Have you seen the Winter Issue of Petite Purls? There’s some great knitting projects for the wee ones in your life, as well as a great essay by Laura Healy. She sums up a few points I have been thinking a lot about since becoming a mother who knits, the sum of which can be boiled down to these points:
Invest. Keep it simple. Spread it out. Bring it along. Stop cleaning so much. Be Selfish.
Music to my ears!
The facts of my life have change dramatically in the last 11 months, but the one constant is my need to knit and be creative. Having a baby and packing up house, moving across the country take a lot of mental and physical energy. The one thing that brings me back to calm and restores my reserves is knitting. This was true before, and is even more critical to my well-being now that I am a mother.
It has been hard for me to let go of some of the things I think a Good Mother should be before she takes care of herself. I thought she should be selfless, entirely focused on her children at all times, make nutritious meals 3 times a day, not care about movies or makeup, not want to go out without her children, and on and on. For me, being a good mother means loving and caring for yourself as well as your children. If I haven’t vacuumed all week but I did finish a knitting project, it’s okay.
So, during PB’s morning nap time, I do a cursory sweep of household duties, taking care of anything that absolutely cannot wait. Usually this is doing some dishes, or tossing in a load of laundry. I give this 10-15 minutes, max. Then I sit down with some coffee and log into Ravelry, or get out my knitting and just breathe. This is my time, and it is important. As parents we give so much to others; why not make time to give just a little bit back to ourselves?
Since I started relaxing at naptime instead of frantically trying to Get It All Done, I have become a much more peaceful mama. When I hear her begin to stir, I am almost always still in my PJs, happily having made progress on one project or another. I scurry to get dressed, then go get my baby girl with a clear head and give her my all.
Until her afternoon nap that is, when I’m already planning on getting out that pair of socks-in-progress and watching the most recent episode of 30 Rock.
How do you take care of yourself as a creative person?