I knew that having a community is important. The sewing community has been a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and support for me since I started blogging almost 10 years ago. Most of that connection has come through what we obviously have in common – sewing. But it has been in times of struggle that I’ve learned I have a lot more in common with members of my community than just sewing. When I was in graduate school and struggling I reached out to other sewists who had made it through grad school themselves and by sharing their stories I gained strength to push through. In this last year, my first year as a parent, I was met with the biggest challenge I have yet faced. But in my sewing community I found support yet again.
Jodi, Monserratt, and I conspired to get other parents to share their stories through #EaseIntoMotherhood. And so many amazing sewists shared so many personal stories. What I didn’t know going into #EaseIntoMotherhood was that I would find something that I could relate to in every contributor’s post AND that I would find something I could learn from in every post. Stories similar to mine, stories that felt foreign to me, stories from brand new parents, stories from parents with several grown children, stories that found the humor in hard times, stories that got real real, all are important.
Personally, I shared a few stories:
- Sewing my way back to loving my self post baby
- Introducing the Ultraviolet Tee as a love letter to my mom belly
- Boxing clothes and boxing my way back to familiarity with my body
I have plans for sharing more that I couldn’t fit into this month. Because I’m still struggling, still learning, still growing, still processing, and I do that by sharing. And I’d love it if you keep sharing too. When you have a story that relates to being both a sewist and a parent, share it. You’ve already inspired and helped me and the more we all share the more we can inspire others in our community.
I wanted to point out a few parts of a few stories and themes that rang particularly true to me. I encourage you to check out every story shared since you’re likely to be moved by different things than I was. The full list is below.
Sewing is Our Thing: Almost every single story had the shared theme of the importance of sewing. Perhaps that’s not surprising given we asked the sewing community to share their stories, but what hit me was how important it is to have a thing. Vicki did a great job describing it: “The satisfaction that you feel for starting and finishing your Thing is hard to explain to someone without kids, but believe me, the Thing can be immensely important.”
We Are More Than “Mom”: There is nothing wrong with having “mom” be a part of your identity. But for so many of us, that’s not enough. We had identities before becoming parents and while being “mom” may be very, very important to us now, it’s not the only thing that is important to us. Being able to also labels ourselves “sewist” is an important part of reclaiming an identity for ourselves outside of our role as parent. Clio did a great job describing it: “We’re sold this bill of goods that says we should be MOM before anything else. In our pasts, we may have had hobbies and activities, pursued goals and aspirations, and led rich and interesting lives. But once we are mom, we are supposed to be happy and grateful for our selves to be subsumed by motherhood, everything else about us a distant second… It’s not healthy to see ourselves as one dimensional.”
Embrace Imperfection: One of the things that I still struggle with the most is to let things go. I want to do ALL THE THINGS and I want to do them all perfectly. And now that I have a munchkin, that’s just not possible. I have to be okay with doing the best that I can and recognizing that my best isn’t perfect. This is true for all of us. Monserratt’s sage words: “Let go of your controlling self, just embrace it in all its imperfection and its uncertainty. Life will slowly get better.”
#EaseIntoMotherhood Week 1
I posted a summary of the first week of blog posts here.
- Seamstress Erin – “Sewing My Way Back to Self-Love After Baby”
- Seamstress Erin – “Introducing the Ultraviolet Tee/A Love Letter To My Mom Belly”
- Sew Fearless – “Bouncing Back Is Overrated”
- Mexican Pink – “Friendships: Baby culottes”
- Cation Designs – Becoming an Unselfish Sewist
- Sew Pomona – “Sewing A Beautiful Life”
- Swoodson Says – “How Sewing Fit In After Baby 2”
- Acorns to Oak Trees – “Ease Into Motherhood 1”
- Acorns to Oak Trees – “Ease Into Motherhood 2”
#EaseIntoMotherhood Week 2
Jodi posted a summary of the second week of blog posts here.
- Another Sewing Scientist – “Get Yourself A Thing”
- Sewing Curves – “Baby vs Sewing”
- I Sew Therefore I Am – “And Mother wore Moneta”
- The Sew and Tell Project – “Easing into Motherhood: One Stitch at a Time”
- Sew Fearless – “Kalle Shirtdress (times two)”
#EaseIntoMotherhood Week 3
Monserratt posted a summary of the third week of blog posts here.
- Paprika Patterns – Finding Confidence with Motherhood
- Mexican Pink – “Aim for Imperfection”
- So, Zo – Becoming a Compulsive Sewist
- If Only They Would Nap – “When Motherhood Isn’t What You Expected”
- Handmade Frenzy – “Motherhood & Sewing”
- Masustak Eguzkitan – Balance in Sewing
- CarmencitaB – Sewing While Waiting for Motherhood
- The Little Cave – “Motherhood and Sewing don’t always go together…”
#EaseIntoMotherhood Week 4
Monserratt posted a summary of the fourth week of blog posts here.
- Always A Crafty Lady – Sewing with a Purpose
- Diario De Naii – Sewing as Self Care
- Jo Sews – “Find Your Voice”
- Hilos y Más – “Bikini Nus”
- Seamstress Erin – “Workout Clothes for Boxing”
- David Oliver’s blog – “La belle Emilia”
- Clio & Phineas – “Yes, I Wear White”
- Mexican Pink – “Feeling good in my skin: Bras”