Motherhood is good work — the best kind — but it’s work nonetheless. And sometimes it feels totally overwhelming.

Having a creative outlet is the aspect of my life that has kept me sane. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. It’s therapeutic for me to have some short-term creative projects in the midst of the long-term creative process of raising children.

I have a feeling this may be the first time Dolly Parton has ever been quoted on Design Mom, but it’s always good to break new ground, right? I recently found these lyrics and they spoke to me.

It takes all I’ve got to give what life demands.
You’ll go insane if you give in to it,

Life’s a mill and I’ve been through it,

I’m just grateful I’m creative with my hands.

So here’s the one thing I hope you remember from Amy Smart: Find something you love to do and do it.

Not because you want to get a bunch of new comments on your blog, or because you want to become the next Martha, or because you want to win a blue ribbon at the state fair. But because it feeds some part of you that needs feeding.

Just don’t try to do it all. You’ve really got to narrow your focus. For right now, I’ve narrowed it down to one thing.

And I set up shop in the middle of the family room with the kids buzzing around me. I try to avoid using the computer when they are around because I don’t like the thought of them just looking at the back of my head. But I do sew with them around. (This doesn’t mean there aren’t frequent interruptions and occasional balls thrown at my head or Hot Wheels cars driving across my back). I like them seeing me do something artistic, and I’ve seen the way it affects my kids’ creativity.

In the meantime, I totally enjoy admiring the work of other women. Especially when they do something I don’t do. Don’t feel guilty or compare what you do to what other people do. Enjoy the beauty they create as well.

So, pick your thing. And love it. Whether it’s baking a loaf of bread, or playing the piano, or doing Pilates, or knitting socks, or digging in the dirt. Nourish your soul. Then you can better nourish the little souls that live with you.

Thanks again to Gabby for letting me come hang out this week and to all of you for your encouraging comments. I’d love to hang out with you more in the future, so drop in for a visit!