panty liner, a bobby pin and a hair elastic, you just might be a REALLY creative mom!
In case anyone is concerned, I have no intentions of pursuing a career as a comic.
In addition to the oftentimes “creativity out of necessity” situations, I think most of us crave some kind of creative outlet amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. I also believe that engaging in the creative process can help us better deal with the tough days and exercise figurative muscles that, unless you’ve found a way for creativity to pay your bills, receive little attention.
I continue to find new and fun ways of exploring my own creativity. This blog provides an opportunity for me to write about my feelings and opinions, which is something I would never take the time to do without external motivation. I’ve always enjoyed writing and, regardless of the topic, I feel that developing ideas and creating a beginning, middle and end is a powerful and cathartic process. When I’m writing, I’m not Kendy the mom, wife or employee. I feel like Kendy the writer, which sets me apart as an individual with something to say to the world independent of any of my other roles or associations.
On a lighter note, I recently began making hair bows for my daughter primarily as a way to save money. She is in a bow phase, but I really don’t like the idea of paying $15 or $20 a pop. Even though I was financially motivated, I quickly realized that my new venture was more about proving to myself that I can create a product that is just as good as what I can find in a fancy boutique. After learning, practicing and subsequently developing an obsession with purchasing ribbon, I actually took my hobby to a new level by opening an Etsy store (www.BaileygirlBows.etsy.com. Tell your friends!). While I was reluctant to add a side-line venture to my already hectic life, I enjoy making bows and figured I might as well provide an opportunity for friends, family and even strangers to reap the benefits.
You may be a writer, bow maker, seamstress, or painter OR you may exercise creativity in any number of other ways. What is your creative outlet and how do you make creativity a priority? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I’ll leave us with a quote I love. Try not to laugh at the attribution. Who knew Alan Alda was such a sage?
“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” — Alan Alda