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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    washington DC
    Posts
    1

    mothers out there? when and how do you craft?

    I have 3 children (1 1/2 yo, 4yo, and 7yo) and I am getting really down since I cannot seem to find time to do any craftyness. I love to cook but I am kind of overwhelmed with the hours before dinner when I would cook are pretty hectic with 3 active and needy and generally good natured little boys. I have a sewing machine and I have been trying to teach myself how to use it but I do not finish in a session, and I do not have a place to leave it out, I have been on a home improvement binge lately with painting and mving stuff around and trying to use parts of our house that we have just used for storage and that was rewarding,, but I am reading jean's book and I have to say I feel a little cynical about being able to be a crafty gal while raising all these (beloved) children, and not having the $$ (or desire) for a lot of babysitting help. Maybe as the kids get older I will be able to do more- but honestly, it gets more intensive as they get older and more complicated, so I do not imagine myself with tons of time. I guess I am looking for ways to incorporate craftiness in my everyday life WITH children. Anyone else in the same boat? Any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    140
    Oh, I hear ya honey! I've only got two, but it has still been a challenge. In fact, I stopped some of my crafting for a long time when my kids were smaller. I used to do stained glass work, but found that glass shards, flux and solder didn't mix with toddlers! I'm just starting to get back into glass now, 12 years later!

    My kids are 12 and 9 right now, and I can offer some hope to you that it *does* get easier as they get older. They establish their own interests, increase their pool of friends and therefore increase their opportunities for playtime that does not involve you. The one thing you have to do, though, is make sure that you don't overschedule your kids as they grow older. I firmly believe kids need time to just play and be creative, and I know so many families whose kids *never* have free time to just play. They're always off to soccer, karate, dance, scouts, music lessons, hockey, swimming, etc. that they never have a moment to just plain play!

    However, I did as you seem to be doing and involved my kids in my crafting from the time they were able to hold a pencil. The result is that both have developed into very creative young people. My son has established himself as a pretty good digital artist and can do things on the computer that astound me. My daughter, the youngest, shows some talent in drawing and painting, but absolutely loves wood working. She's in the basement right now, hammering away on some birdhouses. She's made four so far today. We craft together, and really have an enjoyable time.

    You *will* find more time for your own crafts as the kids get older. Plus, you do have to consciously make the decision to *find* the time, even if it's for an hour here or there.

    Good luck!

    Patty

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    140
    Oh, I hear ya honey! I've only got two, but it has still been a challenge. In fact, I stopped some of my crafting for a long time when my kids were smaller. I used to do stained glass work, but found that glass shards, flux and solder didn't mix with toddlers! I'm just starting to get back into glass now, 12 years later!

    My kids are 12 and 9 right now, and I can offer some hope to you that it *does* get easier as they get older. They establish their own interests, increase their pool of friends and therefore increase their opportunities for playtime that does not involve you. The one thing you have to do, though, is make sure that you don't overschedule your kids as they grow older. I firmly believe kids need time to just play and be creative, and I know so many families whose kids *never* have free time to just play. They're always off to soccer, karate, dance, scouts, music lessons, hockey, swimming, etc. that they never have a moment to just plain play!

    However, I did as you seem to be doing and involved my kids in my crafting from the time they were able to hold a pencil. The result is that both have developed into very creative young people. My son has established himself as a pretty good digital artist and can do things on the computer that astound me. My daughter, the youngest, shows some talent in drawing and painting, but absolutely loves wood working. She's in the basement right now, hammering away on some birdhouses. She's made four so far today. We craft together, and really have an enjoyable time.

    You *will* find more time for your own crafts as the kids get older. Plus, you do have to consciously make the decision to *find* the time, even if it's for an hour here or there.

    Good luck!

    Patty

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    282

    Mom of 2 Monkey Boys and Crafty, too!

    Hi! Crafting or even going potty by yourself can be a challenge with kids..especially boys! Mine are now 10yo and 7yo, but when they were younger, I would craft while they napped or for a few hours after they went to bed. Yeah, initally, you're tired, but you'll be surprised how much better you'll feel. The crafting feeds your soul and makes you a nicer person and a better mom.

    I would also craft items just for them..Halloween costumes, room decor, clothes, etc. and that would get them interested, but also give my time and room to craft. See, it was in their best interest to let me do my "thing." Now, the boys are older and they have leraned that moms need cretive time, as well, as boys. We still so stuff for them, but it's more limited to Samuri costumes, etc.

    Like you, I don't have real space to set up my sewing machine and leave it up to complete a project. Bummer. I had a table set up in basement, but Spud and Harry took it over for the reading tutoring. I just got a really BIG dining room table that seats 8-10 in comfort, so I take up residence at one end. They can do whatever at the other end.

    I also get them involved. For their projects, they have to help every step of the way from patterns, to fabric, notions, cutting/pinning, and some sewing. Less curiosity to "creatively contribute" to the finished project. Foe some of my crafty and not so crafty tedious stuff, I have them help me by measuring, etc. They do enjoy craft stores and fabric shops.

    It DOES get better, I promise.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    8
    Well I'm kind of in the same boat - although I only have two kids (today my first one is turning 5 and the baby is 21 months old). I love working on different projects and most of the time they end up in a bag somewhere unfinished. I find that either I have to stay up late and work when they are sleeping or get up really early and do something at that time. I've actually gotten up at 4am sometimes to do a little something - it's great quiet/me time - the problem is that it obviously has to be a 'quiet' project. To top it all off I had the crazy idea last summer to start my greeting card business. When I'm working on that I give the kids construction paper and we all sit around the dinning room table and cut, glue, etc etc. I guess what works the best for me is to really make time for myself and stick to it. Let me know if you find a better way to find time!

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    yay area
    Posts
    1,383
    i have a 2 1/2 year old and an (almost) 11 month old. it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for me to craft. it always has been, since i was not much more than an ankle-biter myself. it's the only thing that really allows me to unleash my insanity creatively! i find the time to do this by not obsessing over household matters like dishes, laundry, etc. if i'm in craft mode (unless we have inlaws coming over.....) and i try to have a few projects going on at once, so that there are some that i can do while i hang with the ankle biters, others that i can do in the kitchen while they're playing amongst themselves, and others that need to be kept away from the little hands, which are reserved for the times that they are sleeping or out with papa.

    i think that working on arts and crafts in front of your children has a very positive influence; the older of the two is frequently painting with watercolors or asking to work on a project and is becoming a little artist in his own right. the little one has an extreme fondness for hand knit or crocheted items, so i'm sure she'll have needles working a frenzy as soon as she has that whole hand/eye coordination thing down.

    hope you manage to work things out and get working!

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    phx, az
    Posts
    686
    i have two kids, 12 and 14. i've been doing arts and crafts professionally since before they were born. up until they were in school, i would do it when they were asleep.

    now i do it all day sunday. and if i'm really busy, after they go to bed.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    27
    I have a 19 month old who loves to draw. When I want to craft I set him up at the table with his supplies and let him have at it. I sit at the table with him and work on my project. We have a good time . Lately he's been asking to colour so I've been getting lots of craft time in.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    363
    I stay up past their bed time and craft. My eyes hurt, I get head aches and I don't get much sleep...but hell...the same thing happens when I don't craft at night.

    Plus, I make things for my girls. That seems to make it easier for them to accept and let me do it (if the baby is napping) and my 4 year old loves to help pull the embroidery needle through.

    I would say, involve the kids and utilize the napping time!

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    456
    I try to get my daughter busy doing something that can be done by herself for a half hour or so during the day like coloring or play-doh. I've been doing since she was about 2, and she caught on pretty quickly that mommy needs a little time, too. She will sometimes even ask me, "mommy, time to crochet?" And sometimes she gives me more than half an hour. She especially loves it when I give her a small ball of yarn and a big hook to "crochet" with. She also loves it when I am making something for her and wants to try on sweaters with no sleeves and dresses with no skirts! Other than that, I crochet when she's in bed.


 
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