Juggling: A Way of Life

On a daily basis I would say that I wear ten hats; mom, wife, maid, chauffeur, teacher, cheerleader, cook, friend, crafter, and student.  Sometimes I find myself wearing more than one of those at a time, learning more about the value of multi-tasking.  And at the end of the day I find myself exhausted, trying to keep up the demands of being all of those things while keeping a little sanity.  Most days I feel like I have accomplished what I set up to do, while other's just don't meet the cut.

What I have learned through my trials and tribulations is the key to success is having a strategy of how to make it work for you and your life.  Who knows better than you, what you are capable of?  Set attainable goals everyday, remembering what works for someone else may not always work for you.  Don't think you have super powers (unless you really do), so keep things realistic.  And use the word "no" when neccessary.

Some fellow Etsy Maine Teamers shared their thoughts on the juggling act:

Felted Wool Wristlet

ReMaine Wicked - I am fortunate enough to have 3 kids. The 2 oldest are 14 and 12, my youngest is 8 months. So I have become a delegator. Caleb is responsible for garbage/recyclables/compost removal plus bringing in wood and helping with the baby. Maia is responsible for helping with laundry, dishes and the baby. The baby (Josie) is responsible for making everyone laugh and giving hugs.  I do my best to not stress. I have a million and one products and projects going at once. That way I can work on different things according to what is going on in my family. If I feel like watching a movie or the Redsox, I cut up flags for buntings/banners, letters, pictures and/or designs for appliques, or pieces for messenger bags etc. If the baby is occupied - I can sew at my machine. If she wants me, well I sew on buttons or just snuggle. 

Also, I write many, many lists. That way I can prioritize what needs to be done first, second, third or what project I can work on according to what is happening in my life. Plus there is nothing so satisfying as checking something off the list- it's truly cathartic and stress relieving!

Pretty Pinkies Dangling Earrings
 Teklas Treasures - I juggle things carefully and slowly so as not to drop anything. Never works!
I'm a homemaker w/ 2 dogs, 4 hens, 4 baby chicks, and a fabulous husband who insisted when we met I stay home and take care of everything there while he works and brings home the money.  He's the best boss I ever had - seriously.  I'm now learning how to organize my time since I really have a drive to make a small success of TT.  Mondays are laundry day, tuesdays are part TT and part housecleaning, wed are open, thursdays I'm trying to dedicate to TT creating, fri are catch up days, and sat-sun are doing stuff w/ hubby as well as serious TT studio work. I also get in some triathlon training and always stop to smell the flowers.
My life is nicely paced; I'm very fortunate and try to never forget.  If I had kids it would be an entirely different game!!!! I applaud all you Mothers who make it look easy when we know it isn't.

Sunshine and Strawberries Print

Little Eye Designs - Being a M-F 7am-4pm worker juggling all my tasks and responsibilities can be quite harrowing. I check in with all my wholesale clients (local retail shops) on the 15th of every month to see if they want me to stop in for some stock. When I come home in the evening I usually take the first two hours to wind down, cook dinner with boyfriend, watch a bit of television or a movie. Then after that I'll multi-task and assemble goods while watching more movies or, if boyfriend has band practice I'll indulge in some 'heavy lifting' like spray painting caps or drilling.

When I make a sale on Etsy or do need to stop in at a wholesale account I'll get everything ready the night before during evening activity time and then bring it to work with me the next day. The visit to the wholesale customer or post office happens either at lunch break (if it's convenient) or on my way home! Same goes for runs to the craft store for any supplies I need - it doesn't hurt working in South Portland by all the big box stores!

Lastly, I always make sure to take time for a little reflection/regeneration. I never feel guilty for shirking my work (it happens at least once or twice a week) because I know going out to dinner with friends or going and visiting my niece will make me happy and recharge me! I also sometimes shirk production schedules to develop and experiment with new products, sometimes successful, sometimes not as much, but always fun!

Carrot Colored Rabbit Fingerless Gloves

Knit by Valerie -  I work overnights AND weekends, so MY weekends are usually spent trying to get somewhat back to a day schedule so I can see my husband.  As my profile says, I only knit in my spare time and I give most of my profits to charity, so my shop generally doesn't have a lot in it, nor do I sell a lot through etsy. I take care of our animals, but my husband does all of the cooking, which is very, very nice.  He usually makes enough for dinner for me to take some for lunch at work, which is more of a time saver than you can imagine.  Frankly, I don't know how people who sell a lot do it.

Faux Stone and Glass Bead Bracelet
Sallybateau - It truly is a juggling act sometimes! I work a full time providing one-to-one services to children with special needs (which can be very difficult at times both physically and mentally). I also have two young boys who need lots of attention and interaction and a wonderful husband with a very hectic and irregular schedule. It can get pretty chaotic sometimes! I have found that there are a few things I need to do each day to keep me "grounded" and clear-headed enough to maintain focus at both work and home. I wake each morning a few hours before I have anywhere to be or anything to do and I take the time to enjoy my morning coffee, read the news, take a walk outside, and RELAX. This really helps me prepare for my day and whatever it might bring. When I get home at night, it is very chaotic from the time the children arrive from school until they go to bed; homework, meal preparation, then getting everyone clean and ready for bed. Once everyone has settled down for the evening, I have a little time to work on some projects before I "hit the sack" for the evening. This has become a very therapeutic and necessary part in maintaing balance within my crazy existence! All of it does seem like a "juggling act" at times, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Lighthouse Leather Cuff Bracelet
Coastal Maine Creation - I wish that I could say that I have mastered the art of juggling all that life throws my way. But unfortunately that is not the case and at times it can be frustrating.
I can say that I value the prioritization skills that I learned while I was in Nursing school. Having that one strong trait helps me stay on task, get all of my work done on time, and ensures me that I have time for myself and my loved ones as well.

Check out all the great handmade items created by artisans in Maine by searching "maineteam" on your next visit to Etsy!