Balancing Life as A Mama and Knitwear Designer

I have had many people come to me with the question: Where in the world do you find the time to knit with 5 kids? I decided I’ll write a post to better help you all out, as much as I can.

Everyone’s life situation is different and mine is no exception. I have five children (almost six!), the oldest is 12 and the youngest is 3. I started knitting five years ago now, when my fourth youngest was ten months old. I am a full time mama to my kids, my husband works long days and has since my oldest was 2. I’ve homeschooled my kids since the oldest started kindergarten. We love traveling and do it as often as we can. My family lives in Minnesota, so that’s where most of my traveling is to. But we love taking random weekend trips and adventures here and there as well!

I’ll do another post on what my typical day looks like, although they vary greatly. But for the most part, where my knitting falls into place is always the same. I tend to leave my current knitting project on the kitchen counter during the day. It gives me easy access to sneak in a couple rows here and there. When the kids are eating lunch, I’ll do a few rows. If they’re all quietly occupied, I’ll do a few rows. Just a little bit when I can helps move it along.

Most of my knitting happens in the evening after the kids are in bed. I have way too much going on during the day to make good progress. Even though my kids are pretty good at doing lessons and playing together, I like to be present with them. Knitting takes focus and I can’t fully be present while doing it. Some can! I always hear of people who do other things while knitting and more power to them, but I just can’t do that. I can’t even talk to people while I knit, I need to pause! 🙈 I’ve messed up my work one too many times whilst trying to have a conversation while knitting.

So after the kids are in bed and I’ve done the evening cleaning, made my husbands lunch for work the next day, and switch laundry (it’s never ending!) then I’ll go back to my knitting. I typically get about one to two hours in during the evening.

When traveling, I rarely knit. If I’m in Minnesota, I might do a few rows here and there. But otherwise, I don’t knit on trips. Not even in the car. I love seeing the scenery and sipping my iced coffees when I’m the passenger, regardless of where we are. Sometimes I’ll try read a book, but there’s something I enjoy about having time to do nothing and just gaze out the window. I actually love driving, so I don’t spend much time in the passenger seat anyway!

Again, everyone’s life is different with different obligations. So the advice I can leave you with is this: knit when you can! Leave your project in an accessible spot so you can pick it up when you have a moment. If you like to knit while riding in the car, do it! Don’t stress about when you’re going to have time to knit, it’s not worth it. If I spend too many evenings in a row knitting, I end up getting burnt out. I’ll take off an evening or two and read a book instead. It helps a lot! It might be hard at first to know you need a break, the anxiety about finishing it will creep in, but in the long run, it’ll take faster.

Don’t compare yourself to the people who seem to whip out projects left and right. Their lives are different too. Do what you are able. Do what works for you. Life is meant to be enjoyed and fun!