Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family life?
I’ve been married (usually happily) for 11 years and have four children together with my husband. I stay at home with the children and work part time (sometimes full time) on my design and sewing pattern business while the kids are at school or sleeping.
I’m passionate about my faith, justice and the spread of kindness and compassion. I’m also a pretty straight forward person who tends to say what she thinks. I’ve been working on installing a filter for years with little success.
If I had to describe our home life I wouldn’t even consider the words calm, or serene. Our house is loud, messy and often rushed. We have goals and plans for better organization and serenity in the home but don’t think those will be accomplished for at least 16 years.
What’s the name of your blog/website? What is the significance of the name, an how long have you been blogging?
The Train To Crazy
I named it when I was just beginning my parenting journey, about nine years ago. It started as a family blog and morphed into a sewing and lifestyle blog. I couldn’t have known then how prophetic the name was! I have, indeed, been on the train to crazy. I think the title is an effort for me to accept the change and chaos that is my life. Always something and someone new to add or a new place to move! We have made five cross country moves and lived in eight different places and lived/worked in six states during the last 11 years. So, yes, the train to crazy.
For many, sewing/crafting is a big part of who you are as a person. Why is “creative expression” important to you and how has it affected the quality of your life?
I love to create. I think learning new things and creating is definitely a deep part of who I am. I do love sewing though I know others who couldn’t live without it. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live without creating, whatever that may be. I love graphic design, writing, clothing design, sewing and, increasingly, DIY projects.
As a mom, life often tugs you in every direction and having space and peace to create can ground and center you as a person. Some moms like to go shopping alone for peace, others sew!
Working inside or outside of the home (or running a blog or website on a part to full time basis) can be especially tough because of the difficult choices we have to make with how to divide our time between work and family. Have you ever felt guilty about the choices you’ve made, and what advice would you give to someone struggling with those same types of feelings?
All. The. Time. I always feel bad if I choose work over my family. I’ve made a decision to hire more help rather than trying to do it myself. I’d rather pay someone and spend that time with my kids than try to do it all myself at the expense of quality time at home.
If you’ve transitioned from hobbyist to business woman, what made you take the leap? What has been your greatest challenge? What has been your greatest reward?
My greatest challenge to beginning my own business and treating my hobby as a business was getting my partner on board. He had a very difficult time seeing it as more than a hobby, even when I was making decent money.
I think having a business of my own has been especially empowering and rewarding. As a mom you can feel a bit discouraged when your entire life is wrapped up in caring for children (a very important job) but if there is a nagging voice that you wish there was something left for yourself then your kids may start to feel that drain. Finding an outlet and beginning to work was fantastic for my mental health and I began appreciating being home with my family so much more.
Finding the time to mother AND craft or sew can be a big challenge. How do you carve out time to create? When your children nap or are at school? Or have you found other ways to “sneak in” some time?
I prefer to sew when my kids are not around. I know some women manage but I find it incredibly stressful. I could have something to do with my rather uninhibited two year old but I prefer to sew/work when they’re at school or asleep. If I really must get work done I will send them to the yard to play or put on a movie.
“Everything changes” and “never say never.” After four children I realize even more that I don’t know much. Each child is different and we just do our best! What works for me may not work for you and once we realize that, we can move past some mommy guilt and judgement and just appreciate what we have.
How has being a mom changed your life perspective?
Being a mom changes you completely. At least it did me. It made me grow up. I was young, only 27, when I had my first child and I thought I had life figured out. Having kids made me realize how vulnerable I really was. Kids have taught me that there may not be just one right answer in every situation. I have also learned to be a respecter of time. Each moment is precious and now I use them well!
Join us tomorrow for Day 30 of Moms Know Moms and our interview with Alida from Alida Makes.
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A Question for You:
How important is having an “outlet” to you?