Life can be busy with a little one in the house, even when we stay home. BUT being a mom doesn’t mean you stop being you. It’s okay to make time to do what you love.
My mom has told me multiple times that when my sisters and I were little she tried to do a little something each day that wouldn’t get undone. For her, it was scrapbooking. I recently read Joanna Gaines’ (from Fixer Upper…I’m obsessed) blog post about motherhood where she says that as a young mother it was important for her well-being and that of her kids that she kept herself “creatively fed.” Read her post here
This being said, if making time to craft or paint or sew, or whatever it is you love is stressing you out, give yourself a break!!! There are some times in our lives that we really might be too busy, and that’s okay. When I was student teaching I was often gone from 5:00 am till 5:30 pm, with lessons to plan and projects to complete. Did I sew at all? Nope. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not growing in this or that talent. You will eventually.
However, there was also a time in my life (after I graduated high school) when I had lots of time during the day and almost no responsibilities to attend to aside from my summer job. Did I sew or create at all? Nope. Haha. It’s easy to waste time and make excuses and realize that we aren’t accomplishing our goals even though we could be.
For me, sewing and DIY are things that are stress-relievers and help me feel like I accomplished something during the day that won’t get undone (like laundry or dishes, oh the constant battle). It’s because of this that I put a priority on them.
Here are some ways that I’ve made time for myself to do the things I love in my short time as a DIY mom:
I finished my student teaching when I was six months pregnant with Littles. This left me three months to work on all the fun baby-related sewing projects I had planned to work on before he was born. I made a list of all the ideas I had and then planned deadlines for the most important projects. I didn’t finish everything, but I got lots done and the sense of structure was really helpful. My wonderful husband also helped me learn to plan my day effectively and set aside specific time to sew. Now I find it MUCH more difficult to plan out exactly when everything will happen during the day because Little Man’s schedule is flexible, but I still make plans to use in the morning and time during his nap.
2.Set a time when your creativity takes top priority.
We can’t (and probably shouldn’t) make our hobbies first priority all the time, but a small amount of time each day or week that is specifically set aside for crafting will add up. For me, this is Little’s naptime. It takes some work to get everything else (such as shower, yoga, chores) done while he’s awake, but it is worth it. We also live with in-laws at the moment, which makes it so that I have less chores to do overall (this is a HUGE blessing). Later I hope to maybe set aside one nap a week to meal prep and other chores so I can focus on sewing during the other naptimes. I will let you know how that goes when we get there.
3.Dedicate a space to your hobby.
I have found that if my supplies are readily available, I’m way more motivated to work on projects. Before you decide that this is impossible, hear me out! It is possible to make this work in small spaces with a little creativity. My husband and I lived in a gross little studio for two years (and I loved it), but I was still able to have my sewing space. I used a murphy desk that was built into our apartment. There was room behind the desk that my sewing machine fit inside when everything was folded up. If I was in the middle of a project, I could leave the desk folded down for a little while and it was no big deal. This made a HUGE difference in how much sewing I accomplished. I’ve also seen hall closets transformed into offices or creative spaces, which is very cool.
4.Don’t get distracted!
When I was in college, an acquaintance spun tales of how he hiked through the mountains and trekked to admire huge banyan trees in spots around Oahu, even on weekdays! I told him I didn’t have time to do those things. He responded with, “Everyone would have time if they didn’t waste it on Facebook.” At the time I thought, “Well I don’t spend THAT much time on Facebook…” But it adds up so fast, I’m sure I did. Social media, the internet, games on the smartphone…these things can all be good in their place, but they can be thieves of time and creativity!
So…what are you waiting for? Now that you’ve read these tips and hopefully been inspired, go make a plan of how you will accomplish the dream you’ve been dying to work towards. Maybe it’s to become a better seamstress like me, maybe it’s to decorate your house, maybe it’s working on cars or exercising. Whatever it is, make a plan, set a time and dedicate a space. Then maybe it won’t have to wait till tomorrow.