11 Secrets of a Creative Mama (aka How I Get Stuff Done With A Kid)

by Leonie Dawson on May 8, 2012

Hola beautiful souls!

The moment your baby arrives, you fall in love. Head-over-heels with this incredible light that your body helped bring into the world.

And in the hours that follow, some time between the feeding and the nappy changing and the soothing and the next feeding, a thought suddenly paralyses you:

How am I EVER going to get ANYTHING done again?

I remember feeling really overcome with fear. How on earth was I EVER going to even be able to take a shower again – much less make art? I had no hands, no arms, no body, no space, no time to call my own.

Over the months, I learned. I learned the big and the hard way that I NEEDED art in my life. I NEEDED to create just as much as I needed to breathe. And that creating with a kid required a totally new skillset and mindset (it’s why I recorded the video workshop of Creating with Kids).

Along the way, I’ve learned how to incorporate creating into my mamahood routine.

Here’s my 11 secrets to being a Creative Mama + Getting Stuff Done!

1. I don’t brush my hair. The only beauty routine I have is spraying this stuff on my face as moisturiser. And occasionally getting my eyebrows & eyelashes tinted (they are naturally uber-blonde thanks to my Danish heritage, and can disappear otherwise. Which is cool. Sometimes I rock the uber Scandinavian golden look, sometimes I rock the more tinted & defined look.) Point of this: I only do what’s necessary.

2. Washing gets done once a month. Give or take. It doesn’t get ironed. When it is washed, it just sits in big tubs, and we pick & choose from there. I only fold & put away into shelves if that feels like a fun thing to do & can be assed. I have better things to do with my time. Like make art and be happy.


(Making art + throwing it down hills with kids! BLISS!)

3. We eat very simple meals. Sometimes they are pre-prepared. Sometimes they are organic, mostly they are not. We make it as doable, easy and healthy as we can. Simple food is good. We spend less than 10 minutes preparing meals each day. (Current meals we love:  pesto pasta with broccoli and peas. salad & chicken wraps. spaghetti with kidney beans and zucchini.)

4. After my unhappy experience of attempting to be a well-rounded super mum, we have developed a very simple list of prioties in our family.

What to spend time on

#1 Love

#2 Art

(Art includes art, writing, learning about things we love, reading, creating – those things that set us alight, you know?)

Everything else comes after those two things.

5. I include Ostara in projects wherever possible. I get over the fact that she will put her own baby-paw-prints and energy into it too.

(I HAD to share these photos. I look at them a gazillion times a day. I found these on my phone last week after Ostara sequestered my phone + went to go take some self portraits on the couch. OMG. TEH CUTE. I CAN BARELY STAND!)

6. I let go of how I used to make art. I accept that how I make art is different now, and is usually a bit more wild and messy.

7. I have special one-on-one time with Ostara everyday while Chris has time with himself & studies his Psychology degree.

Then in the afternoons, Chris has special one-on-one time with Ostara everyday while I have time with myself, work on my business, create and write and make art by myself.

We are able to share parenting because we’ve set up a really beautiful 6 figure business together. It has given us so much freedom and is so empowering. I am so grateful I became a Business Goddess.

Having said that, it’s still an endless balancing act trying to make sure we all get our needs met, and we all get done what we need to get done. We make it happen though. Coz that’s just what parents do.

(This was a morning doing a photo shoot + recording new videos… my hunky husbo recorded while Ostara played around us. Totally a family event! It takes longer, has roughly 3.2 billion interruptions, but stuff still gets created. That’s all that matters.)

8. I embrace the fact that it’s not going to be perfect. If I feel like recording a podcast, I realise that I’m going to go batshit crazy if I try and record it at home on my professional microphone, demanding NO SOUND from my daughter, love and dogs. That’s Mission Impossible. So what you’ll find instead in podcasts is me speaking directly into my laptop built-in-mic, either up a tree, or sitting outside our library in the middle of a tropical rain deluge. There is background sound. It’s not “perfect.” But it got MADE.

9. The stuff that I’ve tried to make perfect has NOT been made. Just ride your wild donkeys, people!

Some lovely friends + I had a goddess photoshoot at the wetlands… and Ostara was a part of course. She’s become my little creative buddy!

10. We try and make our lives as gentle and conducive to making art as possible. Because that’s what makes our spirits happy.

11. I realise my life is so much more incredibly beautiful and happy when I make my art. I am my better self when I get to create. It makes my heart and soul sing. And that’s the very best thing that I can bring to mothering: my own happy soul.

Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful souls.

May you magically mother yourselves just as you need.

May you know you are perfect just as you are.

love,