We have all been there. It is 10 AM and a very slow morning. The kids have a snow day and you are wondering just what to do with them. You are seriously dragging as you were up a little too late watching the Housewives argue on Bravo. In spite of the exhaustion, kids are dressed. They are fed (somewhat). And you are proud. You still manage to hold on to your title of Supermom. That is, until you see that pic. The one that ruins your day.
A Facebook friend just posted a photo of a gorgeous display table in the theme of Frozen. There are snowmen and princess cupcakes and colorful cake pops. Everything looks beautiful and perfect, with little coordinating handmade tags. You try not to panic. It is more than likely just a picture she copied off the Martha Stewart website. Or, at worst, a little girl’s birthday party from the week before. You envision it being a party for a girl whose mother just so happens to be a professional event planner. You feel a little sick when you discover the truth: Your friend and her nine kids baked, decorated and put everything together. It was no special occasion for them; just your ordinary snow day activity. It wasn’t big deal, she says, as they all have been up since five AM anyway. Mind you that this is the same woman that last year made a holiday wreath by hand. She used twigs, string, and an old shoe. The memory still haunts you. Your friend would love to chat more, but she has to go and take the apple pie and chocolate cake out of the oven. You sink in your chair and go looking for your kids. They have to be around here somewhere.
My husband often refers to social media as “a hive of scum and villainy” (a reference from the movie Star Wars) and I think I know why. A lot of time you hop on the computer to “relax” and just end up frustrating yourself more. It seems that everybody is perfect and everybody’s kids are perfect too. I have been guilty of posting pictures of my kids and assorted statuses of what we are doing. However, I must admit the embarrassing truth: I really have no great talent. I am not creative in the least. I am not a baker, or even a great cook for that matter.
I have accepted the fact that I am neither crafty nor creative for many years now. Honestly, it was fine with me. I can deal with the Facebook and Pinterest thing. But, I do often feel guilty and there is a huge reason why: my daughter. My daughter is the type of little girl who can color and draw for hours at a time. She loves to cut things up, paste things and cut some more. She loves anything creative. She has been begging me for a week now to go to the new craft store that just opened up in our neighborhood. I am convinced that this craft store is her version of Disney World. It is not as if I don’t love that she loves these things; it is just that I am not too good at them myself. I often draw with her but I am limited at two objects: flowers and rainbows. Oh, and hearts. I draw really good hearts. Unfortunately, that talent is only useful on February 14th.As a kid, I was no artist. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I was pretty hard on myself. I never thought what I did was good enough. I was super completive with others and always thought they were better than I. I am very grateful that my daughter doesn’t seem to have inherited this. She just creates for the love of creating. And that is wonderful. I hope it continues.
Looking back on my own childhood, my mother wasn’t crafty either. And she was proud of that fact. As an elementary school teacher, she had no qualms in telling me that she would have her super creative friends make elaborate posters and such whenever she had an important school presentation. She would pay them back with lunch or a little gift. So, she basically used others to make it look as if she had talent. Mom was a genius. I hope to be just like her when I grow up.
As a kid, I never felt as if I missed out on anything. My mom read with us, laughed with us, and had fun with us whenever she could. She was also the hardest working woman that I knew. I would have to imagine that both of my kids feel the same too. That, most of the time, they are just happy to be with their dear old mom. Whenever I think of my own “uncrafty” shortcomings, I think of the scene in one of my daughter’s favorite movies, Elf. When Will Ferrell’s character realizes he cannot keep up with the other elves, his boss comforts him by letting him know that, “We all have different talents. That’s all.” For us moms, it is so important to know this when we feel we just can’t do it all. Or whenever we see a very intimidating picture on Facebook.We are doing more than enough. And our kids love us for it. Furthermore, it is never too late to learn. I am looking forward to the “Mommy and Me” craft class we will be taking together this spring. My daughter has definitely opened up my eyes to the fun that goes along with creating. It has only taken me forty years to realize that these things are meant to be fun, regardless of whether I do them perfectly or not. It is all about the moment. Maybe it is not too late for me after all.