What’s the Point In Being Creative?

My son recently turned 1, and I heavily embrace the tradition of doing a smash cake! I don’t give my kids sugar until they turn one, so that smash cake is really their first time tasting such a sweet treat, and it’s so fun to watch!

However, I guess I differ from popular culture in that I don’t just do a basic tiny smash cake- I like to make something that uses my creativity and ties in something that my kids love. My little son LOVES watching the tractors and construction vehicles that have been passing by our home recently, and so I knew he would love a construction-themed cake. This is what I came up with:

And here are my girls’ cakes:

Sadly I couldn’t find a pictures of the cute snow globe cake I made for my other son’s first birthday :(. But it was adorable!

Back to the construction cake. As I was building the mountain and frosting everything, my husband asked “Why do you spend so much time on a cake that is just going to get destroyed? Just give him a cupcake and let everyone else eat the cake!” He was half-joking, half-serious ;), but his question did make me think- why DO I find joy in spending so much time on something that will get destroyed within minutes? I’m a busy homeschooling mom of 4 tiny children, I serve in the community, I write newsletter articles, I take care of our home- I definitely have limited time…. So why do I spend the time decorating a cake for a 1 year old?

I think the answer can be summed up by Brene Brown. If you haven’t read her book “The Gifts of Imperfection”, I highly recommend it! While this book addresses many things, in one chapter in particular she talks about the importance of creating. We live in a world of comparison and busyness and stress. We’re so busy trying to get stuff done and comparing ourselves to the standards of others that we often sacrifice our creative sides- whether it’s photography, sewing a quilt, painting a picture, writing a poem, or decorating a cake. We think that because we’re not good at something, or the best at something, we shouldn’t be wasting our time, because there are so many people more skilled than us, and we are too busy and have too much on our to-do list to waste time doing something purely for the creative outlet.

But when we let go of the need to compete and compare, and the need to accomplish more to feel valuable, we allow ourselves more time to be creative- and we’re happier! The first couple years of motherhood for me were tough- I sacrificed all my time and energy for my children- and left no time for me to be me! I’ve gotten much better over the past 2 years at taking time for me- whether that’s sewing, playing the piano, or decorating a cake ;). And I’ve been a much better mother because of it!

I like this particular quote: “Letting go of comparison is not a to-do list item. For most of us, it’s something that requires constant awareness. It’s so easy to take our eyes off our path to check out what others are doing and if they’re ahead or behind us. Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared. And, without comparison, concepts like ahead and behind and best and worst lose their meaning”.

While my cakes may seem unprofessional, I love them because they’re uniquely mine- and I found a lot of joy in creating them :).

So I’d love to hear from you guys! What are your creative outlets? What hobbies do you have that help you relax? Not necessarily something you’re good at, but what’s something you truly enjoy? Share with us below! And I’d love to see pictures ;).

  •   The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! camille@dvo.com

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