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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
... and have little ones too (most of you!) how did you handle it when you really started to hit your biz stride? I've had a lovely, steady stream of orders, and I'm thrilled about it! However, it's late autumn, and the older kids have had little illnesses, baby has an ear infection right now, and I'm a few days behind schedule. (Rocking baby as I type). I have a really hard time sewing with baby on my back now that he's over 20 pounds and so strong and squirmy.<br><br>
I know that the fact I'm closing shop tomorrow so we can leave Monday to visit family adds to the stress, but I'll be expanding the biz in a few key ways soon, and I want to be able to be a mommy as well as running the biz. So, how do you all do it? Tips and tricks to be less impatient and more kind? I'm finding I'm yelling way more than I'm comfortable with! I'm so excited that my business is taking off so well, but yet trepidatious about the implications for my family. I'd love any and all advice for juggling a sturdy part-time biz (or more) and a family. My littles are 5, 2.5, and 9mo. DH works two 3rd shift jobs so his presence is minimal. I'm looking for a seamstress but so far all my efforts have come to naught. Lined up a mother's helper about 10 hours a week but not sure how baby will appreciate that.<br><br>
TIA!<br><br>
Kristi
 

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If you figure it out, let me know :LOL<br><br>
I think hiring help is the best way to do it. Have you put an ad in your paper for hiring sewing help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I sure did. I got one phone call from a woman who seemed perfect, but we set two appointments that she cancelled and I didn't hear from her again. Part of me wants to pursue her, yet the other part of me knows it's better to wait and find somebody reliable. But the other part of me wonders, is it better to have her than noone at all??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: Plus I really need somebody with a serger, and that's a bit harder to come by. I'm considering buying a serger for a friend of mine and letting her work off the cost, because I'm starting to feel overwhelmed and I think the key for me is staying one step ahead of that.<br><br>
I don't know ... a week away from it all will give me some perspective and distance. Although I might lug my machine out of town to finish (start?)Christmas gifts ... LOL!
 

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I already responded to your HS post, but I'll post here too.<br><br>
For me, coming up with a schedule was key. And sticking to the schedule. Pay attention to the kids when it's their turn. It's soooo tempting to just do 'one more thing' while you're supposed to be playing with the kids, but it's just not worth it.<br><br>
I've been super busy with my business, and it did get hard. For me, the solution was to just cut back. I raised my prices a little and advertised less, and the orders dropped off a little, but I was still making almost as much money because of the increased prices. My intention when starting my business was to be a WAHM, not to be a businesswoman. Although I consider myself to be both, mothering is far more important to me. And because of that, I was willing to sacrifice my business in favor of spending more time with my kids (I was also fortunate to be able to afford to do so).<br><br>
I really think that if you keep going with your business, you'll find a balance. At least, I did <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I've been in business 4.5 years, and in that time it's been DEAD, it's been so busy that I wasn't sleeping at night, and everywhere in between. But, I made the decisions I needed to make based on my priorities, and it all worked out in the end. Of course, I still tweak the business here and there, but for the most part, I'm in a good place now, because I learned from my early business experiences.
 

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I agree about making sure you give your children their turn to have your full attention. I discovered that I really can't do much work when my 2 year old is awake... it just frustrates us both. So I mostly work when she is sleeping! I also have found that she likes to help. So I've given her some of my materials that are safe for her to play with and she can "help" me work when she wants.<br><br>
I wish you luck.<br><br>
Karen
 

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Oh Kristi, I only have one (1 y/o) and I'm feeling this, I have so little orders, but the days I list on ebay and sell 5-7 slings just makes me freak out and get so consern, then those are the days when my little Angie desides that she wants to be stocked to me and won't sleep unless bfing :s<br>
I can't put her on my back to sew because she has become too curious and wants to touch everything and I'm afraid I'll sew her little fingers together.<br><br>
I also agree with the other ladies, I want this to work out to a biz point, but a the same time I know I'm doing this so that I can stay with my little one, and I know that's the same reason you are doing that too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Can't you get a seater that comes home and watches your kids while you are there, some one like a neighbor or a teen, so that is not too exp.<br>
or get some one to do you shores for you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> that I'm sure would help a whole lot!<br><br>
When you figure something out, let me know :LOL<br>
Nelly
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for your replies. Yes, I too want this to be a part time biz rather than a full-time adventure, but the prospect of not living paycheck to paycheck is so nice! I'm willing and anxious to hire out, but cannot find somebody to sew for me, but I can find childcare (ie Mothers Helper) but I'm not sure how it will work out. When Orion was a baby I worked third shift part time, and hired people to hang with the kids when I napped, but he cried and cried and it just didn't ever work out.<br><br>
This is my first real glut of orders, and I'm just trying to look forward. It's such a nice feeling to know the bills will get paid, and yet such a bad feeling to feel frustrated with the kids. Normally, when one is sick, we just shut down daily tasks for a few days. But now my commitment is a bit bigger than that, and I'm just looking for the balance.<br><br>
Ideally, I'd like to hire out almost all the sewing at some point in the near future, and just do custom orders here. I don't want the biz to get too big, and my answer to that in the beginning was, "When it gets too big for me, I'll just start hiring pieces of the biz out," but I'm having a hard time finding somebody. Suggestions on that end?<br><br>
Of course, I could do all this figuring out only to find that business tapers way off again after the holidays <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> . If it stayed about the level it is now I could do it too, but part of me also knows that I'm pretty disorganized,and that a bit of organization of our time would make a huge difference! Like, I spend a lot of time either fighting with my serger or looking for random supplies I've misplaced, like a spool of a particular thread.<br><br>
OK, rambling now. Keep the ideas coming! I feel confident that I can make this work for our family now, just figuring out how.<br><br>
Sewing after the kids go to bed is not working right now. Last night I put the kids down to bed around 8:15, and by the time I went to bed at one the baby had been up four times looking for mama, and my 2yo had been up several times with growing pains in his legs. It's not always quite this bad but it's not completely atypical either. Both sleep beautifully one I snuggle in beside them though.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Sewing after the kids go to bed is not working right now. Last night I put the kids down to bed around 8:15, and by the time I went to bed at one the baby had been up four times looking for mama, and my 2yo had been up several times with growing pains in his legs. It's not always quite this bad but it's not completely atypical either. Both sleep beautifully one I snuggle in beside them though.</div>
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LOL, this is the story of my life! Those blissful nights when I actually get the kids to bed by 8, I am constantly interrupted by either the nearly 3 yr old saying "mommmmmyyyy where are you?? i need nurnie!" or the nearly 1 yr old crying cause I'm not there. But like you said, all is well once I finally surrender and come to bed, having gotten very little accomplished.
 

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I haven't yet decided if finding a seamstress is impossible or not. My MIL seemed desperate to help my with some of my products but I had her makes some (personal) diapers for us to use and found her sewing not up to my standards - it was really SUPER nice of her, though: both the offer and the diapers. I borrowed her sewing machine when mine when tits up, and found that to be part of the problem if not all of it. Quality is so important to me, I am not sure if I will ever find the right person to help me. I do live in a HUGE garment district-area (San Diego) and it shouldn’t be too hard if I really needed to, but I guess I am hesitant because of the inconsistency of my work as well. I think I would really have to be consistently getting overloads of orders before I seriously sought a seamstress. And, I would probably supply the machine and maintenance as well, since I would want quality consistency in my products and I know that the newer machines have limited working hours and I can't afford to pay someone enough to expect them to use their own equipment - yet, anyway.<br>
So, the orders sometimes come in in HUGE waves but I just try to keep good communications with my customers and know (concur) that my family comes first. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I've been struggling with this as well. sewing until 1 am is just too much. We're hoping that the dh quits soon to work for me but thats still a bit away and in the meantime I have TONS of work.<br><br>
So, I was worried about Isadora not doing great with a mother's helper so I started by having friends come by to play with her once or twice a week so I could work a little. starting with people she knew was key because she was comfortable enough with them to not mind if I went to the other room. Now we have a regular sitter that comes twice a week for 3 hours at a time and it works great. I told the sitter that they can play by me if they want, that I just need the babe to not be crawling up me. Let me tell you while she is here I CRANK out clothing.<br><br>
I did finally find a sewer as well, she's also going to make patterns for me. I'm not sure where you live but I used craigslist for everything! I found a sewer who is amazing and lives three blocks away from me. (I also found my apartment, my sitter and 6 of the boutiques I sell through there, great resource).<br><br>
I think the mother's helper is worth a try, the first few times you might not get a ton done but as your children get used to her or him you will get more & more done (and its amazing how fast you can sew when you're fully awake & you don't have to worry about waking anyone!)
 
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