I go back and forth with whether to include photos of my kids (often just their extremities) on my Reclaimed for Good posts. I don’t want to use them for “likes”, and I definitely don’t want to give the impression that I’m such an awesome mom with the best kiddos ever because, “Look! My kids are super crafty and I love letting them help and we’re just amazing over here. I handle all of the things so well!”
Here’s the thing, though. These kids are a huge part of my life, so they end up in a lot of my pictures. In fact, as stay at home mom, they’re.always.around. Trying to shove them out of the way to get the perfect picture wouldn’t work even if I tried!
But I decided a long time ago that if I was going to make a go of a home-based sewing business, I had to prioritize people first. My family foremost. I can’t allow myself to consider my (five!) kids as a distraction from the life I’d rather be living. They are the life I’m living.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I sew with kids on my lap all of the time. Or I can simultaneously make supper, finish up an order, and help the middle schooler with complicated math homework, all while rocking the baby to sleep. It doesn’t even mean that I always respond with grace and a smile when I’m trying to get work done and a kid needs something. Or that I never feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of responsibility and expectations in my life and text my husband mid-day with, “WHY WON’T THE BABY SLEEP??”
It means that I do my best (and often fail) to only take on a reasonable amount of commissions each year. It means I generally only have time to sew up orders when the baby is sleeping and the big kids are at school (or resting then having screen time on non-school days). It means I need to humble myself and ask for forgiveness a lot. It means that the kids often help me with the aspects of Reclaimed for Good that they can. Trimming threads, organizing scraps, hand sewing next to me, and, yes, jumping into as many photos as possible.
To be quite honest, I didn’t consider myself remotely creative until I had kids. I didn’t even start sewing until I was 30 and my oldest daughter taught me the basics on her Hello Kitty ¾ sized Janome! I’m incredibly thankful for my kids unleashing my creative juices and ushering me into the world of “making”.
So as far as my social media posts go, they’re not the whole, messy story of our life. I don’t want them to be. Some moments are meant to be shared and pondered just within a family or circle of friends. But I do want my posts to reflect the joy that can be found in mending, making, and motherhood. There’s so much joy in this space. Even in the hard bits.
Finding contentment and joy where you are while still striving to do better. As a maker and as a mom. That’s what I hope to communicate.