Making Time To Sew When You Have Kids (Or Are Busy)
The following blog post offers some helpful tips on how to fit sewing into your life as a mom. These ideas apply to anyone who desires to pursue a creative hobby, yet has a busy life.
We’ve all done it. Said, “I would love to sew but I just don’t have time!”
Now of course, there is only so much time in the day, and when we are moms, there are more things to do than time to do them.
However, the way we spend our time each day is an accurate reflection of what we truly desire to be doing. You might say, “I spend all my time going to work, cooking dinner, and then getting the kids to bed! But I desire to be sewing!”
This may be true, yet if we are honest with ourselves we will remember that for periods of time here and there we may have been mindlessly scrolling social media or watching TV. It’s human nature (especially when we are tired) to fall back on these auto-pilot time-fillers. However, if we desire to fit in a creative hobby we must become conscious of where the time goes in our day. Next, ask yourself, “is this what I really want to be doing?” I am mostly referring to the afore-mentioned “time-wasters”, as we will always have several non-negotiable things we must do during the day, especially as moms. But sometimes there are things that seem to be a “non-negotiable”, which really aren’t. Allow me to explain.
Prioritizing Yourself and Your Creativity
So, what about those pesky chores which take up all our time? Prioritization is key. When you are old one day, chances are you won’t say, “I’m so glad my bathroom was always spotless!” You will however, be glad for the time you spent pursuing your creative goals and making things that last, among other things.
A clean bathroom doesn’t last. A garment you sewed will last, both physically and in the emotional benefits which the creation-process brought you. Of course, keeping your home relatively clean is important and benefits your life as well. But if you deeply desire to sew beautiful clothing for yourself (or others), you need to prioritize that over cleaning the bathroom. The house will get cleaned when it really needs it, but your sewing will never get done unless you give it an important place in your life.
What this actually comes down to is that during the day, you sit down and sew even when there are other chores you feel you “should” be doing. Your creative goals will never get reached unless you put them ahead of those other, louder priorities. As mothers we are bombarded with “loud” priorities, shouting at us to get them done: piles of laundry, dinner to be cooked, crying baby, diaper to be changed . . . Many of these things must be done right away. But spending time on ourselves, especially developing our creativity, is a quiet, whispering priority. It whispers in your soul to make something. But your creative goals will never yell at you like those chores in life will. That is why we have to prioritize our creativity. And in return, following your “creative thread” of ideas will feed your soul, the benefits of which will trickle down to your spouse, your children, and your entire life.
Have a Sewing Space, No Matter How Small
Okay, so you have decided to prioritize sewing. What’s next? The first step is creating a sewing space. Before you get all stressed and imagine I’m talking about a pinterest-worthy sewing room, I’m not.
My family and I lived in a tiny apartment for a few years and my sewing space was the coffee table. I had to kneel on the floor and work the sewing machine pedal with my knee, but it was my space, and I prioritized it! Later, when I got a cutting mat, I placed it on the dining table, and it became a fixture there. My sewing supplies took up a couple shelves on a cheap shelving unit in the corner of the living room. It worked! Now that we have a house I have a work table in the basement with all my supplies, and my sewing machine desk in the kitchen. However, I wouldn’t say it is any easier to sew now than in the apartment. No matter how small your living space, you can prioritze what you love to do!
Schedule It In: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Imagine having a “creative time-slot” to look forward to each day. A time where you tune out the world and your to-do’s, and simply create something. This could be as simple as getting a couple of seams sewn on your project. Don’t underestimate what you can achieve by working on something for a “comfortable” amount of time each day. Having a realistic time-slot is key, because if you view sewing as a monumental task which takes hours, you will never fit it in.
You could have a certain time of day, perhaps nap time, when you work on your sewing project. Sometimes, things will go wrong, and the kids will not all nap at the same time. Work on your sewing anyway! Doing this ensures that you won’t become resentful towards your life or whichever child it is who isn’t sleeping when they are supposed to be. If you have a baby who isn’t napping, baby-wearing can be a great solution.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of sewing clothes when we view a project in its entirety. But if we view it as something we will try our best on for a short time each day, the project will magically come together.
Don’t Worry About Being “Good”
The hardest part of sewing for beginners can be fear. The fear of not being “good” murders creativity. Especially if one is a perfectionist, the thought of beginning a new hobby is daunting.
Instagram and other social media is great for the sewing community, but as prospective sewers it can be discouraging at times. We might say to ourselves, “I could never do that”, or, “I’m just not crafty like them.” This is simply not true. Everyone is “crafty”, and everyone can create things. The key is finding what brings you joy and diving in. Don’t worry about being good. Try a project that excites you, even if it is not beginner friendly. Don’t worry about how it comes out looking. Your first project will teach you so much; the best way to learn is to do.
Just Do It!
You can do it! If sewing excites you and you want to create beautiful clothing, just dive right in! No matter how busy we are, or how many cute screaming kids we have running around, we were all born to be creative, and we can accomplish anything by prioritizing it. Patience is key. Patience with yourself, with your kids, and with the way your life is at the moment. Patience with your sewing projects is also important, so we can be content to work on it a little at a time. Don’t rush, because that breeds frustration and burn-out. Sewing is a peaceful meditative process with the byproduct of amazing, personalized clothing for yourself. It is worth fitting it into your life!
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