Tag Archives: stay at home mom

Just Keep Stitching

(taken several months ago, this project is now finished, and my desk is now painted)

Creating and writing a crochet pattern takes a long time as a stay-at-home mom of a toddler. Something that used to take me two months, tops, is now taking, at current count, over seven.
I went into this year knowing that a focus on more intricate clothing designs would take longer than I was previously used to, but it still wears at me sometimes.

Right now, my main work time consists of part of my child’s naptime (the other part going toward exercise, lunch and housecleaning), and a couple hours after he goes to bed. This totals to about 15 hours a week, if that. I can sometimes crochet or edit a little while my kiddo is engaged in some independent play, but lately he wants to be right where I am as soon as I start – whether to grab the yarn or push all the buttons on my laptop.

I’m also moving into creating patterns for more detailed garments and learning new design software at the same time.

All this to say that sometimes it seems like this one pattern won’t ever be finished, let alone all the others I have in my queue. There are fleeting moments where I feel like I should just give up, because I won’t ever catch up with all the other designers out there with their vast collections of patterns, or those who seem to be able to churn out patterns every few weeks. But then I have to remember a few things – 1. I enjoy crocheting and designing crocheted clothing and while it may not be the most opportune-seeming time to finally dive into that, overall I’m excited about what I’m making, 2. If I keep working at this, no matter how slowly, it will eventually get done.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve found a better balance for all the things I need/want to get done in my days, but other times I feel like I wind up sacrificing one thing for others and and I’m not getting the time I need. My child will be starting preschool in the fall, going a couple days a week, and I’m planning to use that time for crochet-related work, so maybe things will pick up a bit then.

Wardrobe Plans

wardrobeplan1

There are these things called capsule wardrobes (you’ve probably heard about them, as keeping one is a pretty popular thing right now), where you basically pare down your wardrobe into a set number of pieces of clothing, and sometimes accessories, that coordinate. The idea is that these pieces can mix and match and all work together, all while keeping you from buying items that don’t coordinate with anything else you own and/or may never be worn. While I don’t have a capsule wardrobe, I was inspired to sit down and figure out what colors, patterns, and types of items I like. I made the visual list you see above over a year ago. It’s proven handy when considering clothing items to buy, and also helped inspire the colors and patterns I use in my crochet designs.

To start, I listed colors that I like and gravitate towards/want to own more clothing in. Then, I listed a few colors that either I look good in or others tell me I look good in but don’t wear as often. After that, I listed patterns I like – florals, stripes, paisley – and a few specific items of clothing or accessories I’d like to wear more often but never think to, or want to have on my “to buy” list when I budget money for clothing.

wardrobeplan2

Before my baby was born, I furthered this by making a plan for outfits I would wear after having the baby. It helped, and still helps, me to more carefully consider items when I’m out shopping, instead of just buying things because I like them.

As a work-from-home mom, for me, specifically, all items needed to fit the following criteria:

– easy to wear as a nursing mom
– comfortable for wearing around the house
– dressy enough that I could easily wear out to lunch with a friend/to look like an actual outfit and not just pjs

I started with a quick list of items that would work as a work/mom “uniform”, thenI made lists of items I had already and items I could be on the lookout for when shopping. I divided them by seasons (basically cold weather/warm weather).

Winter:
– longer sleeved tops
– leggings
– nice pajama/lounge pants
– socks
– nice houseshoes
– nursing-friendly sweaters and cardigans

Summer:
– tank tops, tees – some long and loose-fitting
– nice lounge shorts – loose, comfortable, nice enough to wear out
– sweatshorts
– lighter socks

Look For:
– v-neck tees, long-sleeved
– v-neck tees, short-sleeved (all long and loose)
– long, stretchy tank tops, lower necklines
– comfy, discreet nursing tops
– nice houseshoes
– lounge pants and shorts with pockets
– nursing bras and camisoles

Breaking things down like this really helped me to not be overwhelmed when shopping for nursing-friendly, postpartum clothing and still helps me when shopping now and am deciding on whether items are worth it by reminding me of colors and patterns I like. I’m starting to develop a wardrobe that I really like, with items that I pull out of my closet to wear often. I’d definitely encourage anyone to sit down and make their own lists.

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