I spent most of the weekend making this bag (which seemed to take forever) and Amber said to me (quite innocently) 'is it worth it Mum?' That comment really stopped me in my tracks and I seem to have been questioning 'is it worth it' since then. Is all that I do worth the time and effort I spend on it? I suppose when you question worth you're talking about the payoff you get.
I certainly know that I feel pretty overwhelmed at the moment with everything I do. There's the cooking, the cleaning, washing clothes, crafting, blogging, raising three children and of course the dyeing and the multitude of other things I do or take on. Are they all worth it?
Well, the stuff that comes with running the house is worth it of course and I've certainly pared it all down to a bare minimum. Some days I don't cook and we have left-overs which is fine. I hardly get around to cleaning but the dirt and the cobwebs do get to me eventually. I've minimised washing clothes to twice a week - three at a stretch. So the effort spent on those things is fine and worth it. It means I have a fairly tidy house, we're well fed with good wholesome food and we have clean clothes to wear and hopefully I'm instilling some important things in my children too.
What about the crafting I do - is that worth it? Is it worth the immense time and energy I put into it? I need creativity like some people need a shot of coffee to keep them going. It's my life blood and if a fire destroyed my sewing room and all the contents I'd feel like a limb had been cut off. What would I do each day? I need to keep my fingers busy and my mind open with new things and ideas. I love sewing and knitting and dyeing and they all give me something that I do for myself and another focus that isn't the house. On a day to day level crafting is definately worth it as it keeps me sane. But when I'm under pressure like this week where I'm making things to sell on July 7th (school fair) maybe it isn't worth the extra stress. It was worth making that bag as I'm really proud of the result but it certainly isn't worth it for the price I'll have to sell it. (If I tot up all the hours I spent on it then I would be asking about £100+ but that goes for anything anyone hand makes I suppose). I also do handwork at school (very part-time) and I love sharing the skills I have with the children. So yes, crafting is worth it. Worth every minute I spend on it.
Staying at home and bringing up three children is definately worth it and I've never regretted giving up my job thirteen years ago. It's bloody hard work as you know but how can it not be worth it. I will remind myself of that when Amber blows a gasket later and when Rohan bursts into tears over his violin exam and can't be consoled and when Raj refuses to go to bed (just when I'm desperate to have some time to myself) oh and Tom's in London. I will TRY and remind myself of it - or else burst into tears - or reach for a bar of chocolate.
So that brings me to the other time consumer in my life - blogging and reading other blogs. Is it worth it having a blog? Oh my. It's worth having a blog for the creativity it inspires in me and the way it's made me try new things. It's worth it for the beautiful friendships I have made and most definately for the fact that it's the reason we're going to America this summer - to meet those friends (and to go to those craft shops everyone's mentioning). Sometimes, considering the too few comments I get it doesn't feel worth it. I don't care what other bloggers say but comments are really important to me. I really value the relationship between you and me. I love to hear what you think of my writing, my crafting and of me - I really do. I'd like you just to say "Hi I read that post" even. I also like writing back to you (if appropriate) too. But sometimes I do get a lot of comments (as in the teen post) and I guess it evens out. So overall it is worth my time and effort - you can tell me otherwise if you want!
Reading other blogs takes up a lot of time too but that has definately got to be worth it. I love to see what others are up to. It inspires me, shows me new ideas and things. Shows me how we are all the same underneath whether we live in the midwest or in the English countryside. Again it's community and friendship and support and it's what sustains many of us. So I'm not giving that up easily - worth every minute.
Other things I've got on at the minute are organising the summer fair and that is worth it as it gives me a focus away from me and the home and it brings our small community together too.
Well, Amber certainly sparked something off with her comment. I guess it's good to have these reflective moments (or four days as in my case). I've come out feeling pretty positive, thank goodness. So the couple of hours I seem to have spent writing and editing this post were worth it from my point of view - what about yours?
PS What do you think of the-bag-that-took-forever. It's made from felted jumpers and fully lined. I'm thinking of about £50-£60? Sound OK?