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Creativity With Kids at Home: They Were Driving Me Bonkers

I had a moment this week. On Monday, I was snapping at my kids left and right. They were driving me bonkers. Last week, I had a mom break because they were all at camp and I was able to spend the whole week with adults. It was glorious.


I mean, I love my kids, but goodness they can be so annoying. All the questions. All the interruptions. All the food I have to make them (HA!) They're just kids. And normally, I can handle all of it. We are together ALL THE TIME. I knew Monday was going to be adjustment, but I wasn't expecting how I felt. It really bothered me. I brought these turkeys into this world. I LOVE them to pieces. So why in the heck am I so quick to go nuts?


It occurred to me, I haven't been creative lately. I love writing this blog because it allows a certain creativity that helps my brain. I had stopped blogging because my kids are home for the summer and frankly, it's really hard to get in the headspace to write when they're home. This week, when I had this moment, I realized, I was snapping at them BECAUSE I wasn't feeding my creative part of my brain. I had been just going through the mom motions and it wasn't making me a better mom.


I also LOVE to decorate or create things for my home. So on Tuesday morning, I marched my tushy up to Michael's and decided to get supplies for us to start a painting project for my living room.


When I built this house, I knew I didn't want bookshelf built ins in my living room. I really wanted huge canvas paintings. Several years ago, my sister in law made a series of paintings with my kids and I just love them. I wanted to see if I could recreate something similar without it being too elementary looking.


This is the "blank canvas" I am working from. The light in the room is all natural so I want abstract artwork that tells a story.


I bought two huge 4 feet wide by 5 feet tall canvases at Michael's and told the kids I wanted them to paint something abstract. I set up a spot in the garage and let them create. First, they had no idea what I was talking about. They kept saying "okay, but what do you want us to paint." I had to give them permission to do whatever they wanted and let's just say it took nearly 30 minutes for them to relax and do it.


This is where we started. I put a white primer on both canvases.


After they relaxed a bit, they stopped arguing and fighting and started asking the coolest questions. I really enjoyed this hour.


When they finally just started allowing themselves to be creative, I started to realize the painting was going to look a little preschool which is exactly what I didn't want. The colors were very primary and I was going to need to brainstorm how to tone them down so that I could actually have this masterpiece in my house.


I stopped giving them any sort of direction at this point and just let them be. It took them another hour of quiet, no fighting, painting for them to be done. Then, I sent them in the house and touched up what they did. There were areas of the painting where they didn't leave enough paint or where it needed to be more defined. I then remembered I had some metallic paint, so I started embellishing their painting. The metallic over the colors was adding some earthiness and toning down the primary color palette. It was also making the painting look more uniform.


When I was done, I carried the painting to the living room and let them see the huge surprise in the morning. Their eyes were so cute when they saw what they had done on display. It really filled my cup. It made me reconnect with my creative brain, and spend time with the kids in a fun way. Now, whether or not I keep the painting for the living room is still up for debate, but for now, I am keeping it in the space to see how it feels to live with it.


Viola! Here is their masterpiece in the space where it MIGHT live. The hubby isn't too sure about all the color and I am not too sure how we will make a second one. So I am just letting things marinate.

The painting they did might end up in the stairwell on the way to the playroom too. It actually looks gorgeous in this space with the sunshine filtering in.


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