Our story began not in a craft store, or at a paint night out with friends, it started when I had twins. Yes, you read that correctly – it all started when I had twins.
They say once you’ve had a child everything changes – and it really does – all the parents reading this are slowly nodding their heads. It took us a really long time to get pregnant with our first child. We had a journey full of multiple ups and downs – just like so many others. Our hearts were full of hope and crushed time and time again.
The moment I found out we were having our first child I knew I was meant to be a mom. I loved every moment – from late night wakings to early mornings – and I was so in love with our little family. I knew that I had something beyond special and I never took a day for granted.
As you can imagine, when we found out we were having twins, we were so excited! In all honesty, words can't even describe how happy we were.
On March 22, 2017 I gave birth to our twins, our second and third babies. After I had our twins, I went from a blissful mom of one child to a mom who had to split her time not between two other children, but between three. Everything changed. I no longer felt in my element at all – gone was the I-was-made-for-this mom. It was hard. It was really hard.
Day in and day out, I felt like I never had enough time to give to each child. I never had enough of the attention they needed or deserved. Even if I stayed up all night long (which I did – MANY times) there still weren't enough hours to do everything and to be everything to everyone. I know we can’t be everything to everyone, but Moms reading this, tell me you don’t try! This is just something we irrationally feel the need to be, right?
In the first four months after having twins, I felt lost. I lost myself for sure. I felt like I was just a routine of bottles and laundry and feedings and naptime and laundry and feedings and bottles – every moment of every day.
For the first time in my life, I had to ask for help. I had to ask for help to feed all of my kids at the same time. I had to ask for help in order to hold them when they were all crying. I realized that there just wasn’t enough of me for all of them, never mind any time for just me.
And then, our village saved me – I will forever be grateful to all of the individuals who make up our village. My friends, my sisters, my moms and my dads – everyone who surrounded us. For the first time in my life, despite being in my mid-30s, I actually really understood what it means to have a village. As the months went on and I was able to get a bit more sleep and routines began to sink-in, I started to adjust to being a mother of three. I also realize that doing little things for me helped me feel whole again and in return made me be a better mother.
I began to paint and make things – I let my creative soul run free. I actually began to make those projects on my Pinterest boards. It made me feel incredible, it made me feel happy, it brought me joy to finish something other than 8 loads of laundry. It made me feel like me again.
And that little feeling of being able to create something and knowing how important your village really is in your life made me stop and think - maybe other women feel like this too? Maybe I could provide a space to be creative with your village. A place to strengthen your bonds, a place to be you again. I started to visualize workshops for women to get together, spend time with each other, to make things and a place to bring them joy.
On November 17, 2017 when my twins were 7 months old and oldest daughter was still 2 years old, I held my first workshop and it sold out. I was not alone. Women did need this and they did want this. After that first workshop I felt completely different. I felt really, really proud. I felt proud that I followed my intuition, turned the hardest time in my life into an opportunity to help others, and I felt proud of the story that I could tell my children.
Over the next 2 1/2 years we did hundreds of workshops – even some at the Calgary Stampede. Where are my Calgary born and raised people? That’s monumental for us, right?! Our little idea of bringing people together was taking off with workshops all around Calgary and the surrounding areas. Thousands of women came out to craft, spend time together, and take a break.
And then – without much warning – Covid popped up and changed everything. After the first week or two of denial and major adjustments, I realized that in the midst of this stressful time I needed to do what I did last time. I needed to lean on our village.
Except for this time our village had grown – our village was all of you! You emailed and checked in, and followed up, and supported as we came up with different projects, different ways of doing, and pivoted to DIY kits. And while we couldn’t gather in-person anymore, we were still able to bring a sense of joy to you through creating – it just happened at your kitchen table instead!
March is so important for all of us – this year more than ever. Of course, it is also important because it is my children's birthday, but it’s also the rebirth of who their mom is and who their mom gets to be.
Being a mom is hard! But the journeys that I’ve been able to go on and will continue to go on because I’m a mom are incredible. The village that supports us and uplifts us – all of you – bring me undeniable joy that I never knew I would experience or share. And I really don’t think Our Little Makery would be around if I’d never had twins.
Our Little Makery (formerly Make It Night) is created for two reasons: to give people a DIY project they would love and provide a time and space to create fun memories with friends and family. For more information, visit ourlittlemakery.ca