Ziggzaggarat Cowl + Stripped Swoosh

A white shawl with blue, light blue, green and purple stripes on a set of cable needles. The project yarn is in a bag with green chevron above the work in progress and there is a cup of tea.

A couple daycare pick-ups ago, I was asked how I find time to have hobbies while being a mom. This is a hard question to answer because I know the person who asked the question had no intention of making me feel guilty about taking the time to do things such as knit or sew, but it sure made me feel a little guilty for taking the time!

The thing is, a lot of who I am is also wrapped up in being a knitter/sewist. When asked to make statements about who I am, I’m often quick to identify as a knitter or sewist. This is an important distinction from someone who knits or someone who sews because so much of my life is spent thinking about doing the activity in addition to doing the activity.

A lot of my joy is found in making things for others. In fact, my favorite person to make for at the moment is our daughter! I’ve made her so many little sweaters and leggings over the last few months – she’s always so excited to receive them and doesn’t have a lot of preferences *yet*.

A blue gradient chevron cowl folded in half lengthwise laying on a wooden table next to porthos.

This isn’t to say that someone who knits or someone who sews shouldn’t be allowed to have time while being a parent to do these things, it’s just to say that for me it’s become one of the priorities that I need to juggle. It’s important to me that our daughter grows up seeing me be myself and that being a mom didn’t lead to me losing who I am. I hope to continue to learn and grow. I hope that I inspire her to try new things and explore new hobbies.

There are, however, a few things that help me find the time. For starters, in my mind, 5 minutes is better than no minutes. If all I can do is work a few rows of a sweater or sew one seam of a garment, that’s ok! After a while, those 5 minutes add up. I’ve also found not having that mentality means I never get any crafting done.

Another trick I’ve developed is to prep the craft in bulk. For example, if I’m going to wind yarn I’m going to wind all the yarn for a project + the next one (or two). If I’m going to cut fabric for a project, it’s worth taking the time to cut a couple more and set them aside.

The final thing that’s been working for me is to enjoy simple projects. It’s easier for me to work on projects such as the Striped Swoosh Shawlette or Zig-Zaggerate because the pattern is easy to pick up and put down.

This isn’t to judge any parents out there, especially ones who are making different choices. Nor is it to justify the choices that my family and I are making. I think the big thing is that it’s important to recognize that every family and their needs are different. I’m a better mom because I take the time to do things I love and our daughter deserves the best mom I can be. It probably helps that she gets something out of it from time to time.

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