New directions

I was going to start this post with a lovely poetic piece about the rain.  But while I was writing it I had a phone call from the boy’s school.  Again.  His father is handling the situation, but the very fact of the call is enough to make me change my direction.  For the post, and for my/our life.

I have been on leave from work for some months now for a combination of reasons.  Trying to support a child with special needs, getting more and more worn down myself from constantly keeping all the balls in the air – working full time at a high level, being a full time single parent, the boy’s need for extra everything, the fact that the girls miss out on so much when the boy needs so much, keeping everyone fed, clothed, alive……  It all got too much at the end of last year and I fell apart.  So my leave (thank goodness I have worked as a public servant for so long) was needed to get me back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) so that I could go back to juggling the balls again.

Except that I have realised that, as a wise woman I know says, ‘If nothing changes, then nothing changes.’  If I go back to juggling, I will fall again.  And next time I might not get back up.  Something needs to change.  The boy and his sisters won’t change.  They will always be my top priority.  Whether we live in this house or another, the same basic level of housework, maintenance, and general ‘home-ness’ will not change.  Although my ex-husband is back living in the same country, so I am not a full time single parent anymore, that change is not enough to balance it all out.  That leaves work – my paid employment and my creative business.  I am not yet sure what the answer is about which of these will need to change the most in order to build a new direction for me/us but it is obvious that one or both will need to.

I have applied for some further leave (of the long service type – again – so glad that I have worked for so many years!) so that I can work this question out.  Because life as a parent of a child with a disability can’t follow the plan that I previously had.  We have to find a new path, and a new approach, and a new plan.  This plan has to put my health near the top of the list of priorities, to allow flexibility so that the boy can have the support he needs when he needs it, to produce enough income to pay for the necessities in life, and to be manageable.  Expect to see a lot of idea bubbles floating around above my head, growing or popping as I work through all of them, weighing up, assessing and looking at how to build a new life for the chicks and I.  Although it is daunting, it is also exciting.  The possibilities are endless!

Meanwhile, back in the sewing studio (sounds posh doesn’t it?!) in between periods of intense chaos, some goods have been produced!  I have completed some custom orders, delivered a pile of bibs to restock the Handmade Shop (the first lot almost all sold out in under a month!!), and am ticking things off the list I made on the weekend.  This custom order was delivered today, in time for the birthday of a girl who loves Dr Who, and who loves the willow pattern.  I can’t wait to hear how she reacts to it on her birthday!


And, after all my protests about bibs not being ‘in scope’ they are selling well, I like making them, and I have some plans to expand my ‘range’ for older children and teens.  Stand by for that development (once my new fabric order arrives!!).  In the meantime how gorgeous are these fabrics?

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Another thing that I ticked off my list this week was listing my new stock in my Etsy shop.  I was so busy making things in the lead up to the Markets at the beginning of the month that I didn’t stop and photograph many of them – a good lesson for the future!  Here is a small selection of the newly listed bags.




And finally, my big news of the day is that I have been accepted to sell my bags through Shop Handmade!  This was part of the plan that I created last year, so I am proud that I have followed my plan, and that I have been accepted to sell in such a wonderful shop.  The biggest danger is that each time I deliver stock I will have to be careful not to leave with just as many pieces of other people’s work!

This week’s plan is to finish more custom orders, sew up some new designs, and get some planning happening!  I hope that your week goes well (and that you get the rain that is so badly needed if you are in Australia!)

For now I am off to think about new directions over a cup of tea.


9 thoughts on “New directions

  1. Esther

    I have no ideas for you how you can manage all of the balls in the air, but i will wish you lots of luck finding the right balance. you are right: your health is so important!!!

  2. Vicky Myers

    Congratulations on being accepted by the shop:) It’s wonderful when something you have been working towards comes to fruition.
    I think bibs for older children is a great idea, it must be so hard to find stylish items which work for disabled kids.
    Most importantly I am pleased you are able to take the time you need to work out the right direction for you. All the best as you mull over your options:) Vicky

    1. a little bird

      Thank you Vicky! I am sitting back and looking at the plans I made last year with a little bit of disbelief – they have worked! Another reminder that we are always our own worst critics!

  3. Sonya may

    All I can say is to be kind to yourself. It’s good to have the time to think and reevaluate – I’m sure that whatever path you choose it will be the right one for you!

    Your stock is looking fab too!!

    1. a little bird

      Thank you Sonya. Only a week after making the decision to take the time and I am already brimming with ideas – and making some lovely stock at the same time, so all the signs are there that this is what is needed at the moment.

  4. Gwen

    It’s hard being a mother! It’s harder being a working mother & harder still being a single working mother. It sounds like you’re 90% there because you have your priorities sorted. Good for you. The rest WILL sort itself out. Thanks for sharing.

    1. a little bird

      Ah Gwen. You are right as always. The juggling act of being a working parent, no matter what your situation, is always difficult. It is amazing what a sense of peace has come over me just by making the decision to stop and think about it all. Thank you for your supportive comments.

  5. Michelle @ Squeek Crafts

    My heart goes out to you :-). I just found out last week my son has dyslexia and has AD/HD which explains why homework and other tasks are so hard. I am lucky to work for one of the best companies in the world, which allowed me to change my hours to 7:30-3:30. This way I can work with him on getting his homework done (as it works better with me than the hubby). It is still so hard not to get frustrated so we are learning how to communicate without stressing each other out.

    I hope things work out for you….lovely new things too.

    1. a little bird

      Oh my beautiful blogging friend. My heart goes out of you – the early days of finding out that all is not right in the world of our little people can be so fraught. It is a new path, and finding the right way down the path can be so frustrating, as you have said. I will certainly be thinking of you, and hoping that you find ways to help and support your son and balance the rest of your life. Your company does sound great!
      My employers have been amazingly flexible, but after two years of my constantly having to disappear and leave my team in the lurch I decided to stop testing their patience and work out a new plan!
      The diagnosis is one that carries a lot of emotion with it – there is so much debate and misleading material in the media about medication, or not, legitimacy of the diagnosis, or not, diet changes, or not…… my advice is to listen to your instincts as a parent, and ignore the myriad of suggestions that will be thrust upon you unless they resonate with you personally! And remember to look after yourself. Lucky you already have a fabric addiction to use as therapy! Bonus!
      Sending you love from one mother to another.


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