Pam Eberstadt
[mashshare]

Got kids? 5 reasons you should crochet – we can ALL relate to number 5!

crochet is good for moms

First, let’s get this straight: Crochet is not just for moms, any more than it’s just for grandmothers; crochet is for everyone! However, there are special reasons why crocheting is beneficial to moms, especially moms of young children.

Motherhood is a beautiful thing, but it is also, at times, very, very hard! After my daughters’ birth, I experienced postpartum depression, and crochet was a huge help to me in recovering my sanity and sense of self. I know far from alone in using crochet as a mental health support strategy. Click here to read about how crochet helped another mom through PPD, and there are many more of us.

I could wax lyrical for hours about how crochet became my therapy in the early years and continues to be my sanity saver today now my girls are older. And you don’t need to take my word for it; multiple studies show that crochet works magic on stress and anxiety of any kind!

I am a total crochet addict, geek, obsessive, and I am forever grateful that I stumbled upon our glorious fiber art during those crazy early childhood times! Here are the top 5 reasons why I recommend crochet to all moms.

1. Crochet is Child-Friendly

I never considered myself a creative person, and it wasn’t until after I had my first daughter that I even considered any kind of art or craft hobby. By some fortunate twist of fate, my first mothers’ group was full of crafty women, and it was a case of if you can’t beat them, join them. Plus, talking about the craft was much more fun than endlessly debating breast/bottle, sleep routines, and the pros and cons of baby-led weaning …

So, I eagerly bought my first sewing machine and taught myself to quilt, and even made a few clothes for my girls, plus bits and bobs for the home. However, rotary cutters and toddlers do not mix! Plus, practically speaking, sewing takes up a lot of space.

When my second baby became a toddler, and the house really got crazy, getting my machine out became more impractical. Alone time was so precious, plus I had so little energy from the sleep deprivation; setting up a sewing machine became more trouble than it was worth. Enter: the humble hook and yarn!

crochet mom messy happy life

Photo by Pam Eberstadt

Crafty spaces

I still love and appreciate how we crocheters can create a perfect hooky haven in a tiny spot. My current happy place is in the corner of our dining area. A strategically positioned small desk, bookcase, and a little armchair, plus a tall, slim trolley on wheels, and my sanctuary is complete.

I’m tapping away here surrounded by lovely yarn right now. Ahhhhhhh, bliss!! Here’s how another mom created a perfect kid-free little crochet space in the corner of her bedroom; I love it!

Gosh, I swore a lot those first few tries, and yes, it took me many attempts before I was comfortable with a hook in my hand. But one day, something just clicked, and there was no stopping me. My crochet game was ON! It took up little to no space — the yarn hoarding came later, and I have neglected to mention the tubs in my wardrobe, haha — and I could leave it anywhere with no fear of injuring anyone. And no setup or pack up. Perfect pastime!

Crafty designs

Plus, of course, crochet patterns for kids … endless possibilities!! Here’s some winter kids inspiration for you, should you require a few more patterns for your collection. (Top tip: you can never collect too many crochet patterns!)

2. Crochet is Childproof

While it is, of course, essential to keep one’s children safe from harm around the home, it is also vitally important to protect your crafty projects from said children! And this is not always possible. Toddlers will get into anything and everything, and we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads. And the yarn is colorful, and so are the pretty sticks …

So yes, unless you’re super vigilant, your kids are going to get in your stuff one day. The beauty of crochet, however, is that you can very easily fix it. If your three-year-old finds your neatly traced and stacked pattern pieces and turns them into confetti or adds glue, you’re going to have to start over. Similarly, even the most experienced knitter is going to despair over a row of ripped stitches.

gratitude blanket granny squares

Photo by Pam Eberstadt

Crafty fixes

If little hands unravel crochet, however, it’s very easily fixed. It’s quite simple to find the point at which the illegal frogging started, and all you have to do is do it again. Granted, perhaps through gritted teeth on occasion, but that’s easier to bear if you remind yourself that crochet is as much about the process as the finished piece.

3. You Can Crochet Yourself Calm

The above discussion neatly brings me to my next reason why crochet is so perfect for moms. Motherhood can be blissful, of that there is no doubt. However, it is also often frustrating beyond measure, sleep-depriving, and relentless. And we are human beings, not goddesses with endless reserves of patience. (I assume I am not the only mother who does not fit the saintly goddess mold.)

Did you know that crochet is so powerful it actually does stuff to your brain that calms it down, even when you’re in one of your most shouty-fishwife-can’t-take-it-another-moment days? It’s true; click here for frontal lobe details! Now while I’m no expert on the science, I do know it works.

Meditative repeats

Simple, repetitive patterns can be so very soothing. Just a few mindless (and therefore mindful) rows or rounds can calm a frazzled mommy-mind. I find half double crochet to be particularly effective for this purpose. There’s something about the way the hook glides through those two loops and then onwards, over and over …

crochet moms tunisian pattern

Photo by Pam Eberstadt

Distracting challenges

A complex pattern can also take one away from things for a little while. Engrossed in a particularly complicated crochet square with a few new stitches or a lot of color changes and counting is my happy place. It transports me far, far away from dishes in the sink or the next load of laundry or sibling fight.

It’s hard to disconnect from crazy mom life sometimes. I sit and meditate every single day now, but when my girls were small, I couldn’t manage that. I needed a physical and mental point of focus; I needed movement to distract me. Crochet gave me my own form of meditation to take the edge off the most challenging days. Namaste! 😊

4. Your Me-Time is Productive, Not Guilt-Inducing

When kids are small, the physical to-do lists never end. Cooking, washing, cleaning. There is always some “should” sitting on your shoulder, and it’s not always easy to slow down, at the very time when you really need to do so, to take care of yourself.

If you’re anything like me, I always felt like I should be doing something productive, even when physically and emotionally drained. Fortunately, the physical act of making something with yarn somehow gave me permission to just sit for a while and watch TV. It took away the anxious desire to be “doing” because I was “doing,” and so I felt calmer.

And once I relaxed a bit, I became more comfortable to stay sitting and ignore the “real life” doing just a little longer. I slowly learned that it was okay to sit down and just enjoy making. I needed to do so to be able to keep doing all the other stuff. I deserved that time to myself, and the world would not fall apart because I did so.

Focus on the moment

Sometimes I still need that reminder to pause. It’s so easy for all of us to get swept away in “shoulds” and sometimes perspective is lost, and priorities can shift almost without us noticing. The act of picking up my hook still serves to remind me to focus back on what really matters. And it’s never wayward dust or the nutrient value of a cereal bar that’s store-bought instead of homemade …

Crochet taught me to slow down and be kinder to myself. And what mom doesn’t need to be reminded of that once in a while?

5. You Will Finally Finish Something

Nothing ever seemed to get finished when my kids were small. We bought a fixer-upper in the country when my youngest was a tiny baby, and we had such grand plans! But by the time we’d saved up the money, there just never seemed to be enough time.

Looking back, it was a beautiful, messy, precious country life, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, apart from the day I had to take charge of euthanizing a sick chicken. And I could have done with a few less venomous snakes and giant hairy spiders with even bigger personalities. But I digress.

The point is that the daily devil is in the detail, and it was those everyday unfinished tasks that really dragged me down back then. Now I know that there are proven psychological reasons for that constant low-level anxiety over my neverending to-do list. Back then, I simply knew that I always felt like there was something to do. Always!

crochet granny square finished

Photo by Ash Hayes on Unsplash

WIPs have a downside

So, it became disheartening. No matter what I did, I never seemed to manage to finish anything, whether it was finding the bottom of the laundry basket, cleaning the kitchen, or finding out why my pumpkins always withered on the vine.

Projects in moderation

Crochet changed all that for me. Finally, I was finishing things! Granted, I was often starting more things than I finished — #shinyprojectsyndrome — but I also finished things! And for a long time, the occasional crochet square was the only thing I ever reached the end of. It was such a precious feeling of accomplishment to actually learn and do and complete a task amidst the madness of that life. 😊

Many More Than 5 Reasons

Of course, there are! There are probably as many reasons to crochet as there are crocheters. But these are my top five, especially for moms.

If you are a mom struggling or even just denying yourself creative time because of all the “should,” I encourage you to crochet more, even when you feel like you have less time than ever. Because the more you give to yourself, the more you will be able to give. And regardless: You deserve to do more of what makes you happy. You deserve to live your best crochet life!

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Pam Eberstadt

www.happilyhooked.com

Pam Eberstadt is a colour-crazy crochet nut who hooks for joy, therapy and fun 365 on the beautiful Coffs Coast in New South Wales, Australia. She's all about bright colours, quality tools and yarn, growing her crochet skills, creating original designs, and hooking as the mood takes her - every single day! 
Pam is living her best crochet life and at her new website Live Your Best Crochet Life, her mission is to encourage, support, and inspire you to do the same! AKA @hooksandhills over on Instagram for several years now, Pam is super active in the online crochet community, and as well as hosting her own Facebook group, she founded and hosts The Gratitude Blanket Project

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