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How I Find Time to Sew with Kids at Home

my current scrap project from leftover charm squares

whenever i tell someone that i quilt, the next thing that comes is how do i find the time with two young kiddos at home.

to be honest, this is still a work in progress, since every single day is different. one important thing that i have learned is to just roll with the punches and working in those precious minutes that my kiddos are happy playing.

for me, it is all about working in short bursts! without it i wouldn't be able to get any sewing, or lets face it cleaning done if i didn't do my work in short bursts.

i have found that 15 to 20 minutes is a good amount of time for my kiddos. i have the mentality with my kiddos that i am not here to entertain you 24/7, so now is as good a time to learn to how to occupy your time. right now my girls are pretty good for about 20 minutes of playing either by themselves or together. it just depends on the day. These 15 to 20 minutes are good for me and for my kiddos. they allow me to step away for a little bit of time, which is good on stressful days, but it is also necessary to help manage my anxiety. i can always tell and my hubby can tell days when i haven't had much time in my sewing studio. my anxiety gets the best of me and i will sneak away once my hubby is home from work so i can get my anxiety back under control. plus my kiddos learn that it's okay if mom is not right next to them all the time.

so working in 20 minute bursts i try to have a few projects that i'm working on, so i can always have something to do during my creative time. i try to have my projects in various stages since some days i can have happy kiddos and i can chain piece until my heart contends. then other days i'll work on a fabric pull for a project since i know it is going to be a day that i'm going to have to keep stopping and starting. if i don't have any projects i usually go back to working on scrap management, for example right now i'm working on a scrap quilt from leftover charm squares.

an ideal day i have 20 minutes in the morning, nap time (anywhere from and 1.5 to 3 hours), another 20 minutes in the afternoon, and maybe another hour after the girls are in bed. unless i am working on a project with a deadline, i try not to sew after my hubby gets home as that is family time.

i use this idea for cleaning as well. it is amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time. plus those little times of getting things done, especially sewing helps me to be a better mom. 

of course some days my 20 minutes are 5 minutes here 5 minutes there, but i've found that the more i practice letting my girls learn to occupy their time, they are getting better at it. though they do know my weakness, if they come to me with a book i will stop whatever i'm doing and read to them; regardless if i'm sewing, cleaning, or cooking (if i know i'm not going to burn it). And of course as they get older, i will be able to spend more time sewing, but for now those 20 minutes really help me while i'm in the trenches of motherhood.

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