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Help me moms – how to bead with a baby?

Posted by Ali on August 28 at 12:50 pm

Sshhhhhhh, she’s finally asleep, I sneak upstairs to my beading room and hold my breath — did I just hear her cry? Back downstairs…

7 years ago when I was graduating from college, I had a nice little jewelry business going. Like so many of you, I started out displaying my jewelry anywhere they’d let me. After a couple of years, I was selling my pieces in 5 boutiques, I had many regular customers every year at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, and I was getting a steady stream of calls for custom pieces.

Me and my Mom at my Art Fair booth

Me and my Mom at my Art Fair booth

It was right around that time that Kevin & I decided to start Lima Beads. We felt like we could start a fun little bead shop and just run it after work and on the weekends — my, how we were wrong.  Lima Beads quickly grew into something that required all of our time. Slowly, but surely, I stopped designing new pieces, stopped participating in the art fair, and began to lose my regular customers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Lima Beads. I love what it has become and where it’s going, but I’m a jewelry designer at heart. When we found out I was pregnant with Payton, I was thrilled.  Thrilled not only about being a mom, but I thought for sure that since I’d be home with her 3 days per week, I’d be able to get back into beading. For the second time, I was wrong! I underestimated how much work she would be. I’ve probably picked up my needle-nose pliers only 5 times since she was born.

It seems like each day (she’s 12 weeks now) – she’s doing something new. A few weeks ago, she started responding to my voice. A few weeks before that, she started smiling at me. Now, she’s laughing and reaching out for objects. I don’t want to miss any of it, but at the same time, I want to bead! How did you do it? Should I just accept it and give up? Help!

Read the comments (or add your own)

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    Andra M says:

    I totally understand,beading is one of my newer hobbies, got into about a year an half ago. But I also quilt and scrapbook, both I have done for over ten years and I work full time with a hour drive to and from work. I have a 5 and almost 3 year old and a wonderful husband!! Key word husband. He has always given me at least one and sometimes two nights a week to focus on my “crafts” where he will take the kids and keep them occupied so that I can go to my craft room and get projects done. About every month I get a Sat or Sun when he will take them to Grandma’s and I get the whole day to myself. It isn’t a whole lot of time and I promise the older they get the better it gets. I have a kid size table in my craft room now that the girls will sit at and color, glue, use stickers etc and while they do that I do my stuff including beading, which my 5 yr old love to help me string beads and organize new beads. You work a little slower but the time is priceless!! Don’t give up, and they don’t stay little long she will be walking and talking before you know it, mine starts kindergarten on Tues!! Hope this helps!

  2. No Photo
    Dizzy Chick Lori Z says:

    I agree with Andra, your baby won’t stay little for long. The time will be gone before you know it! I have a 12 & a 7 yr. old and have been beading about 5 years. When I started, I worked after my youngest went to bed. That has stayed the same for me, but I am a night owl. Soon (if not already) she will be sleeping through the night, & maybe you can pick up a few simple projects here & there. I need uninterrupted beading time & my workspace has to be picked up before I finish, it’s the living room couch! You can sketch ideas you have & work them out later. It won’t be long before you can start up again, it just seems that way. Trust me, I am an OCD beader! Congratulations on a beautiful baby!

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    Shana S says:

    Yes to everything that was said already. If it is possible, put your little one’s swing close to where you work and you can keep an eye on her while you bead. You can also talk to her about your beading as you go so that she hears your voice and can see you as well. They don’t stay little for long so savor every bit of the time you have now. My boys are now 12 and 10 and it seems like just yesterday that they were newborns. Also, when she takes a nap (if you aren’t napping at the same time) get a bit of beading done. You might try breaking a project down into segments and work on them one at a time until you get it completed. If you are like me (and the general population of beaders/crafters)you need that creative outlet so don’t give up but do expect to get to it a little less often until your daughter is a bit older. You might also find another mom to trade babysitting with – maybe for a few hours in the afternoon a couple of times a month. Keep thinking, you will come up with a solution that works for your situation. By the way, I love Lima Beads and all of your products and the customer service is fabulous. Congratulations on the baby and on your successes.

  4. Kathryn A
    Kathryn A says:

    How about small area of your bead room where you can have the baby sit in a bouncer or carrier. Have some music or a small tv with some Baby Einstein dvds to keep her occupied. You will bea near, she can hear your voice and maybe she will be an inspiration for a new project. Maybe she will learn to love beads by osmosis.

  5. No Photo
    Rachel says:

    We already have such a supportive community here!

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    K Gronewold says:

    I have been wondering the same thing as I am starting my jewelry company and wanting to start a family. I’m sure you’ll be able to bead like the others have stated, evenings or once your little one is a little bit bigger. I say never give up, there will be time for you and your beads. I hear people say, “Once you have a baby there goes your beading business.” To those people I say, “Oh naysayers! If there is a will there’s a way!”

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    Rachel K says:

    I’m a mom of a 3yr old and when I first had him there was no time for me to bead at all, but as the months went by I found more and more time to work on my beadwork. I started out just beading in the evenings. Now that he is 3, I can pretty much bead whenever I want. So don’t worry, you may not have the time right now, but give it a few months and you’ll be beading again.

  8. Ali
    Ali says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments! It sounds like my initial instincts are correct – she won’t be this little for long and I need to soak up every moment.

    Kevin is able to watch her when he gets home from work, but I’m usually so tired by then that it’s difficult to get any creative juices flowing. I think I’m going to keep focusing on her and hope that as she gets older, I’ll be able to find more time to design.

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    Tricia B says:

    I have an 11 yr old AND a 3 yr old. My advice is to savor the time while you have it. My 11 yr old is starting puberty & pushing ME out of the nest now. I have several hobbies (Mary Kay business, scrapbooking, reading, & beading) & I’m also a teacher. I agree with everyone else…naptime is good & at night after bedtime if you’re a night person. I also meet once a month w/ a fellow beader. We meet at a coffee house & catch up on grown up things (Ha, ha!) & bead. That might work for you too. Absolutely take time to keep your own identity, but hang on to that special time when your kids are small & cherish that. You can’t get that time back, but your beads will be there anytime you choose! Hope this helps! Also know all mothers search for time to enjoy themselves w/ their hobbies & other interests. You are not alone on your quest! Congratulations on your beautiful baby!! The rest will fall into place too! :-)

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    Vinita W says:

    I’m new at beading, but have been a mom for 20 years (to twins!). Enjoy this time when you just want to look at them in wonder because they’re so beautiful. I always had to have some type of “me” outlet, be it quilting, gardening, or even working on a master’s degree when they were older. Taking care of myself intellectually and creatively made me a better mom. Keep a sketch pad handy for ideas, and most of all, enjoy! She’s beautiful!

  11. Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
    Cuban Queen Crazy Chick says:

    I am going through the same thing, I have a six-year-old daughter, a soon-to-be four-year-old son, and a 4-month old baby boy. The two older ones are in school during the day, so I take advantage of that time to do my beading. I usually wait until the baby takes his nap, or sometimes I put him in the bouncer next to my worktable and he’s content just watching me! Beading really is my passion (I’m starting a jewelry business) right after my kids, so when I get inspired I can’t wait til later to lay out a design. But like all of the other moms said, this is a precious time, and you don’t want to miss any of it! That’s why beading during the baby’s naps or even at night before bed work well because you are still spending lots of quality time with the baby. I’m sure you know exactly what to do, but good luck! And congratulations! =)

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