Finding a balance

Today should have been a great day.  But it just didn’t get there.  It hasn’t been a bad day – it just hasn’t been great.  I am tired and short-tempered, and the kids have been niggling at each other and nagging me.  I called a family meeting this morning to talk about what we needed to get done today, and how that would give us time to do fun stuff.   Deaf ears all round.  I have battled to achieve my ‘to-do’ list for the day,and  we certainly didn’t have ‘fun’ (although I did manage to get the children their new school shoes and sports shoes and the roof of the shop didn’t fall in when I presented my credit card – phew!)

So tonight, with a headache and feeling a bit sorry for myself I have stopped to reflect on why the day has (in the words of my children) been ‘crappy’.  And I have realised – only days after talking about having a balance, I have lost my balance.  I am trying to do everything that I think has to be done (except housework which I have completely abandoned) and have forgotten for a few moments that these are the days that we are supposed to be enjoying.  It is, after all, the last two weeks of the school holidays, and of my time off work.  So the aim for the next couple of days is to remember to enjoy this time and go and do ‘stuff’.  Maybe a movie, or a trip to the zoo to christen our new annual pass (the best Christmas present from a great friend!).  Definitely some geocaching.

As for why I lost my balance?  The reasons are a bit complex, (including me realising that I had missed a deadline for booking part of a trip for Easter time – drats) but one aspect is that I had far more success with the sale of my bags on my Etsy shop than I ever anticipated.  That is a good thing right?  Last night, as the purchases rolled in, I was getting very excited, and used it as an excuse (with much input from both girls) to order more fabric.  I had dreams about new designs last night.  Today I am almost panicked that I haven’t made more bags to list to replace the ones that sold, and I felt that I had to be at the machine making a pile of bags instantly, therefore resentful that I didn’t make it there until 8pm.

And there you have it.  Turning something from excitement to pressure in one foul swoop – and all of my own making!  So I am going to stop trying to sew every spare moment, and instead go back to enjoying the rare luxury of having uninterrupted time with my children.  (Afterall, I go back to my office job in a couple of weeks too!)  I am also going to remember to sew because I love it, not because I think I need to have things for the ‘shop’.  I have done a little bit of that – and I don’t like the results, and am not proud of the items I have made.  Sewing to meet what I think others want, rather than relying on my creative soul to design something that ‘works’, has meant that I have compromised myself a bit.

So – tonight I spent a little bit of time playing with fabrics that work for me – just because I can.  This is my winner for the evening.


I am having lovely visions of art wallets dancing in front of me – or maybe pillow cases?  Or both!

This doesn’t mean that I won’t be tackling my ‘to do’ list from the linked up project I posted about.  In fact – I am well on the way in ticking things off that list!  I have finished working with the artist-in-residence to design the packaging plates for the ‘shop’.  These are fabric pieces with her drawing and the contact details, that will be then stitched onto the calico drawstring bags I am using for packaging.  I have ordered a yard of it from Spoonflower (yes I do love that site and the potential that it holds!), and in the meantime used some printable fabric to make up prototypes.  I am happy with the way that they have turned out!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wrote the care instructions on the back of the paper tags, then wrapped the parcels up in brown paper and string to be mailed (with thoughts of ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’ singing through my head, as I hope that the contents of the bags do end up being someones favourite thing!)

Of course, one bad day doesn’t mean that the week has been bad!  We have had some lovely moments.  The eldest chick announced that she wanted to bake, without my assistance, and without using the Thermomix (sacrilege!!).  She was very insistent, so I left her to it.  She used my electric mixer, and asked for help putting the biscuits in the oven but did everything else on her own.  I really hadn’t realised just how much she had absorbed over the years!  The end result?  Delicious gluten-free white chocolate chip cookies that disappeared very quickly!  I may have to hand over baking duties to her more often!



The boy has been busy with his usual pursuits, but after seeing me teach the eldest chick to sew yesterday has decided that he needs sewing lessons too.  Could be lethal but I will give it a go!

The plan then, is to remember to keep my balance.  Put the tired cranky mum to bed, and tomorrow bring out the mum who is happy to go on an adventure and doesn’t have a to do list to tackle.  I quite like her!

If you have managed to read this long – thanks for sticking with it!

I hope that you have found your balance.  I would be interested to hear your tips for how you manage to keep your balance.






7 thoughts on “Finding a balance

  1. Elizabeth Van Gessel

    Well done in the end! Dad and I found balance yesterday and instead of working in the heat for a couple of hours , stayed home and achieved good things. And I joined Anna, Lily and Averil in getting our nails done. So we did well.

    1. a little bird made me

      Great to hear Mum! I love the idea of Lily going on a nail outing with both grandmothers!
      The kids and I have planned options for our day – we will choose as we go! We have also set ourselves a challenge to get 365 geocaches this year. As we only have 9 so far, we need to do some catching up – an idea that tickles their fancy! (And of course this is a warning for you before you come to visit that you might need to be helping in the hunt!)

    1. a little bird made me

      It is isn’t it? Balancing what I want and need against what I want and need for my children – and what they want and need for themselves – is always tricky. But you are right – crafting is my therapy!

  2. Helen

    For my 2 cents worth, I think balance has something to do with working out what really matters to you and yours, and what is optional / doesn’t matter / can wait and try to focus time, energy and attention on the former. AND consider what is the real deadline, not the self – imposed one that we make up arbitrarily then get stressed if we don’t make it as planned / imagined. Words of wisdom from someone on holiday… Helen.

    1. a little bird made me

      Wise words indeed from the holidaying girl! I agree completely. The self imposed deadline is something that I sermonise about at work all the time – I should really apply my own advice to home shouldn’t I??


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