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?
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.