Fitting It All In

It’s been awhile since I talked your ear off, so guess what? You’re in for a bit of blahdeeblahdeeblah today! Yay!!

I am embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve written and then deleted this post. It’s hard to write about your life without sounding really cheesy, and mostly I would think to myself, “why write about life and blogging and balance when it’s been written about SO many times before?” Then I realized, duh, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t care about what I have to say in some small way, so why not give it a try? I want to talk a little first about how blogging turned into sort of a job for me, and then how on earth I fit everything Blog-related into my Real Life without going insane. An interesting topic, no? And I think, really important, because I want to be the best wife to Mr Rae and mama to these little munchkins that I can possibly be.

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This blog began humbly, like most other blogs, with no huge aspirations but more as a hobby to keep myself from stabbing my eye out with a pencil after hour upon hour watching baby Elliot drool and try to roll over. I really truly wish it hadn’t been the case, but after being a full-time high school science teacher, the extremely slow pace of motherhood bored me to tears and made me feel a bit depressed and aimless. I needed a project. And friends. Besides the baby. So I started blogging about my sewing projects. Sound familiar? I feel like this is a story that so many of us share!

Once I started posting things on my blog on a regular basis, more people began visiting and commenting (the blog was then hosted at madebyrae.blogspot.com) and it felt very exciting. I posted a free marker-drawn baby dress pattern and things really picked up. I started selling a few digital patterns, first on Etsy, and then through instant download directly from my blog. I contributed to One Yard Wonders. I ran my first Spring Top Sewalong. By this time Elliot was nearly two and I was pregnant with Clementine. The blog began demanding more of me but it was fairly manageable during naps and after Elliot went to bed, maybe the occcasional put-the-kid-in-front-of-Charlie-and-Lola to finish things up. It wasn’t until after Clementine was born and began napping at different times than Elliot that I began to feel a bit frustrated by my inability to keep up with the work of blogging. It wasn’t just writing blog posts, it was answering emails, trouble-shooting pattern download issues, and participating in blogger events, and on, and on…

It was at this point that Mr Rae and I realized that if I was going to continue blogging and designing patterns (I wish there was ONE word for what exactly I do), that we would have to put Elliot into preschool and get a babysitter for Clementine. That was a really hard decision. E was barely three and C wasn’t even crawling yet, and I felt immense guilt over wanting to have them out of the house for a bit each week, but I really loved doing this blog/pattern thing. Plus the money I was making from pattern sales wasn’t really all that much, so it was a bit of a leap of faith to decide that if I could spend a little uninterrupted time without the kids a couple mornings a week, maybe I could make enough income selling more patterns to justify it. That turned out to be true, and it’s worked out that way ever since. I love that I can “work” a few days a week but still be at home with my kids too. I really really love sewing, designing, blogging, and I feel like the problem-solving-science-teacher part of my brain is happy with all of the logistics involved producing sewing patterns. It’s really wonderful.

When it comes to actually scheduling the Blog into my Real Life, time-wise, I’ve tried a few of approaches. First, there was what I like to call the “Multitasking Approach.” This was when the babies were both small (under 2 1/2) and it mainly consisted of “working” (blogging, emailing, designing patterns, sewing) whenever the kids were asleep or playing. So after bedtime and during naps. Sometimes during a TV show. The problem is, a nap never ends when you want it to. There’s always one more thing to do, another email to write, and soon enough you have toddlers tugging on your pant leg and screaming whenever they see the laptop open. I really started to hate how much Elliot expected TV to be a regular part of his day.

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(OK, so we let them have “screen time” every day (tablet apps, games), but very little TV, which I’m more comfortable with)

When we decided the kids would have a babysitter/daycare/preschool, it was like breathing a sigh of relief. No more trying to multitask. Now I really try to stick to the “Divide-and-Separate Approach,” in other words, trying as much as possible to separate the time I spend “working” from the time I spend with my kids and Mr Rae. I’ve tried to do this as much as possible, by having the kids with a babysitter or in daycare/preschool for at least 2-3 days a week for the last couple of years so that I can really focus on sewing or blogging or whatever, and that has worked pretty well for me. In reality, kids get sick, babysitters cancel, school is closed for holidays, so it’s not always a perfect system. But that’s life. I find that if I at least know that I have another block of work time coming up soon, I don’t get as frustrated if I have to set aside a creative project to play Ring-Around-The-Rosie or Chutes and Ladders (gah! that game drives me bezonk!).

Another key part to the “Divide-and-Separate” approach for me has been a strict “When-the-kids-are-in-the-room-the-laptop-is-closed” rule for myself. It’s just too easy to ignore them when that screen is open. I try to only ever be on my computer or sew when they are out of the house or after they are asleep at night. Just shutting it off is really good for me.

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Finally, I just want to say a little bit about saying NO. One of the things I really hate is having to email someone to turn them down when they ask me to participate in a project. But I do it, alot. In fact, I feel like it’s almost every day. But I have another rule for myself that I call “Say Yes to ONE” that means that I only ever allow myself to take on one outside project a month. So if there’s a book tour going around, or a costume series, or someone wants me to contribute to a publication, I usually say no. And yes, it sucks. I worry that people think I don’t want to be a part of it. There is SO much fun stuff to participate in. But I find (big surprise) that the more things I say yes too, the more flustered, disorganized, and overwhelmed I feel, and that can be paralyzing to me when it comes to working efficiently on the things I want to do and enjoying the time I do spend with the kids and Mr Rae.

I’ve also realized that it’s totally worth it to pay other people to do a bunch of my work for me so that I can spend less time working. My sister Elli does a ton of work on my digital sewing pattern layouts and digitizes the pattern pieces, my cousin Jessica has been running the Printed Washi Pattern Project (shipping Friday to a shop near you!!) for me for the past couple months and assisting in other ways, and Lauren and Karen have helped me out with various projects in various ways, just to name a few people who pitch in around here. And yes, that means I spend bunches of dollars paying people every month but it’s so worth it for me not to have to try and do everything myself.

I really hope this post hasn’t given anyone the impression that I’m only blogging to make money or that I want to “make it big” because the truth is, the blog itself makes very little money, definitely not enough to pay myself in any reasonable way for all of the time I have spent here over the past five years, growing and tending it. But selling my sewing patterns HAS turned into a business and I try to accept the reality of that and hope that I can still keep the blog real even if things get commercially every once in awhile (*cough* shameless Washi Dress promotion *cough*).

I don’t want a big business or the stress that goes with it. I love the semi-small thing I have worked out now, and I really love the community of people that I have been able to get to know through this blog and ultimately my goal is to be able to keep sewing and blogging about things that I love. The sewing patterns are a natural way to make money doing what I love, and I’m really thankful that I can make enough selling sewing patterns to support my family (Mr Rae’s been working on getting a start-up off the ground for the last couple of years, so yup, right now, it’s pretty much just me, income-wise). That is immensely gratifying from a professional standpoint and I only have you, dear readers and friends to thank for all of your unrelenting encouragement and support. Anyway, blahdeeblahdeeblah CHEESY! BWAAAAH. See I barfed all over it to make it better.

Signing off now,
Rae

92 thoughts on “Fitting It All In

  1. I think you have worked out a great solution for your family. You obviously know how to write and attract people to your blog. The blog may not make money but without it, no one would know who you are. It is the advertising for your business. You have been able to accomplish so much in a very short amount of time. Congratulations, Rae! Good luck to Mr. Rae’s start up!

  2. rae, thanks for sharing. i love to hear other bloggers’ stories of how they have changed since they started blogging – and how they manage it with their families. so glad you’re sharing your blogging/sewing/patternizing (totally made that one up!) with all of us. you pretty much rule.

  3. High-fives for you, Rae!! I am so thankful every day that, like you, I can do what I enjoy and earn pocket money from it and don’t have to dress up and go into a classroom/office in order to do it. Strangely, I have a two-thirds-written post on my dashboard on How To Blog And Not Hate It (current title). I wrote it in response to readers asking me how to blog. There are so many facets to blogging and I wanted to write something actually helpful and not flippant, so I’ve been sitting on it till I find the right words to finish it. Am so glad to read your insights on your blog adventure. I love your blog- always have. Thank you for staying true to yourself and not turning it into something else. All the best to Mr Rae for the next open door!

  4. And that is why I love your blog. It is so personal and real, yet professional all at once. I would much rather read a post of substance every 2 weeks than constant streams of fluff. Where’s my I Love MBR t-shirt? ;)
    P.S. Chutes and Ladders is the worst. Ever.
    P.P.S. As I read this poignant discussion of quality time with family, my 3 year old is in the kitchen putting away the silverware. Classy.

  5. I love that you shared how you do all this! Good for you for being the money maker for a bit while you support Mr. Rae. ( I did this twice for my hubby, but as a food server. So not as fun as blogging.)

  6. Oh my god! This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just about to email you with some of the questions that you have already answered here. And I don’t feel guilty of eating into your personal time. Rae, your posts are so honest and straight-forward. I really appreciate your honesty and I got a lot of insights into your experience as a blogger/pattern designer from here. Thanks a lot.

  7. Amazing post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s always nice to hear other people’s stories. I am scared of garment sewing, but someday hope to tackle your washi!

  8. Wow. Finally a blogger- sewer- crafter,-wife,-soccer mom-WAHM-general multi tasker is actually admitting it is hard to juggle. From a SAHM, that sometimes feels guilty that I can’t do all those things without having very untimely meltdowns….Thanks you!!!! You do what is best for your family. They only stay little for such a short time…you will miss it if you are too busy. Do you realize that you will have like 30 years or more AFTER they are grown to do all those other things that you love to do?

  9. This post perfectly illustrates why I adore independent designers. You are so invested in your work, and it shows in the quality of your patterns. Brava to you for living your passion and successfully managing the work-life balance. You’re an awesome example to us and our kids.

  10. Thanks. I don’t think this was cheezy at all, even though we had to clean up the barf at the end. :) I really appreciate this. It’s a real life look into what it is like to do what you do. I’ve thought of starting a blog myself and I try to think out some of these questions ahead of time, so I appreciate it when I can see inside the life of someone who is in the midst of being a blogger, etc. Thanks for posting.

  11. Great post. Sometimes it is good to lay it all out there for the readers to understand what this blog life has turned into and how much effort it really takes. I wouldn’t be where I am without those early years of blogging A LOT and etsy. Now that my business is on a roll and I have two helpers, I can’t even think of anything interesting to blog about! All I’ve got is the next monogrammed pillow cover.

    I often feel much empathy for popular bloggers like you who must endure the “not sweet” opinions from readers and having to source every item discussed or shown in a photo or stave off those comments by qualifying your decisions. My wish is readers of blogs would just read, enjoy, laugh, learn, participate, and compliment and leave nothing else for you to worry over.

    So happy for your success. Blogging has been a marvelous springboard for so many of us, and I can’t thank whoever invented it enough!

  12. thank you so much for such an honest and revealing post! as i head into crazy craft fair season, i’m already thinking ahead to the new year and the ways i want to change my business and day to day life so that i can do it all, while not sacrificing the quality of my products OR my relationships. you’ve made great points about the guilt, the choices that are hard, and the reality of life as a SAHM who has a small business and family to juggle. you’ve inspired me to just take the plunge and find a sitter for at least one day a week. if only to give me the freedom to unplug the computer and plug in to my kid more often in real ways. thanks tons. :)

  13. Thank you for such an honest post about how you do what you do. Just today I hired a regular babysitter so that I can spend more time sewing for my first ever venture into selling my designs so this post is very timely. Above all, I will follow your advice to keep the laptop shut when the kids are in the room. I think we might all get more done in our family that way.

  14. Thank you so much for this post!
    I love your big butt pattern and have made it at least 10 times… and every time I sew it, I wondered “how you do it all”. I’m a mom & a student, and sometimes even a beautiful blog like yours seems to show me only how others manage their lifes the “perfect way”. knowing that it is not something you just do during naptime is comforting and, in my view, adds value to your achievements.

  15. Rae, I could kiss you on the mouth. Man I love this post. I love that it’s more about how you’ve grabbed balance and made the hard decisions that help you feel fulfilled AND give you the right mix of “me time” and “kid time” rather than just “I do it by letting my laundry pile run wild” which is sort of the post I had in my head. A lot of posts like this seem sort of apologetic, but yours doesn’t read that way and I appreciate that very much. I’ve been meaning to tackle this topic on my blog, but it really is super hard to write about. I love your honesty, that you don’t apologize for wanting to spend time doing what you love, and that you set limits on others to avoid burnout. You’re an inspiration to me. It’s been fun watching your blog grow over the last 3+ years that I’ve followed you, it’s so cool seeing that you’re turning it into a nice little business, and I appreciate that you have such a strong moral compass. Go get em, girl!

  16. Great post, Rae! And if you weren’t so very talented, if you didn’t write such great patterns, and if you weren’t so darn likeable, then supporting you would be work. But it’s not. It’s easy – and that’s because of you.

    Read: We love you, too. :-)

  17. Great post, Rae! I love peeks behind the scenes (so to speak) of how other bloggers “do it all”. And I must say that your approach is refreshing! Thanks for sharing.:)

    • Great question. No, I haven’t, and I don’t plan to…it tends to be an issue that attracts alot of negativity and I’ve discovered that many people feel they understand intellectual copyright and licensing but actually don’t (but are still willing to give heated, and many times negative, opinions, even when they don’t actually know what they are talking about). I’ve retained legal counsel to insure that my licenses/license program is legit, and I’m happy with that. The downside about not writing about it is that a ton of people still need good information about this, but I strongly feel that an intellectual copyright/licensing lawyer should be the one to write that post and field the comments, not me.

  18. Love the insight into your life. As a mom of 5, I totally get it. I quit blogging after #3 came along, and I was just beginning to make some money too. We do what we have to do. In 20 years it won’t matter what sew alongs you did, or which emails you replied to, but your marriage and kids will always matter. Blessings ;o)

  19. I just recently have had a lot of change in my life. I went from a career lady in a fast-paced prenatal diagnostic lab to at home mom/ seamstress/crafter. I am working to hard to balance all of the things I love to do and still fill my kids day with quality mommy time.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It makes me feel better that, even though I don’t know you, there is someone out there facing some of the same challenges that I do.

    Most sincere thanks for all that you do.

  20. I loved this post – thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your story and life. And on a side note – Blahdeeblahdeeblah, I am pretty sure that word is synonymous with you in my head. I love it when I see you use it in your posts – ha!

  21. Very nice to hear how you make it all work. Sometimes I feel like everyone gets way more done than I do but when I hear that this person gets a sitter sometimes, or that one hires a cleaner, well… that just makes me feel like I’m a bit closer to the average. I’m glad you found a good way to make it all work out for you, and yay for the power of No!

  22. I love checking your blog! Someday I’d love a small pattern business. I’ve got two little ones so I appreciate knowing how you fit it all in.

  23. Seriously–this type of post is probably my favorite to read. Thanks for keeping it real, and congrats on all your success!

    And the laptop tip is such a timely reminder for me!

  24. I’ve always thought you were amazing Rae :) It would thrill me when I DO get emails from you about things, because I KNOW that you must be so busy, and just being recognised by you is like a celebrity has noticed me! haha. That was lame but it’s the truth! You’re such an incredible woman, and it’s so cool to watch your kids grow up {in a non-creepy way} because when I found you was shortly after i found Dana and I was struggling so hard with post-natal depression. You guys inspired me to sew better, that boy clothes are AWESOME.

    I always thought I wanted my blogto ‘make itbig’ and this year I started working very very hard on it. And it was only then that i realised, I don’t want to be big! I want to be me! And just keeping that whole ‘stay true to yourself’ thing in my head is helping a lot :) I did get sponsorship for my blog though, through blogher, and that was So awesome and made me very thrilled indeed :)

    You’re a mama and a wife Rae, but at the same time you are an individual! Finding that balance is a life-long pursuit i think, but I admire how well you seem to be doing it <3

    love you loads!

  25. You’re my hero! I’m working on these things in my own life, and in conjunction with having a 9-month old baby. I think the trick is to
    1) Figure out what you want your life to “look like” and how you want to spend your time, and
    2) Work out your professional and personal life to achieve #1.
    Not easy to do, but so worthwhile if you can figure out that recipe for yourself. At least I feel like I’m making a lot of progress in that direction, and it feels great! Thanks for writing about your own journey along this path!

  26. P.S. Since you mentioned that you have people help you with various aspects of the work, I’m wondering if you have someone who helps you with web design work? I am looking for someone to help me develop and style several website projects. If you have any recommendation(s) or advice for me, could you email me privately? That would be awesome. But only if you have time : ).

  27. Thank you for this post. I think we all feel conflicted by trying to do everything well when it’s unrealistic to think we can & it makes us miserable trying! And I like that you mentioned that you use child care and people to help – again it’s impossible to do everything ourselves. When I’ve tried in the past it has made me sick and very frustrated. Thanks again.

  28. Awesome post, Rae – love so many things about it. Thanks for sharing this with us – and yes, we definitely want to hear what you have to say. I hope I can find some sort of balance like this someday!

  29. Thanks Rae,
    I don’t blog, but I do sew and your’s is the only blog that I ALWAYS read.
    It’s always been something I’ve wondered about (blogging/ how you started out etc).
    Thanks for your honesty, it wasn’t cheesy at all.

  30. Thanks for your post – like you I love working from home, but find the balance difficult (my work isn’t craft/blogging-related, so I have an extra ball in the air). I’m trying my hardest to ‘divide and separate’, but find the multi-tasking mindset difficult to shake off!

  31. Thanks Rae, I found that really inspiring. What with 2 kids under 3 and returning to work in January, I was beginning to lose faith in my burgeoning blog project. You’ve given me a new burst of energy! Plus it’s so reassuring to hear someone else talking about the mixed emotions of being at home with little ones – I can really relate to your frustration and exhaustion. Thanks again.

  32. Thanks for sharing, Rae. I’m always interested in the “behind the scenes” of running a blog and balancing etc. I too am at home with kids who go to daycare a few hours a week. Thanks for the inspiration to use that kid-free time to its fullest. I think your “closed laptop” rule when the kids are around is a great one. Now I need a rule for my phone!

    • Hah YES….the PHONE. Now that I have a smart phone that has definitely been a problem for me. Have been trying to leave it in my purse but it’s hard.

  33. Well, you could do no wrong as far as I’m concerned! But, way to keep it *real*…. I remember stumbling onto your blog 3 years ago, just shocked that there was this virtual-sewing world that existed that I hadn’t known about! You are kind to share your knowledge with us, and smart to create a little (er….not-so-little) business for your family. I have a friend from Queens and whenever I barf this kinda stuff all over the place to her she always says, “girl, DO YOU.” Do what works for you and enjoy your fam as much as you can!!!

  34. Hi there,
    Just want to say that yes – we are interested in what you have to say! Even though I don’t actually know you, reading about your accomplishments makes me feel proud.
    Thanks for the blog :)
    Good luck to both of your “startups!”

  35. Thanks for sharing all this – I think it’s really interesting! I love your honesty and appreciate your courage in putting all this out there. As a mom I always wonder how people find time for their own work/creative pursuits and how they balance it all. I love blogs where the authors seem real and willing to be honest and share themselves – you do an awesome job at that! So thanks, for all the great patterns, inspiration and sharing.

  36. Awesome post…as a mom and crafty person I love hearing about it all. I admire you and all you manage to do. I have a tiny personal blog that has become a pain to keep current simply due to having two little ones underfoot…it is busy! Now as they are older (5 and 3) they are more independent and I’m balancing not ignoring them too much just because I can…more play time, less cleaning, crafting and blog surfing! They will be in school full time in 1 and 3 years…I think of how much I will miss them when that happens! Keep up the good work but don’t stress out becaue of us, we love you no matter how often you post etc.

  37. If you love what you do then it is not work. Wonderful post and I hope you continue because it makes you happy and me (your reader and learner) happy.

  38. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this post. There are a few mama-made crafty blogs that I love to read, but being an at-home mom with small kids myself, I often wonder how you do all the things you do. I really appreciate you sharing!

  39. Oh…HUGS!
    It is great to read how you manage life + career + family … just like all of us are trying to do. Thanks so much for sharing a piece of yourself :-)

    PS. I favor aps over TV too and try hard to shut off the laptop when with my little ones too.

  40. I really enjoyed reading this – very interesting, and, as always, I am impressed at how your writing is so authentic – that is really a talent. I struggle with the no laptop (I have an iPad, so it’s even easier to carry it around and be constantly attached to it) when the family is around. Good for you for figuring out a way to get it all done and maintain a sense of balance between your needs and your family’s need. And yes, totally relate to the wanting to stab my eye out after being home all day with little ones.

  41. Nice post. I admire what you’ve done and I’m glad to have access to your patterns.
    I also have a blog, but I mostly do it to keep my Mother In Law from calling every day.

  42. loved the post rae. i love hearing personal stories of how women do what they do… how they make things work for them and keep their priorities in check.

  43. i had NO idea you could support a family with your patterns. That’s amazing. And it makes me want to buy more patterns from you. Win-win! I’m impressed. I know how much work it is from *trying* to make patterns, so I think you are super amazing.

  44. You are amazing and this is so refreshing to read. You know I’m always struggling to find a way to balance it all and work it all in and I really love your approach on it.
    It’s so fun to watch you grow along with the blog and your designs and I think you have found the perfect balance for you and your family.
    big hugs!! Can’t wait to give them to you for real this upcoming spring.

  45. Your journey has been pretty amazing and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing it. Well done keeping everything in balance by making clear priorities (and sticking with them!). I wish you much success in business and most importantly in life.
    Take care,
    Luciana

  46. I love your post! I think it’s great you found a way to make time for both business and family. I love that you are okay saying “no.” I struggle with that one a lot. I worry that I might offend someone if I say I can’t do something. I want to do everything and it never works out very well. I’m slowly improving and realizing I can’t do everything and that’s okay.

  47. I am not a stay at home mom, but the mother of 4 adult daughters with grandchildren. I work full time, love to sew and quilt. It is still hard to balance family (husband), work, church and doing the things that I love. I read your blog regularly and have purchased your patterns…(love the BBB pattern) and understand totally your decisions about how to balance home and work. As women we have bought into the worldview that we can do anything and everything but that always comes with a price. Don’t let outside pressure sway you from your decisions on balance. Family is always more important and you will reap the benefits down the road.

  48. Thanks for posting this – I find it very interesting to see how other people find balance! I had been wondering how you found time to sew for your kids, and make patterns and blog. :) I think it is so great that you have set aside time to create your business, and I’m sure that once the kids are older and less time-consuming you’ll be happy that you did, and you’ll be more free to let it grow. Good luck!

  49. Thanks for posting this and sharing how you get things done. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I love your writing style. I usually write 1 or 2 posts a week for my blog and I find that to be a lot so I applaud you.

    I also respect you for taking the time to write back to your readers. (I know this because I have emailed you about 3-4 times and you always emailed me back :o))

    Looking forward to more posts ! Take care, Jenny

    Keep

  50. Rae,I read your post on my phone, and just now have to comment…You, as many have said, are an inspiration! After a decade long dry spell without sewing, my baby granddaughters and bloggers like you got me excited to sew again! I entered your spring top event, and look forward to reading your posts. Keep up the great work!

  51. Thanks so much for this post! I loved reading about how your time management strategies changed over time. Our family needs to reevaluate every few months how we fit things in without burning out. Now I feel like we’re not alone!

  52. I loved reading this. I think you and I have already had this conversation at one time or another–and here at the end of 2012, I am all about learning my lessons the easy way and cutting things out. When the kids started crying as I pulled out of the driveway, I knew something had to give. I love that you’re always up for sharing where your head is at, as they say, and how much of a response that gets from folks–obviously, we’re all looking to fit in what matters and figure out what doesn’t!

    Sigh. Shouldn’t there be a Magic 8 Ball for that?

  53. Rae, this post has helped me in many ways. I have a sweet ten-week-old baby, which is a wonderful blessing. But as a first time mother, I find it difficult to adjust to my new life as a temporary stay-at-home-mom. I have been working full time for all of my adult life, and I especially loved the job I held before I went into maternity leave. I’m bored “to tears”, but I’m also unbelievably exhausted, plus we have some very time consuming feeding difficulties over here. The combination does not make for the happy seamstress I imagined I would be in this phase of my life. I’ve been reading your blog and several others for a while now and have admittedly felt envious and overwhelmed by the seeming ease with which some of you manage your time and your kids to get so much done. Reading about how you organize yourself and the different approaches you have tried has helped putting things in perspective. Thank you!!!

    • Totally have been there, Anne. It’s so frustrating. I know you’ve heard this from others but it really does get easier. The most important thing is to try and give yourself a break…and focus on keeping yourself sane. For me it was about getting out of the house. Sewing will come later, don’t worry. :)

      • Thank you, Rae, for these kind words – how sweet of you! That just made my day. “Stay sane” is my new motto. And in keeping with this, yesterday I arranged to have the baby sitted one afternoon per week by the loving husband while I attend a Pilates class. Hopefully, with an hour afterwards to spare for sewing!!! :-) Have a great day.
        Love, Anne

  54. You do realize, of course, being a teacher and all, that “alot” is really two separate words – a lot. Of course you do!

    Congrats on being the breadwinner of the family. Good job. I hope your business takes off and you become hugely successful.

  55. What a great post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your personal life. So many times we look at bloggers and wonder how they do it all… but there are always trade-offs and sacrifices. I want to start a pattern shop…but have come to terms with the fact that I just can’t do it until my kids are in school. I admire you and love your work!

  56. just one little thing i noticed in your text: i believe you don’t do “work”, you do WORK no commas! no inferiority! no “oh.it’s.just.a.little.sewing.i.like.to.do”
    specially when you say you’re supporting your family! that is so great! really amazing! i’m tired of women feeling guilty for not being with their kids and almost apologize for developing business and income from WORK they call “work”.
    it’s real work, it’s business, it’s a new economy and you don’t have to apologize! your work is even generating more work to people around you! that’s a company and be the size you want it to be, it’s great!
    well, sorry for my ramblings, hope you’re not offended!
    keep up your GREAT WORK!

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