Sewing as therapy

Last week, I decided that I needed to have a short sewing moratorium. (For the record, this was my idea, not Nik’s.  He is always great about appreciating what I sew and encouraging me.)

I’d been sewing like crazy for about 6 weeks, first on the blanket project and then Meggan’s diaper bag ensemble.  I’d neglected a few things around our house so I thought, “I need to take a break, stop sewing for a week, get caught up, and then I can start sewing again.”  I managed to get the major things done in a couple days but by Wednesday, I was really bored and restless.  I was wandering around the house telling Ellie, “I’m bored.  I know there’s stuff to do but I don’t want to do it.  This housewife thing is boring.  I need something more to do.  Sorry Ellie – I love you but you’re boring too right now.”

So I said, “Who cares about the moratorium?  Who cares about all the other stuff I should be doing?  I’m going to sew.”  And so I started up on Ellie’s quilt.  Within 15 minutes, I wasn’t bored anymore, Ellie seemed more fun, and I felt better able to work on the other work in the house that I needed to accomplish.

I realized, “Wait.  I don’t think sewing is just a hobby for me.  It’s something that I need to do regularly, even if only for 15 minutes.  It helps me feel like I am accomplishing something permanent.   It’s not a waste of time even if the dishes are piling up or I need to fold the laundry.”

Now, I’m not calling sewing, “sewing.”  I’m calling it, “therapy.”  Or perhaps I should call it, “preserving my sanity.”  I still need to work on finding a good rhythm.  I don’t want to sew to the exclusion of taking care of my family and my house the way I need to.  But I am letting myself have the freedom to sew every day, if only for a few minutes.  I feel happier which probably means Ellie and Nik are happier and that’s a good thing, right?  Additionally, I really don’t mind doing all the mundane tasks associated with keeping a home (laundry, cleaning, etc.) but my attitude about doing them is much better if I know I get to do a little something fun every day too.

I now have sewing in my weekly routine for Thursdays and then I just try to take 15 minutes here or there on the other days to sew.  Sometimes more, sometimes not at all.  Even on the days that I don’t end up sewing, it’s OK because I know that I will have time coming up to do it.

P.S. Many of you have asked me how I have time to sew.  For one thing, I moved my machine and some supplies downstairs from my sewing room into the dining room.  Also, right now, Ellie is willing to sit in her Bumpo chair usually for at least 15-30 minutes, especially if I catch her right after her nap.  I’ll have to figure out new ways to find the time once she outgrows that chair but it’s working for now!

(And yes, I know that it’s technically against the rules to use a Bumpo chair on the table but I’m careful with her and we’re fine.)

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10 Responses to Sewing as therapy

  1. meggan says:

    how insightful Laura. I completely agree. Besides sewing is way more beneficial then Facebook, my “reward” of choice when I finish various chores around the house. sew on!

    • Laura says:

      Oh don’t worry – I probably reward myself with FB too often myself. I suppose now you have something to keep yourself a little more busy!

  2. Mom says:

    I’m so glad that you moved your machine to the dining room. So much easier to work in those 15 minutes! Besides loving Ellie’s little face in front of you, all the natural light from your windows is wonderful to sew with.

  3. I wish I sewed. I have a great machine, I just never use it. Great picture.

  4. jonandleah says:

    Bumbos work good in many places, kaitlyn used to cook with us (but away from the stove top of course) and use a wooden spoon to wave around and drool on!

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