My Time: Guidelines

Warning: This will be an information-only post without pics.  But if you are actually utilizing the info in these My Time posts (it’s crickets over here, so I have no idea if anyone is, but I would’ve been eating this up if I had seen it in my early days of sewing with Little Man underfoot…and also been too timid to comment to say how it was going if I was doing any of it!), these are my major guidelines for myself when sewing while LM is awake.  (Wow, can you say “run-on sentence”?)  I’ll keep this as brief and simple as possible, and if you need elaboration, let me know in the comments or email thegreencateye(at)gmail(dot)com.  I really would love to hear from you if you are feeling shy!  I want to fully be a sewing (or otherwise) newbie-friendly site!  🙂  Here are my guidelines for myself:

Pay attention!

This seems common sense, but pay attention to what he’s pretending in the next room.  Pay attention when he’s talking to you, and be sure to respond.  If you are deep in the thralls of a complicated part of a project, let him know.  At least over here, my three-year-old is great with the occasional “I really need to focus on this part, but I’ll be able to pay attention in just a minute, okay?”  I don’t want to be missing anything hilariously amazing going on in the next room or even right next to me by being too consumed with myself and my projects.  Part of the joy of being a stay-at-home mom is that I get to witness all the fun he’s having throughout the day, and I’m not about to give that up!

Have snacks ready!

There’s nothing more frustrating than finally sitting down to my project or being right in the middle of a complex part just to hear, “I want a snack!”  Having quick things ready to go is key–cut the fruit or veggies before starting your stuff and have any dips or drinks ready to hand out.  You’ll be glad later.  Plus, a fed kid is a happy kid! 😀

Play before getting started!

This one is a very big deal over here.  Like most moms, I often feel guilty for focusing on my own things while LM is in my care.  But he’s always in my care, so I have to have me-time sometime, right?  What I’ve found is that it does wonders for him and me by simply giving him just 30 minutes of my time–focused and uninterrupted by phones or televisions or computers–doing whatever he wants right before I do my thing.  I try to do this a couple times each day, but right before I sew has worked well.

Know when to stop!

This is critical.  Of all these tips, this one is the most important for me.  Set a timer or watch the clock, decide how long you will be working on your project, and stick to it.  Start small and build on it as you feel you can.  Every kid is different, so gauge your time frame accordingly.  If things are going well, and you have a small section that you could “quickly” finish, I recommend still stopping if you have spent your allotted time.  I’ve tried to keep going many times, and it seems it’s always right in the middle of that “one last thing” section that LM grows impatient.  I can only expect him to last so long, and since we do this regularly, he knows there is a definitive end time and that I won’t be sewing forever.  But even more so, sometimes I don’t make it to my planned stopping point.  Some days things aren’t going well, LM may just be having a cranky day, or I’m feeling too distracted to do a decent job on my project.  These are the most important times to just put it away and come back to it later–know when to stop!

Anything you would add?

If you sew or work on side projects with little ones around, what are your ground rules for yourself?  What works best at your house?  I’d love to hear!  I’m always up for improving our time around here! 🙂

I’ll be back with another play tip next Monday (with pics!).  If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! 🙂

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