Life until recently looked like this: 

Taking care of my baby, of course; 

Completing house chores all day into the evening when baby is entertained or sleeping;

Feeling overwhelmed with all there is to do and not having enough time to do all of it; 

Wishing I had more time to craft, write, read, meditate, pray, and learn new things; 

Spending at least an hour a day scrolling instagram, facebook, and email.

I’ve felt sick of my screen time for awhile now. I would spend each day half way in real life, half way on instagram, and I’d wind up feeling like…where was I all day? Those days just felt like a blur. I felt so…clouded. 

I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want every spare second to be spent on my phone, overloading my mind with information (that I’m not even intentionally looking for). Scrolling made me feel so overwhelmed, yet it’s what I turned to every other minute.

I decided that since I had an hour (at least) per day to spend mindlessly perusing social media, I also had time to do the other things I wanted to do: embroider, crochet, color, paint, etc. 

I began to intentionally spend my evenings doing these things, after my son went to bed. My creativity started blooming again after such a long dry spell!! 

But during the day, I was still scrolling. At that time, my friend found an app called Screen Zen that helps you limit screen time. I was actually scared to download it. How absurd, you might think, but…I dare you to do it. I bet you won’t! This app has helped me decrease my screen time to 20 minutes a day, tops. I only check Instagram 1-3 times per day now when I used to check it 10+ times per day. 

And (surprise, surprise) it’s incredible how much better I feel! My mind is clear. I have intentions for the day, and they feel achievable (usually). I feel like I’m here, on earth, with my son, looking outside, seeing life as it is today, right here, right now. I’m no longer looking at my life as if it were a documentary to put on Instagram. Thank God. (Instagram is not real life – a blog post for another day). 

Side note – being on instagram often had me thinking… I really need to get my act together on here… I should be posting more. I should be trying harder. I should be sharing informational posts rather than the life updates I’ve been doing more of recently. Who cares about my life? The people want INFORMATION!!!! (Yeah, I’m going to spend several hours a week making the informational posts I did pre-baby…not…). I really haven’t been inspired to do that lately. Partially because I myself am so sick of unintentionally going on there and unintentionally receiving an overwhelming amount of information (on so many things). It’s too much. And I also feel like, why spend hours doing that when posts are shown to people for 1 day? It’s frustrating, and I just don’t have the energy for that type of thing right now. That’s why I’ve decided to write a blog instead. My own little online diary. PLUS…I actually do enjoy seeing people’s lives, rather than all the information. (Side rant over).

Let me tell you more about what I’ve been doing with my newfound time: embroidering, crocheting, and reading. 

I’ve been working on my first embroidery project since November 2022. No, that’s not a typo. It’s a Christmas tree pattern that I bought when I was pregnant. I thought it would be a good one to keep me distracted. Well, up until December 2023, it had one row of stitches. ONE. Ha! I had no idea what I was doing. Thinking about having to read directions, watch youtube videos, blah, blah, blah, was really what kept me from diving more into that little Christmas tree. 

What if embroidering is hard? What if it takes me a long time to figure out? Now, I’m closer and closer to being done with this first project! Turns out, I was very capable of figuring it out. When I needed help or had a question, I consulted Google or my mom, who is well-versed in lots of different crafts.

Speaking of my mom, I’d been asking her to teach me how to crochet for months. Another project. Another difficult thing to learn. But when I would visit them my parents, who live 2 hours away, I’d put the crochet lesson off. Then the opportunity arose again when my mom came to help me with the baby for a few days. We finally sat down for my crochet lesson. It was frustrating at first, but turns out I can figure that out too. Crocheting is reiterating a good life lesson for me: it’s okay to make imperfect things. It’s okay to not be good at something, maybe even to be bad at something at first. It’s okay to make mistakes. And I’m making lots of mistakes. But I just keep practicing. My next challenge will be to follow a pattern…and I haven’t done this yet, because, well, I’m a little intimidated. I don’t know what all those crocheting words mean, and what if I don’t know how to do a certain stitch??? What if it ends up looking like crap? The answer will probably be: It’ll be okay. I can figure it out.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve been reading more too, but I’ve been in a reading drought lately. I go through phases of having my nose in a book, to not reading for months. My mom says she does the same thing. So this must be a thing. Anyways, despite being in this drought, there’s one book I can’t put down: Create Anyway: The Joy of Pursuing Creativity in the Margins of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd. She began writing this book on notecards while she sat in the bathroom with her kid playing in the bathtub. The lesson I took from this tiny little tidbit: Don’t just wait for the perfect moments to create. Don’t wait for the times where you have an hour or more to sit down with a hot coffee to write, read, paint, embroider, or crochet. If you wait for only those times, there won’t be many of them. 

The other day, we were laying on the living room carpet. I spread his 5 million toys out in front of him. That’ll keep him preoccupied. I opened up my book. How nice to lay here with my baby beside me while I peacefully read my book. NOPE. Baby’s hands were immediately all over the pages. He wanted to look at it, climb on it, put his mouth on it. No cares for his toys (of course). That baby is interested in what I am doing. If I had to guess, it’s going to be like that for awhile. So I better be a good example of what kind of human I hope for him to be.

So some days I carry that book around the house with me, reading it in the in-between moments. Other days it’s the coloring books and pens or the embroidery hoop. And I think, isn’t this infinitely better than showing my baby that we scroll on our phones in the spare seconds? And won’t it be incredible to show my baby that we can create every day, even in the little moments?