I had a major, MAJOR realization about something that’s been a big part of my life, and it started with spilling on my tank top last week :)
All I was trying to do was finish my milk & cookies before getting Max up from his afternoon nap. OK fine, I was really devouring an extra cookie [it was an Oreo, if you must know], then gulping the last drop of milk in my glass, when the spill happened. Please tell me I’m not alone in doing this…?
I believe becoming a mother has helped me better prepare for this new phase in life, and ultimately this post.
Since Maxwell was born I have humbly slowed down in so many areas, personal and work included. Interestingly, I’ve also had a few things start tugging on my heart at about the same time, but it’s been really hard for me to pinpoint “why”.
^ my Bauer-boy, who’s been a part of our family for almost 3 years now
Becoming a mother changes you, simply put. And I like to think it’s changed me for the better. It’s heightened my relationship with our parents, it’s made my heart even more soft for children, it’s helped me to pause a bit more often and just be.
To be totally black & white, it’s helped me stop using the “S” word: schedule.
And not only have I stopped using it but I’ve stopped obsessing over it. I’ve stopped trying to keep to the pre-baby work schedule I was used to having. Holding tight to unrealistic expectations has kept me from living this new phase of mamahood; it was keeping me from what God is trying to teach me.
But the heart of the problem is this: keeping to a rigid schedule was interfering with my creativity and the vision of Gussy Sews.
It’s been easy to feel distracted, detached and doubtful. It’s been a hard transition living in Los Angeles. I’m a midwest girl at heart; “the girl next door” [thank you, Kate]. I love to chat and spend time cultivating relationships. That silly “S” word seemed to be getting in the way, all the darn time!
To go even deeper, I want my business to be free of negative things — for however many life chapters it takes.[Are you still here? You haven’t closed this tab, have you?]
It feels risky [maybe even scary?] to let go of my schedule, but it feels more right than wrong, so I’m going with it…
I used to be able to have specific work tasks that I knew I could accomplish each day, week and month. Now? Now I work in 2-hour increments, not 10-hour increments. Now I am relishing in the “right now” of life, instead of looking so far ahead I’m missing what’s staring back at me.
There’s been so much freedom in this realization, too.
That “S” word? Buh-bye.
^ new product samples, a preview of our upcoming Fall Collection
The other day I mentioned a shop update I’ve been working on and I teased about our Fall collection that will be launching soon. Don’t worry, the collection is still launching, but I’ve decided to break it down into much more manageable updates. Instead of having a couple dozen new products launch all at once, I’m now going to release them in smaller batches — in between spilling on my tank top, in between the quiet moments where God is teaching me, in between found grace.
Smaller, more frequent even?, updates are a more organic process for Gussy Sews, so I’m very much looking forward to this change.
I LOVE being a Handmade Maker.
And because I love it…
Because of the relationships formed…
Because of the trade I’ve truly loved learning the last 5 years…
Because of the places we’ve traveled to thanks to this blog…
Because this community that has supported my family through so much — quitting my day job, sharing blog/business tips, cross-country moves, hiring more help, in praying for a baby and then announcing the birth of our son…
Because I’ve seen God bless our family through this business I know being a Handmade Maker is what He’s calling me to be.
But at the same time, I can’t have a fuzzy focus. And up until last week when I spilled on myself, I’m afraid my focus was very fuzzy.
The purpose of Gussy Sews is to encourage you to take risks, to chase your dreams, to go on adventures, to support handmade and share in life together. Gussy Sews has inspired me just as much as it’s inspired you, I promise :)
So if you’re a blogger or a Handmade Maker, if you’re a mama, a wife, a friend, a sister — whatever wonderful title you carry — I want to encourage you to stop using the “S” word, too.
I’m praying you’ll continue to join me in this next chapter for Gussy Sews.
^ another peek into our Fall Collection: polka dots + chambray = L O V E
HERE’S WHAT I KNOW:
I’m committed to stop making myself stick to a schedule that doesn’t work for me right now, to let go of unrealistic expectations.
I’m committed to stop looking at what’s happening up ahead, because I’ve been missing out on the Right Now.
If you let go of your schedule, I promise you you’ll be able to accomplish so much more.
All you have to do is set yourself free…
Beautifully said Maggie :) I have been in your shoes. With mega-moves, now 3 boys (and their activities) and quitting a full time job, it really does get crazy fuzzy and often over scheduled. But I too have learned to slow things down, live each day by enjoying my family and my gift of being a Handmade Maker. I am in a very happy place now as well. Congrats to you <3
@Cindy, Thank you Cindy, for the encouragement :)
“I’m committed to stop looking at what’s happening up ahead, because I’ve been missing out on the Right Now.”
This. My life needs this. I feel like I spend a lot of time looking to the future. And while the future is exciting, it almost feels as if I’m wishing away the moments that are happening RIGHT NOW. Oh, my heart needed this today. Thank you for this inspiring post!
@Renae, There’s nothing that makes me feel more anxious that the thought of missing out on the Right Now. xoxo
This is something I’m struggle ing with as I plan (“s”‘s ugly sister) for the birth of our first this winter. The unknown is scaring me, yet I know I will need to scale back in some form. I’m grateful that you are being so transparent and real about the difficulties (and also the joys). I don’t know that I will be able to do it myself, but I love the idea of being schedule free. Thanks for being such an encouragement.
@Jenna lou, I do keep to a tiny schedule, but it’s very flexible and it allows me to breathe. I’m not sure I could ever go completely schedule-free (could anyone???). One thing that really caught me off guard is how long it took me to feel like myself, after Maxwell was born. It took me about 3 months. And even then, I didn’t feel *completely* like myself. He’s 6 months old now and the fuzziness is starting to settle down a bit, which is so wonderful. I can attest though, staying calm, with whatever parenthood throws our way, has helped us feel at peace. Zack and I don’t get frantic over messy diapers, extended/shortened naps, the overflowing laundry basket. We are calm so Maxwell is calm. But I will share this… having a backup diaper bag that stays in the car ALWAYS has been a lifesaver a time or two ;D We keep blankets, burp cloths, wipes, a paci, diapers, a couple outfits, and nursing pads for me in there. There have been a few times I’ve walked out the door without our diaper bag… which is kinda funny…! :)
Very nicely said, Gussy. You have learned this early in your motherhood journey. I have twins that just turned 14 yesterday. I still struggle to achieve the perfect balance without being attached to a schedule. As your son grows, your time will also evolve. I can tell that you are enjoying the ride! : )
@Shannon, ♥ thank you, Shannon!
Maggie this is such a great revelation from The Lord. When we have kids it’s when we start to realize just how BIG God is and how small & insignificant we are along with all our “stuff”. These are precious times! Xoxo
@Becca, I needed to realize it’s OK for me to change since becoming a mother… like I’ve been waiting for that kind of affirmation. What a relief to have heard God speak to me…
AMEN! It’s so funny isn’t it how us Midwest girls come to the challenge of that “busy schedule” tack it unto to our shoulders and say, “You wanna see something? I can do it better then you can!!” Because we have such great work ethic and God has instilled that in our hearts I think we can get off course and get too busy and miss even His direction sometimes. I understand you completely. I am finally realizing a handmade career myself and when I look at where I have to go to get where I have to be it worries me that I am going to lose out on alot of things because of the busy-ness. Thanks for reminding me it’s in the here and now and not the beyond where I can’t see. God’s called us to one day at a time. He will fullfill the visions He placed in our heart for the later/future. We just have to settle on the now.
Thanks Gussy! ;-)
@Emily, I love everything you wrote. Thank you for taking the time to type it out. ♥
Thank you so much for posting this. It really struck a cord with my this morning (as my baby naps and I run around like a crazy person trying to get things accomplished). I know in my heart that ‘letting go’ is what needs to happen but, well you know, it’s just SO hard. Thanks for being the reminder I needed today. xo
Soon after the birth of my son (almost 8 months ago. what?!), I realized I needed to throw a schedule out the window. It’s been a little easier to do so since I’m now a SAHM, but sometimes it still has its challenges. It’s crazy how these tiny little people can take over our lives! But it’s such a blessing. :)
Way to go Maggie! As usual I always learn something valuable from you and your journey. I am learning this lesson now myself. My son is almost 3 and there are things that I am sure I don’t remember from when he was a newborn because I was too worried about other silly things. I sometimes feel guilty and I do not want that to happen again. So I cherish every moment and am trying to align my lifestyle with my new found focus in life. Keep your head up because you are so inspiring!
@Ebony Jordan, XOXOXO :)
I love reading your post. They are so encouraging and beautifully written!
You hit the nail on the head with this post….letting go of unrealistic expectations? That should be my motto. This is such a timely reminder of what’s important. Thank you! xoxo
It’s so true. I think Motherhood just totally helps you see life the way it’s intended to be lived. Being a mom just makes you slow down and causes you to re-focus and enjoy those “little” things more. I love your words here. Thank you for sharing. ~Melissa
so true!! just had baby #2 in July, and my schedule has gone out the window! with my first child, it was doable… but adding the 2nd into the mix, just makes me feel like i can hardly get things accomplished. i am struggling to get stuff made for the shop, but realize that my babies come first! i’ve just had to lengthen the production time and know that the kind of customers that are willing to put up with that, are the ones that i want anyways. i’ve just had to shift my thinking and continually remember that i am called to be a mother and that is my most important job. while i love my other work (and do need something of my own to keep my sanity!), this stage will pass too quickly so i have to try to slow down and enjoy it.
@Tara E, I used to fear not keeping to a schedule… how would that affect our family if I couldn’t produce a work schedule the same way as before? But then I realized God is the one who gave all of this to me… certainly He will provide for us :) xo
way to go girl. this is so great! proud of you! now that i’ll be able to be a stay at home mom, come Nov 4- i hope that the schedule goes out the window too! seems we have a lot more fun when the schedule is gone!
@annie, WHAT?! wooo to the hoo that’s so exciting!!! :D
Dearest Maggie, This is so beautifully written. I can hear your voice saying these words. I love you to pieces!
@Kate @ Songs Kate Sang, I’ve finally exhaled! Thank you, thank you, thank you ♥
Your words have inspired me. I’ll share this with you in turn:
“6 critical life messages-
I believe in you
I trust you
I know you can handle this
You are listened to.
You are cared for.
You are very important to me.”
When I saw this on my friends fridge, I had an aha moment. I’ve been having a lot of them lately. Sounds like you are also. Enjoy.
Motherhood & work is a fragile balance. I was the stay at home Mom until my youngest went to first grade. My kids were older when I started my Indie Biz. It’s still a balance between school work, sports, husband, dinner, my job outside the home etc. I’m a planner & I have to know what is ahead of me for the week.
I learned early on in motherhood that I don’t overbook & over plan! I don’t run the roads with girlfriends weekly, my kids are not in 3 sports at time time (1 each & zero during the summer). I have learned to live intentionally & live life on purpose. I don’t want it to slip by me with my head stuck to a sewing machine. I love to sew, it’s my creative outlet, but my lil’ family is more important!
I’m proud of you for releasing the pressure that lies on your shoulder. Finding the balance early on will keep your feet on the ground & keep your focus on your lil’ family!
Yes! When I first started my handmade shop, my desire and tendency was to work, work, work all the time. Partly because I wanted to grow my shop, and partly because I love what I do! But with the title of “Big Sister” (my youngest sibling is 23 years younger than me) I couldn’t let my self-proclaimed schedule get in the way of other things I needed to do. So while I now don’t have as much time to devout to the shop as I’d like, I think my time is well spent doing things far more important.
Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us! =)
Oh do I wish I could let go! For my family: if it’s not written on our calendar/or my Mac, it doesn’t get done! lol Right now I do have a small handmade business and bcuz I do not have the hours needed to make it BOOM, I have to settle for any time I have free to contribute to it. This makes me sad. My 3 girls at home w/school & a club soccer schedule with all 3 and the teen on a traveling team as well, leaves us next to zero time. Add in all the dr appts as well. Every day is a soccer day. It’s crazy but we love it! I love social media and I’m sure if you peek around you’ll see me! I’ve acquired a contract job as a result w/a large scrapbkg co. as well. this makes me happy bcuz I love to scrap, Project Life, take lots of photos & make cards too! I love all things crafty and…. I’ve been a fan of yours for yrs. You’ve been such an inspiration. I only hope one day I can do the same. God bless and best wishes. xo
Are you handmade still? I thought I read that you had a team,perhaps last fall when you did scarves? So if you have a team sewing is that still considered handmade? I believed handmade mean only designed, cut, and sewn by you. Not a team.
If you do have a team wouldn’t you be considered a designer like any other designer who has a team of sewers, cutters, ect. That would mean all bags handmade from yours to Chanel.
I’m really curious about “hand makers” with teams. It doesn’t have the “made by me” feel that is implied.
Please help looking for clarity.
@Sorrelle, We are! And yes, I do have an amazing team that helps me with so so much, but I still consider that handmade. Each item is made by one person, one by one. Our ruffles are hand ruffled with a sewing machine — we don’t use a ruffle foot; each ruffle is unique and gorgeous! If I didn’t have help with Gussy Sews I wouldn’t continue to have a shop, there’s only so much I can do each day, especially now that I have a baby boy at home with me. I’m so blessed to have my team. xoxo
My comment was sent with respect to you and your brand. You make lovely items. 😊
Wow! I needed this right now. Thank you and way to go!
[…] born I never anticipated needing to have a c-section. I think that was our first experience with tossing schedules out the window. But even though I didn’t anticipate it, it gave me five solid, wonderful weeks of bonding […]
[…] all feeling the hustle and the bustle but Maggie of Gussy Sews wrote a very honest post about why I’ve Stopped Using the ‘S’ Word in order to have a more enjoyable balance of work and […]
[…] I had plans to leave early to run a few errands before meeting up with friends, but once Max feel asleep I was more than happy to stay on the couch and snuggle him. Errands can wait; my focus is on the unexpected. […]
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