My husband and I have 4 amazing children. Sofia is 5, Chloe is 3.5, Ella is 2 and Ollie is 8 months. The Hubs is an IT guy and I’m lucky enough to be able to stay at home with our gaggle of tiny humans. My Dad was in the Army for 30 years so I grew up moving all over the world and my husband grew up in Panama.
What’s the name of your blog/website? What is the significance of the name, and how long have you been blogging?
I started Sew Like My Mom in June 2010. My Mom, and generations of women in my family before her, all sewed and she really encouraged and inspired me to start sewing.
It’s not so much creative expression as it is something I get to do just for me. My day is full of diapers and car pool and sippy cups and kissing booboos. It’s my outlet, my me time, the thing I do to keep my sanity intact! It just so happens my kids get to enjoy the fruits of my self-expressive labors.
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?
No. My husband really encouraged me to start my blog and has been the biggest source of support. He’s read every post, offered insight, not to mention he runs all the techy back-end stuff I’m clueless about. He understands when the dishes are taking over the kitchen or the kids ate peanut butter for lunch and dinner and we’re all still in our pajamas because I’m motivated and driven and dedicated to whatever project I’m working on. I thought I would struggle with guilt a lot more than I do but it turns out, the more I get to pour myself into these endeavors, the better I feel about the other areas of my life.
I’m just beginning to break out into making clothing patterns. I got lots of emails from readers asking me to figure out sizing info for some of my more popular posts and I figured it was probably time to start doing it officially. I also have really amazing ideas for clothing pieces and I wanted to do more than give “vague” directions in a free tutorial. I love the challenge of doing it all myself and since I’m self-taught it’s extremely gratifying to see my vision come to life in the hands of Moms around the world, sewing late into the night, and bringing us together over our love of handmade clothing.
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?
My biggest personal challenge is housework. It really takes a back burner to everything else because I’d rather spend any free time snuggling my babies or working on my next pattern. Six people produce an extraordinary amount of laundry and we’ve been living out of a laundry pile for years. If only I had a few more hours in each day to get it all done. 🙂 I don’t really know how to keep it all balanced and make the time to do things for myself, but I’m open to suggestions!
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’ve been sewing on a regular basis since my oldest was a baby, and blogging since she was 2. Three kids later and it’s just something they’re all used to seeing me do–in fact I was sewing while in labor with 2 of them! They know not to touch my fabric or notions or any sewing related item (though fabric on the floor is fair game in their eyes!). We took a room in our house and made it half sewing room and half playroom so we can all be in there together. I’m able to see them at all times, but I’m also readily available to change Barbie clothes, replay Despicable Me for the 8 millionth time, get another snack, and break up the latest fight. It allows me to feel like we’re still spending time together but each enjoying what makes us happy.
What’s the best mom advice you’ve ever received?
The best Mom advice I’ve received is to ignore all advice anyone else gives. Every where you turn, people are full of it. How to make them sleep, what you should feed them, what toys are best, what school is best, it’s everywhere. But to truly know ourselves as Mothers and know our kids the way we desire, we have to block out all other opinions and develop our Motherly instincts ourselves. Learn to listen to our guts, to our babies, and do what we feel is right.
In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success?
Career-wise, I think success is defined differently for everyone. For me, my blog is successful because I’m helping people sew or cook or craft some project that interests them. I get so many comments from new sewists that successfully made a pillowcase dress or bean bags or appliqued because the tutorials on my blog helped them. That’s success to me–passing along my passion to help others. Family wise? It’s a successful day if we all wore pants. 🙂
How has being a mom changed your life perspective?
I learned how to let go of a lot of little things. It’s helped me focus on the bigger picture in life and strive to be the best version of me. I’ve got 4 little opportunities to spread love and happiness into the world and the most important thing to me is them!
Join us tomorrow for Day 38 of Moms Know Moms and our interview with Michelle from Falafel and the Bee.
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