**Note – this is my original writing, but it was originally featured on Deviantly Domesticated. Deviantly Domesticated is a site where anyone can contribute articles about femininity, creativity, money, personal stories, faith, and more. To learn more, please visit Deviantly Domesticated, and feel free to contribute an article!**
Let me start off by saying that I love my children more than anything in the world. They bring me more joy and happiness than I could ever imagine, and I love being a mommy. That being said though, there are definitely times when I need a break.
When I announced to some friends that I was pregnant with my third child, my friend Summer decided to help me out a lot with my kids. She has two boys of her own, and our kids love to play together. She offers to have my kids come over and play at least once every two weeks to give me a chance to take a break. It has been such a blessing to me to have those breaks when I can do whatever I would like, from grocery shopping by myself, to cleaning, to sleeping if I don’t feel well. I never plan what I am going to do ahead of time because I don’t know how well I will feel from one day to the next. This act of kindness has really blessed me and my family over the past three months.
When someone blesses me, I really like to try to bless them in return. Normally I try to bless them in the same way, but sometimes it can be difficult. When I am feeling well it is great to have her boys over, but when I am sick it can be really tricky. And since I never know when I am going to be sick, it has been difficult to plan when the boys can come over. But, I still wanted to find a way to bless her in return.
At our moms group two weeks ago, Summer and I were looking through a catalog of bags and totes. We saw reusable sandwich bags and both loved them, but they seemed a bit expensive ($12 for 2). After I got my sewing machine back, I had been looking for a simple sewing project to get me going, and this seemed like the perfect start for me. I found some fun boy fabrics for her boys and my son, and of course a cute girly fabric for my daughter. There are a lot of free online tutorials, but my favorite was this pattern on Etsy. It took me about an hour and a half to finish one set for my daughter (what I call “the practice round) and another 2 hours to make each of her boys their sets. In the catalog the price was $12 for a set of 2 sandwich bags (which is actually reasonable after learning how to do it), but it only cost me $9 to make two full sets of three bags for my friend.
Summer posted on Facebook that she had some free time last week if someone wanted their kiddos to come and play. I jumped on it, but decided to offer the sandwich bags in exchange for a day off. When I showed them to her she and her boys were so excited! I am glad I was able to bless her family, just as she was able to bless ours so much over the past months.
What is a way you can bless someone with your skills? Is there a way to barter your skills with someone else?