Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family life?
I have 4 crazy, amazing, hilarious children. My husband is a doctor, and his schedule is pretty hectic so I do a lot of the parenting and house keeping on my own. We live in the South, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What’s the name of your blog/website? What is the significance of the name and how long have you been blogging?
My blog is Alida Makes, it used to be called “I Make Stuff” because well, I make stuff! When I monetized my blog I wanted a name that sounded more like me, and what could be more me than using my name? I’ve been blogging for 3 1/2 years.
I have always been an artist of some sort. I lived with my grandmother for a time when I was young. She was a painter (she studied with Bob Ross!) and she instilled in me a love of art. One of my favorite memories is making paste with her for a craft project. When I’m not sewing or painting or crafting, I sing. Many don’t know this, but in a previous life I was an opera singer!
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?
I struggle with feelings of guilt all the time. It used to bother me a lot actually. I feel like when my blog is doing it’s best I am stretched too thin and can’t give the kids the attention they deserve. When I have those feelings I scale back for a little while. I’ve learned it’s pretty normal for any working mom to feel that way, and it’s ok. In the end, your children won’t remember that they ate pizza 3 nights a week and that there were dishes in the sink. They will remember that you followed your dream and did something that made you really happy. I am a better mom when I feel fulfilled, and blogging gives me a huge sense of fulfillment.
I’m still kind of in between. I’m not serious enough about the blog to put the hours into it to make it a full time job. I know me, and once something becomes a job I HAVE to do, I stop enjoying it. I don’t ever want to feel that away about sewing. To be honest, sometimes I feel that way about blogging. I do have sponsored posts and sidebar ads, which basically supports my fabric habit. I had to, I was spending WAY too much on supplies and it was either monetize or stop blogging!
For most moms, multitasking is synonymous with motherhood. What’s been your biggest personal challenge with juggling so many things? Have you found a way to stay balanced? If so, what are some of your strategies?
I have 4 children, so just juggling them is really tough. With each child come challenges, medical conditions, food allergies, learning disabilities, they all have their own set of hurdles. I’m not a naturally organized person at all, but one thing that has really helped me is putting everything on my google calendar. I have it set so that my phone reminds me the day before and an hour before I need to be somewhere or a blog post needs to come up. I need constant reminders because I can’t keep everything straight!
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 have three children in school and my 2-year-old at home with me. Sewing during the day is really hard because she has just given up her nap. I usually sew at night after the kids go to bed, which sometimes leads to unfortunate mistakes because I’m so tired. I keep reminding myself that this is only a season and eventually my youngest will be in pre-k and I’ll have 4 glorious sewing hours a day.
This is what my mom always told me whenever I worried that my children weren’t reaching milestones when I thought they should: By the time they’re in kindergarden they’re all potty trained, talking, walking and playing. It doesn’t matter when they do it. Calm down and enjoy them, parenthood is a marathon, not a sprint.
In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success?
If all of my kids are happy and healthy and fed, I’m doing my job.
How has being a mom changed your life perspective?
Before kids I wanted to make it as a professional singer, or at the very least work in the music industry. Now I know myself well enough to realize that it wouldn’t make me happy. Being a mom is the most important job I could ever have.
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A Question for You:
Parenthood has a way of shifting life perspective like nothing else. Did your personal goals change once you became a parent or did you become more determined to see those pre-parent goals fulfilled?