I've been bitten by the sewing and mending bug lately. Stitching up holes in Edwin's pants, mending torn seams in Elena's shirts and taking apart failed sewing projects from previous years in order to make something better.
The multi-tasking part comes into play because of where I've been doing this mending and seam ripping. Since we don't have much of a back yard to speak of we go to the park for a chunk of time every morning when we're home. The productive side of me does not like to sit on a bench doing nothing while my kids play in the leaves and dirt for a while, and I don't feel the need to join right in with their playing (I admit I have opinions about parent-free child play). So a while back I came up with a fabulous solution. I take along my crochet, or mending or seam ripping project, and after we're done hiking to what ever part of the park we're going to play in, I sit down and get to business while the kids run around, collect things, roll in the leaves and dig in the sand and dirt.
It's great because this is stuff I don't want to sit around doing at home (except maybe in the evenings) but it's perfect to be done in smaller amounts of time and it's okay if I get interrupted, which inevitably happens. And the kids are engaged with their surroundings and not clamoring all over me trying to "help." (No, sorry, you can't play with the seam ripper even though it looks like so much fun.)
I know this idea is nothing new: women have been using their sitting
down time for knitting, sewing, etc. for centuries, but it was a new
concept for me to take it to the park. Elena is now old enough to know
what she's doing on a playground, so I don't need to be right next to
her anymore and I have the freedom to sit and do handwork, if I so
desire. So far the only time I've regretting taking my work to the park is the time when I forgot to bring it back home with me and lost an almost completed baby afghan and all but two of my crochet hooks. Otherwise, it's been really nice to use that time to be outside, give my kids exercise and get small projects done.