Moms Know Moms Day 38: Michelle

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Falafel Rain DressTell us a little bit about yourself and your family life?

My husband and I are originally from NJ. We started dating 22 years ago, and have been married 17. We moved out to WA state about 16 years ago because of its beauty.
We have two lovely daughters (13 and 7) that couldn’t be more different from each other. I am lucky to be a stay-at-home Mom to them.
I just turned 41 this year and feel every bit my age.

What’s the name of your blog/website? What is the significance of the name (How does it reflect you as a person or what you stand for?) How long have you been blogging?

Falafel and the Bee. I started this blog in 2008.
My husband started calling our now 13 year old “The Bee” when she was born. She has always been a feisty redhead, so the name stuck. I started calling our youngest daughter “Falafel” or even sometimes “Falafel Berry” when she was born. I truly have no idea why! More than likely, I was hungry. Ha! She also keeps us on our toes.

For many, sewing/crafting is a big part of who you are as a person. Why is “creative expression” important to you Falafel Bowsand how has it affected the quality of your life?

I NEED to create. It’s therapy. Even in college, I took as many art classes that I could, from drawing to jewelery making to sculpture. It was all fabulous.
I am also one of those people who shows how much they love another person by giving them things that I make. It is a trait I have always had, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Creating fulfills a desire in me like nothing else. The feeling I get from making a dress for one of my girls or even boxer shorts for my husband is exhilarating!
I know that they know that I love them.
You know?

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?

Falafel PurseLists lists and more lists! My dry-erase board on the refrigerator is my best friend. I write down anything I want to accomplish in the day on there. Even if it is sewing a garment I want, or reading a book to my daughter, or doing a blog post- it goes on the list (along with things we need from the store and activities like bill paying). I just love crossing things off. If I don’t get to it in a day, I know what I need to do the next day.
There never seems to be enough hours in a day, though, no matter what I get done.

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?

Now that our kids are older, I find that I have much more time to create! I try to be very available for them after school so Falafel Orange DollI create and blog during the day- or when they are sleeping at night.
If I absolutely have to work on a project while they are around, I try to give them something to work on too! That way we can still be around each other, but I can be productive.
Especially the 7 year old. Give that girl some yarn and glue, and she is happy!

What’s the best mom advice you’ve ever received?

Abandon all preconceived notions you have about Motherhood. They do not apply!
Basically, you have no idea until you do it. It’s too true.
I am still learning. Especially now that there’s a teen in the house!

In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success?

If we are all together, fed and clothed, with a roof over our heads and love in our hearts at the end of the day, I call that success!

Falafel Happy PantsHow has being a mom changed your life perspective?

I had no idea life was so scary until I had kids. News stories and horror movies had no effect on me until I knew the deep caring only a Mama can have for her babies!
Now I never watch those things. Yikes. *shutters*
I have gained an empathy for other Mothers that I never would have otherwise. I feel as if I joined the a wonderful sisterhood that I am honored to be part of. We are all in it together.
If you are the Mom at the grocery store with a screaming toddler in tow, I feel your pain. We have all been there.
No judgement. Just knowing.

Line-2Michelle, thank you for sharing with us today.

You can find Michelle at Falafel and the Bee and Facebook.

Join us tomorrow for Day 39 of Moms Know Moms and our interview with Kris from Yarn Made Me Do It.

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