I recently came upon an article called " I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical" that was shared on Facebook. The writer is arguing that we shouldn't buckle to the pressure of themed parties, rainy day craft mania, and the elf on the shelf. I agree that no mother should feel less of a parent because she doesn't have a PhD in hot glue and glitter. However it made me realize that those in the world who don't have crafty running through their veins are misinterpreting what those of us who do are putting out into the world. See, I was a pinterest person before there was a pinterest. Even as a little girl I would go wild with delight when I got new craft supplies. I would check out books at the library on how to make various things. The craft aisle at the library was my pinterest. I would share what I made with my friends and my mother usually crafted by my side. It was fun and it was what my hands were created to do. If I don't create something for a long enough time I literally become depressed and without even realizing it, the moment I make something again I snap back to myself.
Those elaborate themed cakes that perhaps take the writer of the article hours, they take me hours too, but hours of delight. I am playing, I am not attempting to make my kids childhood magical, I am making my own life magical and the kids reaction is just a happy side effect. So before the DIY craze began, before I even knew there was a thing called DIY, I was making things. Once pinterest came to my attention i was thrilled. I suddenly had a world of people to share ideas with, gain inspiration, and celebrate my own creations as well. I found my tribe.
I can see now how this could be intimidating to those who are looking in without the same crafty wiring inside. I can understand because that is how I feel when I am around math people. I don't get them, and I feel like perhaps I"m not smart enough. All those numbers and giant fancy math and physics words just swirl around and even if I try to make a joke about them I just get funny looks like perhaps I am an idiot. Or... perhaps I am not a math person because instead I am good at making a felted case for my sons Nintendo or throwing a super rad birthday party. I went to a dinner party with my husbands Magic (the card game) friends. These folks are scientist and mathematics wizards. They actually went to class in college with the plan to get good grades and go to all their classes. They said things that made no sense, they tried to solve a physics puzzle for fun, and I just drank my cider and gazed at the garden. Now, I could have went home and studied some math, researched physics a little more and had a miserable time crawling through that world so that the next time I saw them I could add to the conversation. I could have forced my way into math world, but what for? I know I hate it there and feel like a fake. Why be someone who I am not wired to be?
When mothers try all these pinterest crafts and moving the elf on the shelf every night all the while cringing, they aren't being better mothers, they are crushing a part of themselves that could come out by doing something they do enjoy. Your child will be happy because you love them, and they will be happiest if you aren't bitter about the things you do for them. We need to be true to ourselves because before we became mothers we knew who we were. It's easy to lose sight of that if we are comparing ourselves to the other mothers in the world. Finding your tribe is great, but don't look at another tribe and think you are less than you should be, you just aren't Tribe Crafty and that's OK. You might be Tribe Math, or Tribe Arrives on time to places, or Tribe Sports coach, or Tribe Remembers to cook dinner. Just because Tribe Crafty has a popular website doesn't mean it's the best one. All types of people are needed to make this world work.
That elf on the shelf that you dread moving, I look forward to it (most days) and have so much fun that I feel like I'm a kid again. I am not doing it because I feel like it makes me a good mom, I am doing it because it's fun for me. Figure out what is fun for you, and rock it!