Sometimes enough is enough … why I cut back this craft show season

Craft show season is in full swing at the moment, and well …. I did it. I decided that enough was enough, and I made some pretty difficult decisions recently. Not only did I scale back on the number of holiday shows I had planned to do for this season, I also pulled out of a big (historically lucrative for me) show just this past week. There … Done. So, maybe you are squeezed beyond your comfortable limits right now, too? I suspect that many of you are … with it being the busy holiday season and all. And If you have a job, or kids, or a family who needs you … well, then, I am sure you can relate. Here is my story, and I hope that it might encourage you as well to be kind to yourself, and to recognize that it is okay to say, ENOUGH!

I had made a decision early on this year to cut back on the number of holiday shows I was planning to do this season. The ones that didn’t make the cut were two of the smaller shows which were not super profitable for me last year. Plus with the addition of my job starting in September, this plan seemed reasonable and realistic. I remembered all too well the time crunch last year of sewing up Pajama Eaters right before Christmas so that I could fill last-minute orders. Craziness! Not looking to relive that scenario. 12219491_875430262564691_1298018881262613498_n

A bigger reason to say enough came to light more recently. During my craft shows within the last few weeks, I needed to find a sitter for my babes. Not a crisis, I suppose. I do have to work after all, and sewing is my business. But. My situation with their father and I being separated, and a custody schedule in place means that the time I have with them is all the more precious. It so happened that two weekends in November when my kids were spending time with me, I also had shows. Ugh. BIG ugh. I am fortunate enough to have family step in and help, but the guilt is real. The insanity of craft show busyness combined with very little inventory was, indeed, a bad mix. And I was feeling stress and resentment for the inevitable time away from my babes.Knoebels5

I realized that some tough decisions were necessary. So I stopped taking custom orders for Christmas Pajama Eaters at the end of last month, and I pulled out of my last scheduled craft show. This latter decision was a difficult one for me. This was my best show last year. It is very well-run and well-attended. But I needed to look at the facts. I was super low on inventory, and with working and caring for my littles, there was just no time to sew. I had to be realistic. So I wrote the email, and pressed send.

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The result? Well, the tightness in my chest isn’t as great as it had been. There is at least a fighting chance I can fulfill my Christmas orders. And the best part? I spent this past week loving on my kids instead of being chained to my sewing machine. I still had a difficult week emotionally. And I am tired. But I am grateful for the time I have with my babes. FullSizeRender4

Recognizing when enough is enough often means saying no to something. Well .. that’s hard. I have never been great at saying no … for any reason. That translates into being overextended, tired, stressed and resentful. Know that it is a blessing first of all to recognize when you are overextended, and secondly to have the strength to then make clear-minded decisions. Your work will benefit, your family will benefit, and best of all, you will benefit! Breathe easy, my friend! ❤

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