Being a mom who is an artist and a mom artist are not always mutually exclusive. In my mind, a mom who is an artist separates the two significant parts of her life in blocks. These can be divided into the blocks of time, when at one time she is just a mom and at some times she is just an artist.
The other type of mom, or the mom artist is the one who is always a mom and an artist. Even while being a mom, they are thinking of the painting on the easel or how to involve their kids creatively. I think all the mom artists I have met are mom artists. I know I am definitely one of them. We struggle to find alone time to paint and one of our favorite alone time activities would be to create. These alone moments can be when the kids are finally in bed or when they are in the care of someone else. The rest of the times, we try and paint around the kids. We make them their own little corners of the studios or get them their own supplies. In my case, I have placed my studio next to the play room so I can keep an eye on the girls as they play. There are moments when the older one wants to create with me, and often times I let her 'help' with the backgrounds that I know will have layers on it. At other times, she sits next to me and creates her own masterpieces for daddys' office. She loves joining in and her current favorite hobby is to draw and color, even in school.
Studies show that kids benefit greatly from being exposed to art and other creative projects. Painting, drawing, constructing and building all help children develop fine motor skills, increase cognitive development, assist in building math and language skills and increases critical thinking. An article published by the Michigan State University Extension suggests the following to help kids grow as creative individuals,
- Let them explore a wide variety of mediums
- Focus on the process of developing (i.e. the process of drawing) rather than the final product
- Ask the child to describe their own picture to you rather than asking them what they drew (i.e. tell me about your picture, what was your favorite part, what color did you like?)
- Support their creative endeavors (within reason) but don't lead so they are free to explore the final product
So while we create our own paintings and artwork, lets let the kiddos grow and develop with their own pace.