Mothers are incredible. They are resilient, hard-working, selfless, loving, and creative. They give up their free time to provide tender, loving care to little beings who are awkwardly learning to navigate the world.
Even after their sweet little birds grow up and fly away from the nest, they remain steadily on standby for whenever their child needs Mom’s advice – or simply an ear to listen.
A mother’s love knows no bounds.
The Stories of Mom
Moms (of all varieties) collect countless precious memories of their families over the years. Their children often cling to their favorite memories - tucking them safely within their hearts for later reminiscing.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we are sharing some of our favorite creativity stories about the grandmothers/mothers/children in our lives – how they’ve inspired us, how they’ve taught us, and how they’ve helped us grow.
Resiliency in Creativity - Cayden
My mother has loved crafty projects for as long as I can remember. I watched my mom crochet, sew, and complete so many other projects from an early age.
She was fantastic at any creative hobby she picked up. That’s not to say that she was always instantly good at them, but she was stubborn enough to overcome the challenges she faced starting out so that she could become proficient.
I always admired her for this. She would sit in her living room rocking chair almost every night working on something. There were plenty of times when I watched her crocheting a blanket for someone, mess up, and pull out stitch after stitch until she could try again.
As a kid, I always winced inside seeing her undo so much work. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t just keep going…. Who would know that there were a few stitches wrong other than her?
She tore them out because she knew she could do better, and it wouldn’t keep her from finishing the project. My mother possessed confidence in her skills. That’s why she did it. Nothing would stop her from creating the best project she knew she could.
I was bewildered by her crafting abilities. She had this incredible way of encouraging me to try different projects myself. She taught me how to sew by hand, crochet, and try different crafting projects.
Due to this encouragement, I had the confidence to try other creative things on my own as I grew older, like photography, writing, drawing, painting, and other, much larger, projects. No matter how poorly I felt I was doing when I took on a new project, I clung to memories of her patiently taking on challenging moments while she was creating.
My mother’s creative support means a lot to me because my entire life has revolved around creativity. It is my source of expression, exploration, and stress relief. While we live hours and hours away from each other, we still share projects with each other and delight in our creations. She supports me in all my endeavors and I’m thankful for her encouragement throughout the years.
Some Sweet Inspiration - Alyssa
My maternal family is extremely close, and I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with them growing up. Since before I was born, my grandmother baked constantly. Nearly every week, she would make at least two sweet treats (brownies, banana bread, cookies, and/or Bundt cakes) from scratch with her own recipes she created long ago.
At the age of two, each grandchild would begin helping her, usually by sitting on the counter and pouring ingredients into a mixing bowl, and holding the electric mixer carefully under her guiding hands. When I reached this age, I became the fourth grandchild to assist her (she now has 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren to join her in the kitchen!).
Yet, some of my favorite memories as a child in her house are from every December. All the grandkids would come over and we would make, bake, and decorate sugar cookies for Christmas (and Santa!). My grandmother would set down a large piece of dough she had made in front of each one of us and we would pass around the rolling pin before choosing one of the dozens of cookie cutters she had.
I, however, would be stubborn and want to “freestyle” instead of using any of the shapes, which my grandmother begrudgingly encouraged (since I always made a mess in the process).
Once the cookies were baked, we would generously frost and sprinkle each cookie before enjoying a finished one and packing the rest up to share with our nuclear families.
Today, I am one of two grandchildren who continues to bake thanks to my grandmother’s teachings. Like her, I tend to “wing it” with some of my recipes since creativity in the kitchen can lead to the tastiest treats, including the banana bread and banana muffins I made recently.
A Sweet Bonus
This loaf looks a bit burnt, but trust me, it turned out so tasty and moist on the inside that it stayed fresh for almost a week (I think it was because I added extra banana this time)! The muffins still tasted as delicious as they did when they initially cooled four days later too. I went off of my banana bread recipe for them, but switched out the mayo for cinnamon and vanilla (added in "with love," but really, about a tablespoon each) and baked them in a muffin tin for 18 minutes.
I "borrowed" this recipe from my grandmother and tweaked it for my tastes. I prefer using loaf pans, but she likes using her Bundt cake pan for banana bread. She also butters each slice of banana bread as it is served and heats it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.
Alyssa's Banana Bread
- 2-3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (optional; I usually eye this measurement)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, mayo, and egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and nuts.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir them until they are combined. Note: The mixture will be very thick, so do not overmix.
- Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the pan and allow the loaf to cool completely before storing (but not enjoying!).
The Joys of Motherhood - Karen
The joys of motherhood come in many ways – first words, first steps, first day of school, first time sewing.
As a longtime quilter, I knew that I wanted to pass on my love of quilting to my daughter, Cari. We did plenty of crafting together over the years, but when she said she wanted to learn to sew, I was filled with indescribable JOY!
Unfortunately, there was a bit of a problem. My idea of quilting, and her idea of sewing, were two…very different things. What she really wanted to do was “shop” my stash and design her own tote. She didn’t want patterns or help from me!
What she needed from me was permission to use my fabric (check!) and to understand how to use my fancy sewing machine (check!). What I quickly learned from her is to listen, give her the tools she needed, and then back away and let her creativity fly.
She loved her tote so much, she ended up making four more as gifts for close friends. They loved their totes too – no one noticed the pieces were wonky and the seams wavy. They felt the love and creativity she put into those crazy totes!
She is now 31 and living in New Zealand. She doesn’t own a sewing machine, but uses her creativity in many other ways, which also brings me joy as a mother!
Creativity Starts with Moms
Learning how to be creative is a wonderful skill, and we have maternal figures to thank for passing this knowledge down. Mothers hope for the best for their children (and grandchildren) in every way, but the finest gift you can give back is showcasing the creativity that they taught you.
How do your mothers and/or children inspire you with their creative endeavors? Let us know in the comments below!