“Brooke, when/how do you find time to sew?” A very common question I hear. Today’s post I’m going to discuss how I manage time as a working mom of two and find time to sew all the cute things.
Balance is key now that I am working, sewing, momming, and now blogging. Over the last year I’ve really been working on my time management skills, my multitasking abilities, and being present with my babies.
1. Don’t have expectations
So first thing is I never have expectations to get completely finished with a project in one day. It usually can take me three or four days or so to finish one project. Despite that I can still get two things done in one week, sometimes more. Of course when I get more done that is just a bonus!
2. Share your time (multitask)
Some things you can do simultaneously. I know for me that is watching TV with my husband and cutting fabric or taping/tracing patterns. But for some it might be an audio book while you do that or while you sew. When you only have so much alone time you always want to make the most of it.
To spend time with my husband I will bring my sewing to him. I know what you are thinking, but I don’t mean my actual machine. If I need to trace out a different size from an old pattern, tape together a new pattern I have just printed, or cut fabric. The items I grab are my pattern or printed pages, scissors, rotary cutter, tape, freezer paper, cutting mat, and sharpie pen. I sit on the couch with my husband or on the floor just in front of him while tracing or taping so we can watch a show together or chat while I work!
I do not often try this with my kids as they are 1 and 4 and well that is nearly impossible! Sometimes I will get in a little sewing or pattern tracing after I lay my 1 year old down for a nap. If my daughter is playing with her dolls or something independently.
3. Pick a time of the day to sew
- Mornings might work best for you, before kids are awake
- Nap time if you have small children
- Dinner in the crockpot? Great takes a little time to sew!
- Night time after kids go to bed (my personal favorite)
I generally sew at night when my children go to bed. We lay them down at 8 so I have them for about 1 1/2 hours until I go to bed. Yes, I go to bed at 9:30, but that is because I generally wake up between 4:15 and 5:30 most mornings! For a working mom this could mean having dinner already in the crockpot so instead of cooking when you get home you sneak off for 20 minutes to sew.
If you don’t work outside the home for you that may be setting at alarm and getting up at 7:00am because your kids don’t get up until 8:00am. Maybe when your kids are in school you dedicate 30 minutes to 1 hour of your day to sewing and then rest to other house hold duties.
4.Set Small Goals
I generally set anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour per night aside to sew. Usually 30 minutes but sometimes 1 hour depending if my husband is also working on projects or working overtime at his day job. I take more time if he is busy or not home.
Then I set a reasonable goal for my project that I think can get done in 30 minutes. Then I feel gratification if I get further along then I had planned!
Now I do not sew 7 nights a week (most weeks), unless I have something I really need to get completed. I generally set aside 1-2 nights a week just to spend uninterrupted time with my husband. We should have more out of the house dates. Maybe after COVID we will start doing that.
5. Have a dedicated space
No, I’m not saying an entire room, because that is just not feasible for a lot of people.
Put a table up somewhere that you can leave it up. Basement? Office? Corner in your bedroom? I personally don’t use anything fancy right now. I use a foldable table that I just leave up all the time. That way I’m not dragging out my sewing machine for 15-20 min here and there.
Is this current set up my ultimate goal? No, but for now I’m just happy to have an area I can go to for some quick sewing time!
A day in the life of Brooke (Workday)
- 4:15am— wake up/exercise . I generally get a 45 minute walk in before work. I multitask by also using that time on my cell phone to work on my blog!
- 5:15am— get ready for work
- 6:40am— take kids to the sitter
- 8:00am— work (at lunch again I have been walking and or working on my blog)
- 5:00pm— get home from work, make dinner, eat, and clean up
- 6:00-7:30— Spend quality time with my kids and hubby playing outside or watching a movie, some clean up activities like play vacuuming (while I real vacuum) or cleaning up toys
- 7:30pm— kids bath time/books
- 8:00pm— kids bedtime, sewing, quality time with my husband, garden, light household chores
- 9:30pm— my bedtime
For us routine has always been key with our kids. For you this may look very different and that is totally okay! Just wanted to share a little about how I am able to manage time, multitask, and get sewing projects accomplished! It has taken me the last year to find a good balance that works for myself and my family. There was a time I stopped exercising to make time. There was also a time I was sewing so much I was ignoring my husband. It takes time to workout a great balance, and to find one that works well for your situation.
I hope if anything I inspired you to find a good balance and give yourself even just a little bit of time daily or weekly to sew. I know for me it is a calming activity for me after a stressful day. It has become something I need (my therapy)!