There are lots of reasons why I sew.
First, I love to make cute outfits for my very girly daughter. I love seeing her in something that I’ve made and she loves it when I make her things. It’s a win-win. My son couldn’t really care less if I made the pants he’s wearing or if they came from Target. That takes some of the fun out of it for me and I find I don’t enjoy making things for him as much. I guess I’m selfish that way.
Another reason I love sewing is because I find it oh so relaxing. If I’m sewing it means I’m alone in our office-turned-sewing-studio. I’m concentrating very hard on making sure the lines are cut exactly right or the hem is straight. If I’m concentrating on the minutia like that it means that I’m generally not thinking about my husband’s dress shirts that need to be ironed, the oil change that my car needs or the Teachers Appreciation gift that I’m supposed to have purchased by tomorrow. When I’m sewing I’m usually just super focused on the task at hand. There aren’t many other areas of my life where that’s true.
However, sometimes I find that I need to satisfy my urge to be doing more than one thing at a time. And sometimes, it’s just too darn quiet in here. That’s when I listen to audio books on my computer. I think the first time I did it I was behind on my book for my book group that was meeting that week and wanted to finish it up in time but also wanted to get Ella (my daughter) a dress made for her preschool graduation. I discovered audible.com and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I just finished Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (also for Book Group), the pretty controversial book by Amy Chua. I did in fact enjoy it, though. And currently I’m in the middle of NurtureShock by Po Bronson which my husband has spent the last year begging me to read since he’s decided this is the bible by which we should raise our children. It’s not a parenting book per se. Bronson is a journalist, not a child development specialist. But he has pulled together hundreds of studies on topics such as praising children (not always a good thing), TV watching (it’s not what’s making kids fat) and children and race (they’re not as blind as we assume).
Before you get the wrong idea, I don’t always listen to/read parenting books. As a matter of fact I try to avoid them, in general. They almost always make me feel like a terrible mother. This just happens to be a streak I’m going through right now. I do find that I’m drawn to listening to non-fiction while I’m sewing though. I think that’s because when I’m in bed at night after a long day and I go to pick up a book, I want a book that will let me escape into a fictional world. I’m too tired to think about anything seriously and especially too tired to read about how I can be a better mother.