Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quilter's Guilt


Do you ever get it? That feeling that you should be doing something else, besides quilting. I'm not talking about the endless mountains of laundry, or the dusting and vacuuming. Heck, I think we all know those things will still be there waiting for us when we are ready to take a stitching break.

I'm talking about that tiny little voice in the back of your mind that calculates how many yards of fabric that tank of gas could have bought. Or the coupons that you wish you could use at the fabric store but they are clearly for cereal only. Sigh.

Does it bother anyone besides me, when the quilting gurus say...buy the best thread you can afford. Well I could afford silk thread if my kids could skip groceries for a week. Duh! It's all about choices.

I'm not simply feeling guilty about the "cost" of quilting but the time as well. How do we balance this insatiable love of fabric and thread against time spent with those who need us. My kitty is very good about letting me know when it's time to take a break and play with her. Sometimes, I look down and wonder if the dogs napping at my feet are dreaming about me throwing balls for them to fetch.

Oh and those little humans that live with me. Okay, they're not so little anymore, they are all actually taller than me now. Ugh. When did that happen? They know how much I love this little hobby of mine. They are fairly understanding, unless it involves an actual trip to the quilt shop that they must endure. I know I spend more time with my kids than most parents get to, but sometimes I wonder what they think when they see me sitting on the floor basting another quilt!

I hope they see a momma who is totally devoted to them AND who is creatively fulfilled.

Am I balancing my passion and my personal life? Am I indulging my tendency to stitch at the cost of others? Am I making the most of my time? I am so grateful to a husband who gladly agrees to take on parenting duties while I trot off to a whole day at a quilt show. Is he really just wonderful, or is he just "resigned to reality".

Surely, I'm not the only quilter who feels this pang of "am I doing the right thing" or "am I doing enough?" I don't think it's exclusive to quilters. Obviously, we all have different things in life to balance. I'm talking about the balance between feeding the soul creatively, and setting limits so that other areas of our life don't get swallowed up. Does that make sense? Where is the line between self-care and self-indulgence?

Hmm, maybe I should go stitch something while I think about it? :)

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

5 comments:

  1. I have considered this same sort of thing. Sometimes I wonder if I should get a job and be more productive that way. I do know that when my daughter (our only child) left the nest it was very difficult for me. My identity as a mother was gone. Yes, I know that I will always be a mother, but the active part was over. If I didn't know my other identity as a quilter, I'm not sure how things would have gone. Taking care of a house, a husband, kids, and pets is important, but I think for women who don't work and have a career outside the house it is important for them to have a personal identity. Kids grow up, husbands deploy to war, pets sadly depart, and then there you are, alone in a tidy house. At least I had quilting!!!

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  2. You hit it on the nose, this is a busy time for me with quilting, took care of the grand kids during the summer and now I have projects to get ready for 2014 because I have people relying on me in the quilt world. My husband told me to take a day off, I said I can't this is my time and I do love it. I am making soup today so he will be happy.

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  3. I think as quilters, crafters, sewist or stitchers we all feel those guilt pangs..As you know I hevent been able to do a lot lately due to my health. But I have really been enjoying the time with my kids and I see I have really been missing out on a lot of lilttle things with them...And I have decided that it is ok for me to take forever to create something. Because it is a hobby and is supposed to be fun. But my children are my life so I am gonna be putting them first and foremost and try to be better about my time management. And spend less time sewing and more time with my family makeing memories

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  4. I LOVE your post! As mothers we want to be supermom and not just get it right, but get it absolutely, perfectly right. Life is definitely about a balance and I think we all struggle with it at times, but if our kids/husbands/family are happy and doing well? Hey, that says a lot. If they're happy and doing well and we're able to get lots of quilting in at the same time? Yay! I know that I sat on the couch and hand quilted tonight until almost midnight--all the while my daughter sat right beside me with her laptop working on a tough essay that's due tomorrow. Win, win.:)

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  5. I LOVE your post! As mothers we want to be supermom and not just get it right, but get it absolutely, perfectly right. Life is definitely about a balance and I think we all struggle with it at times, but if our kids/husbands/family are happy and doing well? Hey, that says a lot. If they're happy and doing well and we're able to get lots of quilting in at the same time? Yay! I know that I sat on the couch and hand quilted tonight until almost midnight--all the while my daughter sat right beside me with her laptop working on a tough essay that's due tomorrow. Win, win.:)

    ReplyDelete

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