A Valentines Day post....only 1 month after the actual holiday!
So the other night I am flipping through pictures on my Instragram feed of this amazing woman and her crafts. The pictures are perfect, the scene is so cozy, and the crafts are so crafty. She is not even a professional craft-maker (crafter? craftmaster?). All I can think is, "I will never be this good." I will never be this mom. Ughhhhh...just as soon as I convince myself that things are going pretty well over here, I click around to my blogs and realize that the bar has been lifted. (Seriously, go check it out, it is inspiring what she can do with just a few doilies).
Screw it, I think to myself. I can't win. No.....fix that. I can't let myself feel like I can't win.
Maybe I am just not that girl. I'm not the crafty type. I wish I were (sorta), but I'm not. There are some things that just aren't my jam. Try as I might to feel otherwise.
A woman that I admire greatly has famously said, "You can choose what youdo, but you can’t choose what you like to do." You must be yourself. Why is this so hard?
My dear friend and I were having a conversation like this several weeks ago. "When are you going to re-do your kitchen?" I asked.
"I don't know. Maybe never."
"Why not? I thought you were going to re-do your bathroom too?"
"Well," she said, "it turns out that we don't really like to renovate and do weekend projects. We like to have fun on the weekends. We like to golf. We wanted to be the kind of people that go to Home Depot on Saturday morning and get a bunch of stuff done, but we aren't. We thought that maybe by buying a house we could become those kinds of people, but it just hasn't happened! Golf is still more fun than painting a bathroom. Have you seen how many corners there are in a bathroom?!"
"I guess you could hire a contractor."
Yes. And that's why God invented Angie's List.
Ok, so maybe I don't like doing weekend projects that much either. ...And maybe I needed my friend to get honest about that so that I could turn the mirror on myself. How long have I had that thing of caulk? For what project was it originally intended? Certainly not for sitting on the closet shelf. Why don't I just throw away the GD caulk?!
The hard thing now, is that it doesn't just matter what I am or what I want to be. I also have to be a mom. No going back on that one. But what kind of mom must I be?
The freedom to choose which mothering approach fits me best is a luxury of the 21st century that I do not take for granted. I can't imagine my grandmothers sitting down with their friends to discuss which of them, the husband or the wife, is in charge of Valentine-making and cookie baking. And who will volunteer at school to help pass them out? And which one will call the sitter and who will give her instructions? And wait....do they even call a sitter? Isn't that opting out of the motherly duties altogether? Unheard of!
So now, today, I can choose. I can stare down these awesome mom blogs and adore them for what they are, but remind myself that this is not me. It is not my family. But our family is still perfect. Maybe not picture perfect, but perfect nonetheless.
Fast-forward a couple of days. Jake and I realize that it is February 14th and wait, weren't we supposed to bring something for Olivia's daycare friends? We race to Safeway and quickly decide on the $3.99 puppies and kitties valentine cards (she loves animals!) and find some yogurt-covered raisins for treats (healthy!). As we pull up to the daycare, I ask Jake to park a few houses away so that we can quickly put the names on the cards. Lucky for us, theses kids have some crazypants names. Like Sahalie...and Kahne....wHaT?!
After 3.7 minutes of name-writing, we throw the Valentines into a bag with the treats and walk O up to the door. "Here you are! Have fun!" Bolt away.
Do I feel guilty about this half-hearted grocery-store attempt at Valentine's Day participation? A little. But here's the thing: we are busy people and O is just a wee toddler who doesn't know a Valentine from a cardboard box (box = more fun).
Plus, our daycare people are crafty! See what they made:
And here's the other thing: all the other parents did exactly the same thing.
That's a win.