This here is something I am passionate about, and passionate about encouraging you in. So before I launch into more posts with detailed ideas and inspiration for how you can do this in different areas- why am I so convicted about it?
For those of you who are new here- I’m in a busy phase of life. I’ve got two little ones and a third on the way, and I’m home with them most of the time. Before I was at home with them full time I was balancing my undergraduate degree with looking after my daughter, between her being one and two and a half. Before that, I was just a ‘normal’ student, albeit a married one. In all of these seasons of life, I had found it hard to really pursue and develop my passions. There were always more urgent things, easier ways to relax, and an ever lengthening list of things I wanted to do.
Add onto that, for the longest time I believed the lie that I couldn’t do things because I had a child. That everything was, and would be so much more difficult. Not the things people often discount- we still ate out at restaurants, went for days out, on holidays we wanted to go on. But at home in daily life I would think I can’t sew, I can’t cook, I can’t clean the kitchen properly with them awake, I can’t read my Bible or rearrange furniture- we have to spend our time playing or doing a structured activity and then I have to squeeze every ounce of time out of the minutes they sleep for.
But I have learnt, thank goodness I have learnt. It’s actually easier to spend time doing these things with them. When they see me cleaning and washing and cooking, they realise it takes work for these things to happen. Phoebe now helps (intermittently ) with things like dusting and cleaning the floor which she finds fun, not a chore, especially when I don’t force her to. Going upstairs and changing the sheets together looks different to doing it alone, takes longer but actually it’s a great change of scene, a chance to build a fun nest on the floor and play in a different way.
Other things I love to do, and neglected almost entirely, like baking and painting and sewing? Using their awake time to get done some of those housework type things means I have more availability when they sleep. But I try not to limit my creative time to when they’re not around. Crafting and sewing and making messes looks different with little ones around, but they are still possible. I can read my Bible whilst they play around me, even if it gets interrupted. With more patience, with flexibility about how much I want to achieve and a willingness to include them we can enjoy these things together.
So with a change in my mindset, and by letting go of my assumptions of what I could or couldn’t make time for in a busy stage of life, I’ve been able to pursue my passions, of painting, writing, creating. Step by step I have been able to make new habits, refresh my mindset and squeeze time for the things I loved out of a busy season. Once I started, I realised that following my passions was much more life giving and also restful than watching television, going on social media or other time ‘wasting’ things I had done more of in the past. And so even more time was available. Taking time for yourself, to develop those things that make you you is just so worthwhile.
All this to say- if you have a passion, or you remember having one which has since been forgotten- for writing, for reading, for photography, for lego- whatever it is, you can make time for it somehow. Taking a step back and evaluating how you actually spend those moments of your day which aren’t dictated by work, appointments or engagements can be refreshing. I’ll be sharing some more in depth posts with more takeaways over the next few weeks, so stick around- or subscribe to the newsletter to get a bi-weekly roundup of posts along with some behind the scenes writing so you won’t miss out!