As a mother of eight, I am most asked if they are all mine (or something a little too personal). But second to that question, I am always asked “How do you have the time for…”. Let me tell you a little secret. There is never enough time for it all. Just as Alicia spoke of yesterday, I am living in a season of little hands, big messes, and constant chaos. I cannot have an immaculate house nor do I want one. And in order to sew, bake, craft, and read, I sometimes just don’t fold the laundry that night. And guess what! It is still waiting for me in the morning!
But, with all the distractions throughout the day, I often start a project, think of a project, mess up a project, and never complete them. I am good intentioned, but this my poor mind is in the marathon of it’s life right now. Extra sometimes just get dropped on the floor of my mental office. So here are some tips to organizing your hobbies, and actually finishing one or two!
1. Have a journal dedicated to hobbies. I constantly am writing down new sewing ideas, favorite patterns, recipes I want to try, books I’d like to read, etc. I can come back to this to plan out new projects.
2. Make a wish list on Amazon. This is where I keep a list of ALL books. Books for school, the kids, me, field guides, how-to books, you name it. Whatever you think you would like, put it in your list. As you get Swagbucks, extra money, or catch them on Kindle for free, you can mark them off your list!
3. Take one evening a week for your hobby. After the kids are in bed, instead of folding clothes, scrubbing floors, or washing the dishes (scandalous!), take the time for your hobby. Sew, read, bake, learn a new photo technique. It’s just one evening.
4. Schedule your crafts!! I know it sounds crazy, but I already have a calendar made up for 2012′s Christmas gifts. Each month from now until October, I know what I am making for whom. No more staying up for 72 hours straight trying to finish it all before Christmas morning!
5. Involve your child. I have been really sneaky, and added sewing lessons to my 11 year old daughter’s schooling. So while she is working on sewing straight lines, hems, pajama pants, or quilt tops, I can get in some time cutting out patterns and fabric.
6. Television and movie time is perfect for multi-tasking. I cannot seem to keep my hands idle, so I crochet, embroider, fix clothing, or plan a baking schedule while watching T.V with my husband.
7. Stay current on your daily work! I use Simple Mom’s Daily Docket to help me stay on track. Being diligent in my work throughout the day leaves me some extra time for hobbies.
8. Be flexible! If you were planning on making a new door wreath today, but the phone rang all day, the dog ate a plastic toy, and the baby threw up all over the couch and floor, it’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. Put this day to bed, and wake up refreshed and try again!
9. Have a place set aside for your hobbies. A basket full of yarn and hooks, a shelf of unread books, a desk drawer with sketch pads and pencils. It doesn’t have to be a whole room, it could just be a small sewing basket kept by your seat on the couch. But having your craft at your finger tips makes it far easier to spend 10 minutes working on your hobby.
10. And of course, last but not least, if you do not have a Pinterest account, GET ONE! This has been such a huge resource for me, and a second place to keep all my ideas and wish lists.
So, can I do it all? Nope, but I sure enjoy working with my hands, keeping my home, and staying busy. Now if anyone can help me work on my procrastination issues…
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Beth is a pastor’s wife, mom to five boys and three girls. She loves to sew, crochet, read, and bake in her spare time. You can see what her family is doing at Sew Anyhow and follow her on Twitter at @BethSewAnyhow.