Ever since participating in the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Centered, Finding Balance, hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama, I’ve been (trying to be) more intentional about spending a bit of time on me. Some time to do things that are life-giving to me. One thing in particular has fallen by the wayside over the past couple of years: sewing. My mother sews. She’s actually quite good at it. And while her days of sewing kid’s clothes are long done (she quilts and knits now), her legacy has continued. As a little girl I was fascinated with her work at the sewing machine, and being the adept teacher she is, she soon had me attempting some of my own clothes. I say attempt because I never finished. But the seed was “sewn” (couldn’t resist…).
Just before our Eldest joined our lives almost 2.5 years ago now, I had completed an actual article of clothing. It was a dress. My dear friend Annie had given her style input on the fabric, and completing it felt like quite the feat. I was loving sewing, the process, the puttering about with the patterns, the thread, the fabric. I could spend a whole day engaged in that type of activity.
Fast forward to my present life. Where I can barely get five minutes to work on anything, let alone a hobby. By the time that I do get some free time I’m so exhausted that bringing out the sewing machine sounds less than appealing. Or I’ve got a million other things staring me in the face. But in the past two weeks I’ve completed (or am 15 minutes away from completing) 3 projects! A pair of PJ pants for our Eldest, a fairy house (see this amazing tutorial), and a vest for Woody. I mean, our Middle One. I’m feeling inspired for more: loads of pajamas need to be sewn and the Little One still needs a Christmas stocking.
So how did I make this happen, after 2.5 years of not sewing? A few things:
- I’m learning that I can do projects even when my kids are around. When I set them up with some playdough or the train set, they can actually stay engaged for long enough that I can get something done.
- Lose the expectation of spending a whole day just sewing. Instead, have a clear step by step plan and following it one step at a time. It’s really helped me to be able to stop what I’m doing and then pick it up again later.
- The steps that take longer or take more focus need to happen either during rest hour or at night, when there are fewer disruptions. Having done the ironing, cutting, and measuring parts already, helps me to really look forward to the evening parts though!
To me, it’s a lot more centering to create something myself, than than to just read about other people creating stuff. By finding ways to engage in my own pursuits without needing to be separate from my children to do them, I’m starting to feel a little more balanced again.