If you were to hop into my brain at any given moment a year ago – especially right before bed! – when I was about to become a mom, you would have been bombarded by a swirling sea of ideas. I had craft projects I wanted to try with my future child. There were writing prompt journals I wanted to make for Gadanke, posts I wanted to share with you here, sewing projects I wanted to try, and ways I wanted to expand this intensely inspiring page at Gadanke.
That’s what being a creative is all about, right? You become this idea person, and the brilliant possibilities just don’t stop. (Pinterest really doesn’t help!)
Then I became a mom.
Boom! Everything changes, doesn’t it?!
The ideas are still there, swirling deeper in my head, I’m sure. But you know what being a mom really taught me? My time is no longer my own. I can spent hours surfing the internet for “work” and “research,” or I can play with my baby son. I’d rather hear his laugh.
I’ve stopped thinking of the ten thousand things I could do, and I’ve started focusing on the three doable things I can accomplish.
When Niklas was first born, I’d set a goal for the day. One day, my only objective was to trim his nails. The next day, I was going to give him his first bath. Someone without a child would laugh. Really? Your only goal was to trim your kid’s nails? Yes, yes it was.
As this year has gone by, the daily tasks I hope to accomplish have gotten bigger. (He takes a bath every evening with his daddy now – no sweat!) But the goal hasn’t changed:
Dream up a few things. Not a lot. Then make them happen.
The incredible thing is that Gadanke has grown so much because of this intense focusing. That’s counterintuitive, because I have just a fraction of the work time available in my day. Yet we’ve got a freshly designed website and a completely redesigned (and so beautiful!) Become journal for helping folks find their way. (Pictured above.)
Steve Jobs said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”
So moms, focus on the work that matters. Do it until it’s done, rather than jumping down the rabbit holes that come before you. Your children deserve this. You do, too.
|Katie Clemons is a storycatcher and journal crafter. She helps people celebrate their stories with her award-winning writing prompt journals and free workshop at Gadanke. She also blogs at Making This Home about simple, handmade living from a vintage airplane hangar in Montana.|