Shorty asked how I seemed to do it all: sewing, teaching full time, house, kids, church, etc., etc., Some people also think I never sleep! It certainly sounds that way, doesn't it? I'll have to admit, I am a very busy person. So, how do I do it all?
First, it helps to realize that not every day every task will get done. Things happen that change even the best plans, and how you adjust and deal with that can make a huge difference in how your day goes. I do get frustrated at times when things don't get done in my own time frame, but I believe that God has a plan for my day, just as I do. While the plans aren't always the same, I know that He is still in control. There are priorities, and as much as I'd love to sew 24/7, that's not going to happen. What does happen is that dinner for the family gets made, laundry and some cleaning and the homework/piano lessons get done.
Here are a few things that I do that help to manage a pretty busy life:
- Advanced planning. I plan out everything - from what I'm wearing to work tomorrow to a 3 week dinner menu rotation to what my next big projects are for 2008/09. I'm always planning the next project before the current one is finished. For example, right now, I'm making a pair of trousers from Patrones, I know that my next project is going to be a shirt dress made from a vintage pattern. I still need to wash the fabric, but knowing that I'm going to do laundry tomorrow, I'll pull out the fabric today and put it on the dryer to remind me to wash it. I probably won't get to cutting out the dress until Friday at the earliest, but the fabric will be ready for me.
- Organization. I like to have everything ready for a project - zippers, buttons, thread, everything together so that when I begin sewing I don't have to search around for it. I also gather up all my clothes/accessories for the next day the night before. My workout clothes are all together, my workouts for the week are stacked in the order I'm going to do them, etc.
- Have family members help. I can not do everything around the house and work full time, plus sew. My children are now of an age where they can help - they live here, too! There was a point when they much younger and not able to help me out - I know the frustration of having to do everything with a baby and a toddler in tow! They are now extremely helpful in doing chores around the house so that we all can do the things we like to do. They can load/unload the dishwasher, they fold their own laundry, make school lunches, vacuum and help clean. Is everything perfect? No, but I do appreciate the help!
- Set small, achievable goals. These are goals that I know can be achieved in a short amount of time and help me to feel like I'm accomplishing something, especially in the sewing studio. Instead of "sew dress" as a goal, I'll set a goal of "cutting out dress", and that's it. If I can get that done, then I feel that I've done something productive. Even something small, like changing the thread in the serger can be a mini-goal and make me feel prepared for the next sewing task.
Parting Shot: Child in action. Here's my daughter, helping to feed the cats. Both children have jobs to do while I'm making dinner to help out such as feeding the cats, making lunches and taking out the trash.