Creative Moms: Open to the Grace of Chaos

Monday August 23, 2010

Between laundry, Legos, and peanut butter sandwiches, who has time for creativity?

Does parenting naturally stifle one’s creativity?

Cyril Connolly seems to think so. He once said, “There is no more somber enemy of good art than the pram in the hallway.”

I beg to differ.

Children take us to the brink of the world and dare us to look over – sometimes to lean just a bit too far. And we learn so much from that.

The world through a child’s eyes is what we see each day, if we let ourselves. What better fuel for the imagination?

Jennifer Fink of Blogging ‘Bout Boys wrote about this article, and she got me to thinking. (If you’re not familiar with Jennifer’s blog, click on her name and visit!) Jennifer’s reference led me to another article by Frank Cottrell Boyce, a screenwriter and father of seven.

Boyce puts it well as he writes, “We should turn Connolly's equation upside-down and say that maybe what's in the pram – breathing, vulnerable life, hope, a present responsibility – is actually more important than good art. It might make us produce less art, but maybe it would be art with the future at its heart.”

So, take heart! You may not have all the time in the world, Mom, but you’ve got an awful lot of inspiration. I’d say your creativity is getting a pretty good workout right about now. And if you don’t have time to get those things down on paper in perfect form, at least get them down.

Keep a file, make lists, write half a poem if that’s all the time you have. Take advantage of this time of creativity and have patience. To everything there is a season.

What do you think? Have you found parenting to be conducive to creativity?

Are you open to the grace of chaos?


Diane said...

I can only take doses of total chaos and so can my son. I like to have a clean spot to land when the craziness stops. :O)

alicia said...

Chaos does make me crazy, but its a good crazy.
I can't say my creativity is stifled- frankly being a mom has called me to think more creatively!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Yes, children are so naturally in touch with creativity (maybe because they're so fresh from the creator's hands?) that they continually inspire me. Of course, the accompanying chaos is something this former type A has had to learn to deal with. The kids have taught me a lot about that too!

Victoria said...

How funny that yesterday a thunderstorm trapped us in a craft store for over an hour while we tried to think of things I could do with Sweet'ums as art projects during the week! In that way, I'm creativity-challenged.
She does definitely challenge me to see the world in new ways though. Everything has two or three purposes to her and she'll spend hours playing that way. It's a creative workout sometimes just to figure out what she's playing at. Which is my laundry basket today: a fly-boat, a rocket, a train? I guess we'll see! I'm starting to learn to handle the craziness that goes along with it.
I also wanted to say that your email was a timely one. Expectations from all sides are weighing on me right now and sometimes it's hard to just let go.

Jean Wise said...

I think seeing the wonder through a child's eyes is the best doorway to creativity there is.

Faith said...

My daughters have always welcomed chaos within structure, if that makes sense. We tend to be very active and always have been. However, they are both creative in their endeavors (ballet, art, violin/music, creative writing/fantasy and dramatic play). Therefore, I have enjoyed keeping up with my own creative abilities and even trying new things (like drawing...which I'll leave up to my teenager!) It is the wonder of play, thru my children's eyes, that I see the Master Hand at work....and He is the ultimate Creator! :)

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Love that phrase "the grace of chaos." As a teacher of little ones, I see grace every day. I wish I'd had that perspective when my own kids were younger, but I'm enjoying the "grace" of the teenage years. :)

Anna K. said...

I may not have oodles of uninterrupted creative time since our sons were born but I find that I'm creative all day, in one way or another.

Whether it's coming up with a meal that they will actually eat without a fuss, making our home comfortable (and pretty), or doing art...with or without the boys...I find that my creative side hasn't been dampened at all!

Corinne Cunningham said...

Speaking as someone who lost all creativity... a want for it, a need for it... and then found it once my kids were born...
I think we're the most creative when we become parents. We look at the world differently, and that in itself inspires creativity.
(that and making make believe worlds for our kids, forts and train adventures and whatnot ;))

Susan DiMickele said...

I am getting more creative .. love that concept of "grace and chaos" -- and I am SO looking forward to your book.

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