How creating to create helps me be a better parent and a better version of myself.
As a mother, just about every decision I make I find myself asking, “How will this impact Avery and my family?” There are a lot of things I want to teach my daughter on her road to being a woman. Some are easier than others of course. The ones I struggle with the most are, literally, the ones I struggle with the most.
For example, how can I teach her to make healthy choices, if I don’t make healthy choices? How can I teach her it is wrong to talk about people if I talk about people? I mean, even if it is something as trivial as, “Did you see that outfit that lady has on? What was she thinking!?”
What message am I sending my child? We can’t act one way and then do things another. Years ago I came across a documentary on TV. The story was about an anorexic mother and her two anorexic daughters. The mother was saying she didn’t understand why her daughters chose this path because she tried to teach them better. Then the daughers responded by saying, “We learned by watching you.”
Our kids like us, recognize BS. When you hear people tell you one thing and then you watch them do another, do you trust them? Do you trust what they said? Um, no, no you don’t. Neither do our children.
So what is my point her and what on earth does this have to do with creating for the sake of creating?
As you know it’s been a long time since I have written anything and posted it and I have a slew of reasons why. To be honest I felt silly and stupid spending time posting content that lets be honest, not very many people read. I found myself questioning what the parents of my daughters friends would think if they found my blog. Would they laugh and snicker at how ridiculous I am for blogging? Would my child be mortified? Would they read it and dislike it and dislike me because they don’t like what I have to say? And trust me the fact my blog isn’t beautiful and full of the best pictures, is not lost on me. I see ALL the imperfections.
Then there are the grammarians… You should not write to share, if you can’t do it right. I mean if you make gramatical errors, how smart can you be? How serious should we take someone who can’t even use punctuation right!
Here is the deal, I have always and will always struggle with grammar. I spell check and I grammar check. I use grammarly and I re-read about fifty times, yet I still make glaring mistakes. Does that mean my opinions or experiences lack value?
The fact is, sometimes my inner voice betrays me. She tells me to sit down shut up, listen to the critics and be small. Especially when life is out of control. My inner voice knows when to strike, she knows when I’m at my weakest. She makes me feel like I should be ashamed of my short comings, listen to the critics, and hide my strengths. This past year I gave in. It’s been almost a year since I’ve done anything creative.
I want my daughter to be resilient and be brave enough to be herself, even when the critics in the cheap seats judge her? Um, yet, I’m not willing to do the same?
Recently I was reading a book called Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it. In the book she talks to all of us women and addresses the many lies we tell ourselves. I honeslty don’t want to go into details, because I don’t want to ruin the book for you. I want you to read it. What I can say though, is this book was exactly what I needed right when I needed it. I found myself saying, “Yes ma’m, that’s right! Say it again!” Rachel Hollis helped me find strength. She dished out the tough love I needed, right when I needed it most.
The fact is creating to create fills me up. It helps me be a better version of myself. It makes me feel good. I can’t explain it, but it’s like a nutrient. You know how it is, when our bodies need vitamin D or vitamin B or whatever it is, we feel off, we feel run down and tired. We stay that way until whatever missing nutrient is replinished. That is how I feel about creating. Thanks to Rachel Hollis, I now realize this is something I have to do for me.
In addition, I’ve also realized this is something I need to do for my daughter…even if I embarass her or she hates it. She needs to see me doing things I love, things that involve risking people not liking it and me being ok with it. She needs to see me be ok with being different and being brave enough to be the fullest best version of me no matter what. She needs to see me be brave, be vulnerable, and be reslilent. Creating to create helps me do that.