The below blog is part of a series of blog posts that Commotion Dance and Guests are writing this year to address the importance of being creative. This is in response to the BBC article published early this year about creative subjects being squeezed out of schools.
Today I was a pirate. A pirate, a Gruffalo, a shop keeper, a fireman and a superhero (with pants over my trousers and everything). For those of you who have regular, normal person jobs, where you get to shower in the morning and leave the house without accidentally still wearing an eye patch, this may seem strange to you, but for my fellow stay at home mumma’s I’m sure this sounds like a pretty typical day.
In a previous life, before the arrival of my eldest child, I always had jobs that involved at least an element of creativity. From arranging shop window displays to organising school trips for teenagers, I was always happiest when using my imagination. But nothing could have prepared me for the extent of the creativity needed to be a full time mum.
Saying no…. without ever say no.
My son is a typical child. He knows what he wants and he doesn’t want to be told no. Obviously, he can’t always have his way, but saying this little two letter word can lead to a multitude of meltdowns. He therefore hears many creative variations on the word… Not yet. Maybe later. Another time. We’ll see. (To name a few!!)
For every job that must be done, there may or may not be an element of fun….
I honestly cannot remember a time when I was able to simply “do” the washing up, or vaccum the carpet with ease. Housework still needs to be done with children in the house, and the fact that there are children in the house usually means that the amount of housework to be done is (at least!) doubled. Without being able to turn these mundane tasks into a game or competition, they would be much harder to finish.
Endless amounts of imaginary play!
A child’s imagination is limitless. The imaginary play could go on and on…and on. Quite honestly, it can get more than a little bit exhausting just trying to keep up! It can be difficult to push aside the worries of the adult world and focus on the creativity of my son’s ever sparking brain, but when I can, it always results in quality time of play where we can both escape into our imaginations.
Climbing the walls on a rainy day.
When the weather outside is frightful, mums and dads everywhere open their windows and exhale loudly to themselves. There’s nothing more exhausting than entertaining a lively two year old when you can’t get outside and burn some energy. Parents everywhere look at the weather for the weekend, and immediately get their thinking caps on as to how they can fill those rainy hours. Baking? Check! Painting? Check! Music Making? Check! If something will keep the kids busy when they can’t get out in the open, it’s worth doing!
These are just a handful of times that I have found it to be so vitally important to hone in on our long lost childlike creativity and use it to help our children to develop in so many ways. By using my creativity I hope I can not only help my children to learn how to be creative themselves, but help them to learn more about their world and about themselves. I hope that they will go on to imagine all the things they could do with their lives; the places they could visit; the things they could create; the people they could help; the worlds they could explore.
So tomorrow I may be pirate. Or a Gruffalo. Or a shopkeeper, fireman or superhero (with pants over my trousers and everything!). And I will be happy doing it, because I know that these moments of creativity are helping my children develop into the adults they will one day become.
MA, Ba (Hons)