We often talk about sewing as therapy, but what happens when a change in circumstances makes sewing feels like a luxury that you don’t deserve?
A few years ago, pre-kids, I lived in London, England, worked a full-time job in banking/consulting, bought loads of fabric, went to sewing classes, socialised a lot and sewed up a storm. And it brought me a great deal of happiness and joy. Even after baby 1 was born, I still had a 4 day a week job and over time managed to find a way to fit in the sewing related things I liked to do (i.e., I am lucky to have a supportive other half who wants me to be happy).
Fast forward to now, and in recent times I’ve just moved to a small town in The Netherlands. It sounds like a small move right? A 45 min flight across the North Sea is nothing! Well yes, but it’s been a lot harder than I ever expected. My new job is as an unpaid stay at home mum, I have a 3 year old and another one due soon, and oh, how times have changed! The guilt of relying on someone else to fund my life is truly immense. At the very least I feel obligated to put dinner on the table and do laundry every day (even if mister says it’s not necessary). Most of all, I feel guilt for craving me time, aka sewing time.
I want to have it all, and now
Ever get the feeling that you should be able to have it all and do it all at the same time? Family life, a career, leisure time, being self-sufficient… I think this is “all at once” idea is a myth that is often sold to women in my generation. The reality is there are only 24 hours in the day and some things just have to give. Surely there is a better way besides finding this out the hard way?
In my upbringing, the mindset was that the best thing you could do for yourself (and what was expected) was to get an education and a paying job at the end of it. There was never any talk of whether it was ok or not to be a stay at home mum and what might happen if you ever had a family. This is despite my own mother and stepmother being stay at home mums (and they had a load of other value-adding non-mum activities that they did).
How it feels to crash and burn
A change in circumstances combined with lack of confidence in a different language I don’t speak, and lack of understanding of the sector here means I don’t have a paying job. Going to a single income has been hard. My daytime activities, whilst valuable for the family, makes my contribution feel limited in many ways. And if that’s the case, then how could I possibly have any “me time” and therefore contribute even less?
Buying fabric and finding time to sew feels now like a luxury. And as silly as it sounds, sometimes I think if I haven’t done all the household stuff I planned to do, then I don’t deserve time to go and do something I actually want to do.
Sewing feels like a luxury but I need it in my life
My days are what you would probably expect — entertaining the toddler and doing household stuff. Sometimes I try and be kind to myself and nap as well, as pregnancy #2 makes me tired. Regardless, by the end of the day, I’m totally spent. On the weekend my other half often takes the toddler out so I can have an hour or two here and there because he wants to encourage me to sew and be happy. But he’s already spent the whole week at work so it doesn’t always feel like a fair arrangement. Either way, I’m grateful that he’s there, he’s an engaged parent, and we work as a team.
What I can say though is that after some weeks in no-sewing mode, I’ve realised that NOT sewing has become a source of unhappiness. It’s like I’ve forgotten all the great things it has given me besides a bunch of new clothes and skills and lost part of my identity. So for any sewist who is going through change and doesn’t really feel like doing any sewing, I want you to know you are not alone! And here are my top tips to get started again:
- Sewing is inclusive. If you sew, you can be a “sewcialist”. If you want to be online, share your makes, be part of the community online or offline, you’ll meet people. And we know sewing people are the most awesome people In my first month here I’ve met 2 sewists — one I previously knew from Instagram and the other was introduced by someone else I knew online. And I’ve had 3 other people from Instagram saying that if I ever want to meet up they are there. That kind of thing keeps me sane.
- Making stuff is therapeutic. I think sewing should be in the same category as art and music when it comes to this. I listen to the whirr of the machine or the whoosh of the steam iron and the rest of the world disappears for a couple of hours without me noticing a thing. After a few sessions, I have something to show for the time spent.
- Once a sewist, always a sewist. What else are you going to do with all the fabric and machines you have lying around?! It’s just waiting for you to pick up again and it will always be there for you.
And so, the sewing must continue and hold me together in this time of change. I hope that if you ever have times of stress or change that you’ll find sewing as therapy too!
Kate is a former guest editor of the Sewcialists. An import to the Netherlands via the UK, she thinks sustainable fashion and sewing should be accessible to everybody. Follow her blog Time to Sew for sustainability chat and Instagram @timetosew for sewing adventures!
i had to give up work due to fibromyalgia.The guilt at not working and not helping with the bills was all encompassing.ive found new goals that have led me back to sewing in a way that helps others so thats helped but it is a daily struggle.its also hard not to lose some of our identity to being a mum ,to being a worker…..i know youll find your way eventually but i just wanted you to know that your not alone.Do you have a permanent area set up for sewing? i found if i had to put things away and take them out each time it made it harder so now i have a sewing room so even if i only have time/energy for one or two seams at least i can.
I agree that keeping a little already-set-up space saves a ton of time and makes it much easier to pop down and sew one or two things in the few extra minutes that are sometimes available in the day. Wishing you the best with your sewing projects!
Thank you Michelle, and yes slowly finding my way. Wish there was a magic button to press to suddenly feel settled y’know?! One of the good things about moving is that I have a loft where my sewing stuff now lives (shares the space with the laundry – for some reason here the washing machine is upstairs!). So I can always escape for a little bit in the evening, makes a wonderful change from the dining table and pulling out all my stuff everytime I wanted to sew anything at all. X
I completely agree! This post is so relate-able and I think this is a really common sentiment! You aren’t alone! I just posted about how I was only able to sew one placket for a sleeve this week and I just have to enjoy that process during the little time that I have had.
Hello, glad the post related to you. I hope you manage to finish the placket for the sleeve next week! It’s the little things….
I got one done – now it’s onto the other arm! The color block dress you posted here is AMAZING too! I can’t believe I accidentally left that out of my first comment. I wish you the best of luck on your next project 🙂
Terrific post. Alas – as a lady who has been through early parenting – I can advise that there is no having it all unless you change your definition of “all” to include your current circumstance. And that ability seems to come with the many evolutions of adulthood and parenthood, over time. Early years with kids seem rarely about the mother and her personal pursuits – something that I found incredibly difficult (to understate things entirely). But you will return to a place of normalcy over time – as you develop new ways of managing the ever-changing status quo. My understanding of the Netherlands is that most people speak English beautifully so you don’t have to feel isolated by language. Also, if you have an opp to put your toddler in a kinder for a few hours a week, you could join a group where you learn Dutch while also meeting expats. I assume that you moved to the Netherlands for your partner’s work – which represents a kind of sacrifice of your out-of-home employ, even if it is a wonderful change for your family. Don’t feel like you are not contributing. Being a stay at home parent is mind-blowingly challenging and so wonderful for your kids (though daycare is also wonderful!). Your husband doesn’t need to worry about a huge part of his life that’s being elegantly managed by the resident primary parent and home-manager. This is employ, if not for a salary. And I highly encourage that you receive a stipend for it, from your family income, so that you have money to spend entirely on you and your sewing (even if it’s not a former salary size). One other thing – moving to a new place during pregnancy is super intense! Give yourself a serious pat on the back for making such a transition when your body is growing a human being and your hormones are off in all directions. You may find yourself feeling more like yourself after the infant time with your upcoming baby. Best! K
Ditto. Being a stay at home mom IS a job. Growing a new human while doing that job is exhausting. Before you were working two jobs, one at home and one career. That’s why it feels strange to only work one job. I agree that the “have it all” myth has been damaging to women of our generation. The traditional roles of mother and father are shifting, changing, and melding. We are caught in between the new and the old. Imagine one of your children grown and having the job of stay at home caretaker. What job description and benefits do you want them to have? That is what you should allow for yourself as you model for the new generation. My girls are almost grown and I do regret how much I unthinkingly modeled for them that women have to do it all.
Hi Deborah and Kristin, thank you for your comments. Yes hubby is very happy that he never has to do the shopping or the cooking or the cleaning. He is actually SO supportive that *that* almost makes me feel guilty for feeling anxious and not coping so well! I’m sure that it’s part of it is the pregnancy hormones as well. Because my son is now old enough he is just starting preschool so that is a little breathing space for a few hours here and there. But I must say that the sudden shift from having full time daycare to being home a lot has been a lot harder than I expected, even though I loved the idea initially!!!
Oh how I feel you! We moved to NYC from Canada when my oldest was 2. I wasn’t allowed to work (visa stuff). The second one came 18 months later. Even without a language barrier, it was very isolating. (We were in the suburbs and the culture was so different from where I came from, Montreal. You don’t expect it to be *that* different so it comes as a shock. We’ve since moved to Brooklyn and it’s much better though still different.) Add on to that that I’d always seen myself as someone who would work *and* be available for her kids. My own mother worked from home so I had that growing up and wanted to give it to my own children. Not working, not bringing in any money, feeling like I was spending my husband’s money are all thoughts I had to deal with. To be honest, 10 years later, I still struggle with that a bit. But I don’t see the money he makes as not mine anymore. And I do see how my being home actually helps us financially. And I see how my presence has been so good for my daughters. And I see how my sewing, knitting, etc. have kept me sane. And the family absolutely needs a sane mommy! It’s hard work!
Oh your story sounds so similar, especially the expectation about “how different can it really be?!” I’m happy you sound like you’ve found your way for the most part. For sure you never get time back with the kids so if you can do it and it works out for you in all the important aspects then that’s as much as you can do right?
You have SO MUCH going on right now! A lot of these negative feelings that you’re experiencing sound a lot like anxiety. Any kind of move is big, don’t try to talk it down. Our family just moved a few US states away from our home a little over a year ago, and I’m only just now starting to feel a little normal again and there was no language change. We moved abroad for a little while five years ago, no change in language, and I was a wreck with trying to adjust. It’s stressful. Pure and simple. And then you’ve thrown two HUGE changes in on top of that–staying home and you’re expecting another child. And you’ve got a toddler on top of all that.
I hated it when women who had “been there, done that” would give me advice that centered around the idea that I was being way too hard on myself and remind me that I was growing a person and that I had plenty enough to keep me busy to feel guilty about not doing the other stuff. And you know what? Now that I’m removed from that part of my life, they were totally right and I wish I could have just dropped the guilt and anxiety and believed their words. I’d have been so much happier.
I was raised to believe that I needed to go to college and get a good paying job afterwards, but guess what? I went to college, I got a degree, and then I became a stay-at-home mom because the job thing was Plan B for me. I wanted to be a mother above all else and I was so grateful that that avenue was open to me, because it doesn’t happen for a lot of people. (None of that is said in order to be like, “You should be grateful for what you have, stop yer belly-achin!”) Even though that is what I wanted out of life, I struggled mightily with the fact that I was a stay-at-home mom because of other people’s backhanded comments (UGH–seriously?!) and that little voice in my head that made fun of me “wasting my potential” to change diapers and wipe spit-up.
But you know what all that is? The words of miserable people who wanted to make me miserable, or the words of people who disagreed with my choices who then decided that I needed to be educated about how wrong I was, which is just so incredibly rude! I only just figured this all out, but it would have been great to be able to tell those voices to shut up while I was going through that phase of my life.
The one-income thing does require some changes because of the reality that you have less money now. There’s no arguing that. It’s not fun to cut back on expenses, but it’s even less fun to go into debt. I’m of the opinion (read : OPINION) that me being a SAHM puts the housework squarely into my area of responsibilities, so I do my best to take care of it all. I am not perfect at this. No one is. And if someone says they are, they’re probably lying or delusional. You’ll get sick and everything will fall apart, your child will be in a sport and you’ll be busy with taking them to that and everything will fall apart, etc., etc., etc. But I do my best to stay on top of it. It was especially hard at the stage of life you’re in because my kids weren’t much help. You’re basically teaching a child how to clean and it doesn’t go well hardly ever at that stage. I wish I’d kept my cool a lot more during that time. Now that my kids are older (9, 11, 13, 15), chores are pretty easy–they all have a list and on Saturday mornings we get up, we eat breakfast, and then we do our chores. The house is cleaned from top to bottom in about forty-five minutes because there’s five of us powering through it all. It’s pretty magical, lol. But during the toddler years…oh, I hated it. It’s a tough season. But it’s temporary and it does end.
As far as crafting goes, YES. Yes, yes, yes to having a creative endeavor to escape to. What you’re doing now in your work as a SAHM is just as time-consuming and requiring of mental focus, just in different ways. You still “deserve” a break from time to time. Don’t feel guilty about your partner taking your child out for a couple of hours on the weekend. You’ve spent, what? 45-50 hours during the week in one-on-one time with your child? Partner can definitely handle two. I created a knitting group that met once a week during that time so I could have a break. And then I’d buy groceries on the way home. It was one of the best decisions I made–I had friends, I could talk about life without my kids or husband around (you need that, for the commiseration/laughter/advice), and I was further inspired in my craft because the ladies I met with made the coolest stuff. My kids got to hang out with their dad and watch “How It’s Made” and eat hot dogs or pizza for dinner once a week, and EVERYONE WAS HAPPY.
I also heartily endorse the idea of scheduling time to be creative. Even if the bathroom isn’t clean, even if…whatever housework isn’t done, honor a commitment to yourself to work on your stuff. It is therapeutic, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. And if your housework is falling apart, sometimes it’s just due to being sad or overwhelmed, and a couple of days of being nice to yourself and working on something you love will usually burn through those feelings and get you functioning and houseworking again. (And while you’re pregnant, if what you’re really craving is a nap, then take the nap. Just do it. It’s healthy.)
And this has turned into an essay, so I’ll stop. I just feel strongly about this subject and wish that we could just stop with the language and expectations and guilt that we put on women no matter which life choice they make. It’s ridiculous. Some women don’t want kids and that’s OK. Some women don’t want to work and that’s OK. We’re all different and we need to stop shaming each other for having desires that *gasp* are not all the same. And we need to be supportive of each other and treat each other gently, because we just never know what invisible burdens we’re each carrying on our shoulders.
Hi Cara. Thanks for sharing your story here, I really appreciate it – especially your last sentences about the expectations and guilt that women have. The choices we make are entirely personal but it’s so possible and dare I say normal to be critical of any choice anyone makes! I try and talk down my issues/anxiety because I *feel* like I should just be doing better at this and I know am I lucky to have the life that I have and it could really be so much worse. Now whether that’s my own expectation of myself or where else it came from I don’t know, but it’s something I’m trying hard to let go and come to terms with it. Wishing there was a magic button to feel settled, but I do know it feels good to be behind my sewing machine or cutting table!
This resonates so hard with me! When we first moved to Denver, I had quit my job and 1. Had no idea how to full-time-mom, and 2. Had no idea how much of my identity was wrapped up in “work”! That guilt is real, for sure. One of my closest friends gave me really good advice though, that if you think of how much you’d pay someone else for even just a fraction of what you’re doing during the day, it definitely helps even things out mentally 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story! It makes such a difference for people to hear they’re not alone, especially in such an isolating career field as Being Mom. <3
Oh Gabby, yes and yes to the identity being wrapped up in work. It’s bullshit isn’t it how we got to that point, what happened to the person outside of that? Totally lost myself but I’m trying to find my identity again. Glad my story resonated with you, and thank you for telling me I’m not alone. Big hug to all the moms out there. X
I am much older than most of you I bet…old enough to be your mother or even grandmother. For me, sewing in one way or another (quilts, clothes etc) has been the one thing that has sustained me throughout my life and my enthusiasm for sewing has lasted longer than any man, job or other hobbyist passion….albeit with some ups and downs.
In my opinion, being a stay-at-home mom is THE most difficult job of all. It requires 24/7 commitment, and total immersion. You really do not have my time “off” and likely won’t for many years.
I also believe that finding joy is the most important thing in our lives. It lifts us up and sustains us through the ups and downs of life. Additionally, I believe we all simply have to be a bit “self-ish” and take time for ourselves. Without that time to simply ‘be in joy’ resentment and dissatisfaction can begin to filter in and no one needs that…not you and not your loved ones.
I empathize with you feeling a bit lost…and yes, add one more voice to the chorus of ‘feeling-my-identity-was-linked-to-my-work’. That being said, the work you are now doing, raising the next generation, is truly mighty “work”. Many of my generation are now using hindsight to see that the family is the most important component of raising responsible, grounded, children. As someone who worked in the Court system for many years I saw firsthand how a good family can have the most impact on young people.
Be proud of your job and be gentle on yourself. You WILL find your way through this unsettling time….and yes, your mums weaving skills re amazing!
Hello, thanks for cheering me on – the support just on the comments from here has been overwhelming and amazing! I felt really exposed writing the post but it felt cathartic at the same time and it’s been so nice to know that I’m not alone.
My husband also has the same approach to finding joy being the most important thing, and he encourages me to sew, to do nice things, to go out etc. because in his words it’s better for the family when I’m happy. He is so good about I almost feel guilty (ah the irony!!) I think it’s just my anxiety telling me that I am too lucky to have the life that I do so I tend to beat myself up and worry about it. Letting go is hard and unfortunately there is no magic button, so I’m just waiting it out for now. As you say, this time will pass and it will be ok 🙂
This post really hits home for me. Is nice to know we are not alone and there is more people that will understand you. Back in Puerto Rico I was at home, unemployed and without kids so I did a lot of sewing but I didn’t have much money to invest. Money was a big issue at that moment. Fast forward, we moved to Texas, we both have jobs, I have the money for the equipment and fabric, but I have NO TIME. With a one year old baby, a full time job and trying to get a degree I feel lost in the process. I feel a loss of identity because I feel like creating, sewing, is my identity and all of a sudden I’m a mother and that alone, needs all of my focus. I have dreamed of becoming a stay at home mom but we can’t afford to live under one income. I know the feeling of having to “do it all or be it all” sometimes is disheartening. I’m still adjusting to being a mother and I feel the guilt of just wanting a day to sew my heart away, or maybe just finish that hem that has been sitting on my desk for MONTHS.
I live in a two bedroom apartment, and I even though we are tight in space, I needed to have my little nook so I fit a small desk on the corner where I keep my sewing machine, and I have a folding sewing table that I keep next to my husband’s side of the bed. It’s messy, but its there for when I have 5 minutes to spare. I cut my patters and my fabric on my break at work (I work at a pre-school) and then sew it at home where there is time. This keeps me sane. I dream of a house, I dream of a sewing studio and I miss all my designer friends back in Puerto Rico….but it is what it is right?
Oh Karla, that’s a huge amount on your plate to have a job, do a degree and have a young child! But yes, it is what it is (same here) and there’s no going back – there’ll always be compromises to make. I’m with you all the way on gritting your teeth and making it work. Good luck with it all and sending a bit hug and good vibes your way! X
I’m sure your partner enjoys spending time with your child in the weekend. It sounds fair to me!
He does indeed, I’m grateful that he is an engaged parent!
Yes I thought so, I think he’s taking your (plural) kid out because after a week of seeing colleagues he likes to spend some quality time with his child :), and you having some time to yourself is a nice bonus.
I also understand your feeling of isolation. Even though many people speak excellent English around here, it’s not what we use for daily communication (and I think that’s good, because using English as a standard also isolates a group of people – I am always surprised when the yoga teacher does ask if there’s anyone not speaking Dutch but doesn’t ask if anyone has trouble with English. But I’m drifting off). Knowing that you can speak English with people if you initiate it is fine on a vacation, but if you live somewhere you want to be able to join in on a conversation spontaneously, follow local sewing shops on instagram (who primarily communicate in Dutch), read the signs on the train station..
Anyways, I’ll join the other Dutch sewists in saying let me know if you want to meet up!
Hi Erika thanks for your comment. I have plans to improve my dutch from reading Dick Bruna and menukaarts and paying at the supermarket /reading signs. I find it much easier to read than to speak, maybe because then I have time to process and I live in a small town and don’t speak much to anyone!
Funny you mention yoga. I went to pregnancy yoga once and we had to introduce ourselves in the first session. Lucky I was the last person in the circle so I managed to listen to everyone else, then say something sensible. But of course I didn’t understand the rest of the class except for the basic body parts! 🤣 I don’t need to tell you I haven’t been back since then.
Hi, I ditto what everyone else is saying. Take a breath, wipe the jelly off the floor, and put your feet up, your workload is about to double and you need to take care of yourself.
Something I often think for myself and often say to others is “If the girl next door was in this situation, would you tell her what you’re telling yourself?” Practically never would we load up other people with the expectations, the guilt, the sacrifices, that we put on ourselves.
Have a wonderful day!
Thank you for your words of support, and you are right – we are generally our own worst enemy and have all the expectations!
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.Put yourself first, better for everyone.
I really relate to your story. It really is hard and it will take some time to put all this change into perspective.
Falling pregnant very early in our relationship lead to me suddenly moving from Amsterdam to the dutch countryside. My partner and inlaws really helped me to settle in to my new hometown. But reality was that I craved a social life that was my own and not so dependend. I missed Amsterdam and the social life I used to be part of. But as a countrydwelling young mum I actually felt cut off. Even if I tried… it did not feel right. I managed to keep my job in Amsterdam untill number 2 arrived… Then I was simply too tired to even try. I left my job and became a stay at home mum. For us as a familly a total bliss. But I really had to redefine my identity. Slowly but steadily I had lost almost everything that defined my former me. That was the moment I started sewing. It kept me sane going through the hardest years as a mum of a baby and a toddler. It felt empowering to create clothes. I started to get a feeling of belonging in the sewing community on social media. It gave purpose. I never expected I would actually be content with being a stay at home mum. But I am, despite my university education or former career path. I really feel that it was sewing that saved me. It helps that my partner runs his own business from home, so I can have adult conversations during the day. It also helps that my partner likes to cook at the end of the day and has accepted that I am not the tidiest person in the world. 😉
Anyway I am here any time you feel like meeting up! We do not live right next to eachother but we both might have some spare time on our hands 😉
I’ve long tied up my self-worth and identity with earning an income. When it vanished due to babies/study and later a redundancy I was upset. I wish I could turn that off but I just can’t. Despite knowing that (at the time) it was right for the family unit, I needed to earn.
The isolation of caring for young children is not to be underestimated. Joining community groups with other parents of young children is terrific. When my eldest started school I was amazed at the number of families in my area.
It gets better – it really does!
Lots of ‘been there done that’ for me too Kate, although I only moved from Suffolk back up to Yorkshire which was my home originally.
Firstly, and I know this sounds harsh and horrible, stop being grateful that you have a partner who is prepared to do childcare and give you free time. Instead be proud that you had the sense to wait until you found the right person who is prepared to work alongside and with you in your joint roles and lives together. So many women are brought up to be grateful for any little thing a male partner does, instead it should be about equality.
Crafting kept me sane when I had 3 under 3s (we had a buy one get one free offer with baby no 2). It gave me time away and time to be ‘me’ again.
Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, you get very little training for it and are expected to do it perfectly. Raising caring compassionate children is so important, but society now sees it as a sideline to everything else.
I’m now a granny and am watching my son and daughter-in-law learn the same lessons we had to learn 30 years ago! It’s so hard, be gentle on yourself.
Buy one get one free, you make me laugh!!! The lack of training always makes parenting seem like one big experiment I must say. But hey we all do our best and most of the times is goes well, sometimes it doesn’t and we just muddle through….
On the other side of life now, I understand where you are. But try to change the headline . Your job as stay at home is the MOST valuable, most incredible and unbelievably responsible job any human being can take on. In the same breath, its the most unbelievably boring yet awe inspiring responsibility. Don’t take it lightly, yet don’t take it too seriously and don’t take it with guilt. You single handed-ly are molding the next generation. Have fun with the short time you are with these little ones. And believe that your sponse’s spending time with them after a week at the office is just as awe inspiring and relaxing as it is exhausting. Its the job of all jobs and should not be defined by money. Sacrifice now for the fullfiled life of love. Sewing was on hiatus for me when the kids were young….except for halloween and holiday outfits. It all makes sense in the end. Love.
Taking care of you is your first best job. The rest will suffer if you are not well and happy. Sewing sustained me throughout my life. I also worked long hours as a nurse while sickcaring for my dying MIL at home.
She was great to make me take a few minutes to build my confidence sewing. (I still hear her voice if I try to make a shortcut.) Just have a few minutes while kids are napping and sew something. My kids played in my sewing space while I sewed. The laundry will get done and dinner will get on the table.
Be well be happy and wait til they are teenagers. (oh boy, another world)
Shaping another human, one who will contribute to and influence the world is truly the most important job you will ever have. My grown kids are such wonderful humans; I would choose them as friends regardless of our relationship. I’m glad for the hours I invested. The world wins! As for an hour on the weekend, that is called parenting. He doesn’t get to abdicate that just because he worked all week — neither would you if you worked outside the home all week. Creativity is part of who you are. Nurture that; it’s who you were made to be. And good news: as they grow there will be more time to do the things you love. This too shall pass.
The only thing I haven’t heard screamed from the roof top here, is that nurturing babies and young children is so important to our society, our species and our souls. When we look at the difficulties of the world, even the systemic ones (hello race, patriarchy etc.) I often imagine what the world would be like if every human had a nurturing start with a significant care giver. I wonder (when I’m feeling my MOST compassionate) what our current president would be like had he received proper and deep, respectful care-giving from zero to three.
It’s only because it is biologically women’s work, that it is undervalued. Can you imagine how important, and well paid care-giving would be if men had wombs? If we think of the value that good nurturing provides to the growth of future adults, well, imagine what it would cost if you needed to pay someone else to care for your child(ren), taxi them, feed them and keep your house a bit under control. Since most folks go into parenting willingly and most consider their family life among the most important components of their lives how your home and child care are accomplished should likely be, arguably the most important decisions adult partners make. Importance = value = money.
You are doing one of the most important jobs in this world. You deserve time for yourself, a “room of one’s own,”and friends to share your sewing adventure with.