Balancing Acts

Foxhole Parenting. The Tunnel of Parenthood. I am told the first few years of parenthood, whatever you call them, are the hardest. All of your children are little, their physical needs great, and none of them are old enough to be a big help. Not that young children can’t be helpful at all.  They can and should be helpful in small ways.  But now that both my 5-year-old son and husband have added “student” to their job descriptions, I am finding myself feeling stretched too thin. 

I get asked a lot “How do you find time to sew?” The answer is: I make time. I dream about it, plan for it, prepare for it, and grab onto it when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes it is not as much time as I would like, sometimes I am guilty of neglecting more important things to do it,but it is always worth the time. All the stress and frustration slides away as fabric is cut, pinned, sewn, and shaped into something new. I am sure all of you reading this can relate.

At the beginning of this year, I made a goal to publish a pattern a month. It has been fun so far. I am finding writing and designing patterns to be like writing computer programs, but for people to follow, and I find it a similar pleasure to the programming I have done in the past. Unfortunately, it is takes more time for each one than I have to give.  So, while I would like to share with you more original patterns this year, I don’t think I can do more than maybe two. But by eliminating this pressure to create a quantity of patterns, or blog posts, there will be a better quality in the projects to share with you, and I will find my time spent on them to be more enjoyable too.

That’s the point right?

How are you adjusting to the new school year? What are you adding or subtracting to find balance?

13 Responses to Balancing Acts

  1. jen September 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I am adding more time focusing on projects I WANT to do. and trying to cut out the projects I do just because, and I want to cut down my internet time too… obviously not going the best :)

    • Jodi September 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

      excellent goals!

  2. NancyNicki September 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I have my ‘sewing room’ (aka small table shoved in a corner the kids can’t get at) off the living room. That way after tucking the kids in I can bring out the cutting mats and sit on the floor in the living room cutting pinning etc. while watching shows and chatting with my husband. One of the reasons I love the pajama eaters is because they can be done in many little steps w/o spending hours figuring out where I left off. So I can work on it a little at a time as time allows.

    We also homeschool (3rd, 2nd, k/1, and a 2 yr old) so I’m going to try to make sewing a class component this year. It does have many esentials to learning. Adding, subtracting, using a ruler, making straight lines, curved lines, reading (patterns), following directions. And the best part is, if I can pull it off, the kids won’t even realize they’re doing painstaking math problems in the process.

    • Jodi September 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

      I definitely helps to have “easy access” to sewing when trying to squeeze in time with it. I have a dedicated sewing area in my basement, but I do most of my sewing in our living room, in the middle of it all.

  3. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy September 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Those pics are great. The first because your girls are beautiful (seriously, can I just pinch her little cheeks through my screen?). And the second because it illustrates your point so well!

    Starting today, I’m borrowing my mom’s bernina for a month so I can try my hand at sewing for the first time in a few years. So ten minutes ago I was holding my baby in my left hand and messing with thread tension in my right. That’s okay, right?

    And as for the patterns…..quality definitely trumps quantity. But I think you take the whole pattern-making thing to a new level when you come out with something like the pajama eaters. Something as creative (and difficult to create) as that should count for a years’ worth of pillowcase dress patterns!

    • Jodi September 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      I’m so excited for you! If holding a baby is what it takes, by golly, hold that baby to get some sewing time in! hehe.Yesterday, I tried to nurse while sewing some “nursing clips” (long straps with suspender clips on the ends) for a friend. It didn’t got very well, but I get an A for effort. :) If you need help figuring out your Bernina, they have an amazing active fan page on Facebook and I bet you could help there.

      And thank you for your sweet compliment. Hopefully I can live up to the standard I set for myself. 😉

  4. Jackie September 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Do you have a student neighbour, niece, nephew, grandmother or girl friend that you could exchange some child minding for a sewn item? Play dates are wonderful things for the little ones now and then if you trust the home of the other player. Play pen in the sewing room is one I used a lot when my kids were really young and nap-time was pure gold! I remember doing exactly what you are in that picture – cutting with a child on my lap. I remember giving my daughter a piece of scrap fabric and a pair of school scissors so she could cut something out (we em
    ended up with cloth crumbs), and a hoop with fabric and a dull crewel needle so she could sew. She learned to love what I loved! Where there is a need to sew there is a way to figure out how to accomplish it.

    • Jodi September 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      A girlfriend babysitting exchange sounds like a wonderful idea! Also, I should have a college student starting to come for weekly babysitting starting in the next week or so. A couple hours to myself a week! I am really looking forward to it.

  5. Jodi September 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    ooohhh … Here’s some more good advice from Jen @ Conversion Diary.

  6. Andy Bonjour September 2, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    I think you’re amazing. (mush).

  7. thesoutherninstitute September 2, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Life gets so busy at this time of year… it’s crazy! I haven’t sewn anything in about a month or more, and I hate that. For me it comes down to overcommitment. I have overcommitted myself to posting on other people’s blogs and that’s about all I’ve had time to do now that school has started! I haven’t really been able to sew something on my to-do list. Once I’m done with my last commitment I will be sure to limit myself and spend time creating for me and the kids.

    I’m glad you’ve given yourself grace on the pattern front! I don’t know how you ladies make patterns, it’s something I have yet to try, but I imagine it takes a long time to put one pattern together!

    Chat with you soon!

  8. becky September 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Everyone needs an outlet and some “me” time, what ever that ends up being.

  9. Contemporary Cloth (@ccloth) September 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    I am not a parent, but I think that it is the most difficult and rewarding job in existence…I have a difficult job of balancing everything, can’t imagine how you all do it!
    I wish you all the best…….Sondra

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