Would you ever ask a parent that question? Probably not. And you may be dying to ask your mom or dad if your oldest brother is REALLY their favorite, but my guess is you won’t. And, even if you did, what would they say? “I love you all the same, each in a different way.”
Choosing between art and writing is like choosing a favorite child. Sure, I do go through times when I get along better with one than the other. I got a degree in art when I was 19 and a degree in writing at 44, but, as in most single-parent households, the real battle has been to love each of them as well as I can given their different natures.
And they both need the same thing: my time.
How have I raised these two wonderful but very different children? Here are a few tips for you single-parent multiple-creative-children households:
- Notice their different natures. My art child loves me to dance before I paint. The music and movement warms my blood and lights my passion. For some reason she loves to paint Friday night best of all. My little writer is–of all things–a morning person and will wake me up at 4 am if I don’t give her enough time at the page.
- Give them each a different time of day or different days of the week. I frequently take my artist out on artist dates once or twice a month because he gets short changed during the week. My writer gets me before work (and as I am sitting here). So make artist dates for the child who needs special time.
- Keep a notebook and supplies for each child at all times. I have yellow legal pads and sketch books and pens with me at all times. You musicians could keep a digital tape recorder. Poets, too, could flow verbally. As a mommy/daddy you must always be prepared.
- Let one child go to boarding school for awhile and spend quality time with one art form at a time. Explain to the other child that you will keep in touch and that you will take that special watercolor class or buy that nifty new laptop once you are finished with the other child’s project.
- Feel no guilt when you (secretly) do prefer one child for awhile. We have all done it. Its ok.
- Let go of trying to be everything. By this I mean to everyone else. I shamelessly put my creative children first. If I don’t want to go to that knitting group or karaoke night, well, my friends will just have to understand. I have two growing and developing children after all!
- Enjoy them both. They are only alive for a little while. They are a gift and it is your right to treasure and love and be proud of the little rug rats.
Any thoughts or tips from you single-parent multiple-talent households out there?