In answer to a couple questions in the comment section, I just need to get a few things off my chest. Iâ€™m sensing that there are some misperceptions roaming about that need to get nipped in the bud.
So first of all, by way of background information, I have and have always had, a terrible urge to make things. It really is something I canâ€™t help, and I frequently get myself in WAY over my head in ridiculous projects. For me, this itching inside to make something, anything, is like a beach ball that youâ€™re sitting on under water. You can keep it down for just so long and then suddenly and without warning it comes rocketing out and you find yourself, oh say, making a mosaic on your kitchen floor or tearing the moldy upholstery off of a chair that you found in a hedge and trying to reupholster it in a matelasse bedspread that you have stuffed in the top shelf of your hall closet because you knew it would come in handy one day. But first you have to dye the bedspread because itâ€™s the wrong color and one thing leads to another and suddenly you realize instead of getting the sheets washed youâ€™re actually dying a bedspread in the washer, and that you forgot to put the roast in the oven at 3:00 like you were supposed to . . . . and the bathroom didnâ€™t get scrubbed because you were so busy spritzing down the chair frame with the mold killer that you were supposed to be spritzing in the shower . . .
What Iâ€™m trying to say is that balancing household duties with extra curricular activities like starting a clothing business is a perpetual juggling act that is loads of fun but often has one or more beanbags getting dropped. I think the trick though is to recognize which beanbags are the most important ones to keep in the air, and which ones are ok to have sitting on the floor for a second until you can work them back into the routine. (Ok â€“ weird analogy I realize.) What Iâ€™m driving at here is that the â€œdinnerâ€ beanbag is the one that is more important to not drop . . . and that Iâ€™m trying just as much as every other mom out there to remember which ones are more crucial than others. Unfortunately, thatâ€™s a bit of a trial and error process. And now, excuse me while I run crank out some dishes and scrub my bathroom, because Iâ€™m seriously getting myself convicted as I blog away about priorities!
Right. Iâ€™m back. And what Iâ€™m getting around to saying is this. Everyoneâ€™s little situations are completely different and the beanbags that must not get dropped might differ, not just from person to person, but they might differ at different phases of the same personâ€™s life. For instance, when Ben and I first got married I was up to my eyeballs in wild projects. (Meaning, he knew full well what he was getting into beforehand!) And then, as we started having babies coming along at a rapid clip, and we bought a house, my extra projects started to become more and more of a burden and less and less fun. Keeping the dinner beanbag going is much harder when thereâ€™s a deadline you have to meet and someone else is paying you and itâ€™s a bridesmaid dress and so itâ€™s really important to not mess it up and the baby needs to be fed . . . itâ€™s just not fun. Somewhere in there â€“ I think it was at baby number three (when the oldest had just turned three) that Ben pulled the plug. I wasnâ€™t working full time or anything â€“ but I would frequently take on projects that people asked me to do for them. But I remember the moment that Ben said enough is enough! It was fabulous! I had plenty to keep me busy at home, numerous piles of laundry to try and keep ahead of (and never quite succeeding), and when I needed to go to the grocery store it was a full hour and half just to get us from the â€œok itâ€™s time to get ready to goâ€ to the moment we walked out the front door! So all the extraneous beanbags got removed from circulation and I felt much better about life. But both Ben and I knew that they were being temporarily stashed until I was in a different phase of life . . . like maybe the moment when I was not pregnant, and also nursing a baby, and also chasing two toddlers.
But the thing is, my personal extra beanbags happen to be the desire to make things that I mentioned at the beginning. But everyoneâ€™s extra beanbags are different. You might be a fantastic gardener, or a French teacher, or a violinist, or a writer. And if you donâ€™t have time for it because youâ€™re never caught up on the laundry and the kids are little and require loads of attention, then donâ€™t feel like youâ€™re failing if you set a couple beanbags down for a while. Just make sure theyâ€™re the right ones! Only you know what your own duties are, what your gifts are, what your desires are, and how many hours you have to fit it all in. Analyze your own situation and decide if itâ€™s time to set some beanbags down or if itâ€™s time to pick some up – but resist the urge to compare yourself with other people . . . they are in a completely different situation than you are, they are at a different phase of the game, and they have a completely different set of beanbags.