Momplex

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 in Bug & Bear, Marriage & Family | 2 comments

Momplex

Dear Crafty Mom,

I know you didn’t mean to because you would never do this on purpose, but you have given me quite the complex about my inability to do crafts with my children. Or scrapbook. Or bake beautiful birthday cakes. Or create elaborate party themes and exquisite decorations. Or sew girly dresses. Or take photos in which everyone is looking at the camera smiling in clean clothes. Or turn those photos into perfect photo collages. Or lead my children in a daily arts and crafts project that’s frame worthy. Or create a gorgeous life size poster of Joseph and his coat of many colors to illustrate the Bible story on a child’s level.

I am writing to say that, while I admire you greatly, I would appreciate you ceasing to showcase your talents in this area. Or at least stop posting it on Facebook. I think it would cure my complex instantly.

Yours Truly,
Not That Mom

As much as I wish I was, the truth is I’m just not that mom, the one who knows how to do all of the traditional mom things with grace and ease. Are you? If so, then know that I really do admire you for your artsy talent. But if you are not that mom either, I’ve discovered something that I think you should know:

Even if you are not good at the “mom stuff”, you are good at something, and that something is uniquely important to your family.

For a while, because it seemed like I was supposed to, I tried to be that mom. I researched art projects and set aside a special time each day to congregate at the table so that we could complete our masterpieces. I had the children make centerpieces for Thanksgiving (I was so hoping I had photographs of these to post so that you could really see this is not my forte, but turns out I don’t think anyone found them photograph worthy). After a number of these crafts sessions ended in tears (Ahem. Most of those tears were mine), I threw my hands up in defeat. I wondered how my children would survive my incompetence at crafts. Then it occurred to me that, although I am not crafty in any way, maybe my talents in other areas could serve as gifts to my children. I don’t love and I’m not good at crafty things, but I do love and have some ability to do other things…

I can not scrapbook, I can barely snap a photo (see image at the top of this post, that’s our typical family picture), but I love to write and I can express myself easily in written words. Instead of keeping a scrapbook for my girls, I decided to keep a journal for each of them in which I write down prayers I’ve said for them, things I’ve learned about them, milestones they’ve reached, and just a bunch of love notes. I like to think that one day they’ll treasure these just as much as they would an artsy scrapbook.

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Journals for Bug and Bear

I am not great at organizing structured learning times, but I do love to learn through hands-on experiences and have been able to share that with my children. We go to museums, parks, zoos, farms, and any other place we can find to learn about things while we explore.

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Family trip to learn about dinosaurs

I am not the mom who is conscientious about doing family Bible studies or daily devotionals, but I am passionate about prayer and hearing God. My girls and I pray as we drive places in the car, look up scriptures in the Bible as we encounter different issues, and talk about God in the course of our daily activities.

I am not very artistic or creative, but I find a creative process in cooking, and this is something my girls and I do together. It’s our art.

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Yummy dough that Bug and I made for homemade pizza

While these things may not be the traditional mom things, they are me things, and I think that must be what my children really want after all. Me. A taste of who I really am. Keepsakes and traditions from me that help them remember the person I am and the relationship we share, special times and activities that are unique to our family.

I mean no disrespect to the crafty mamas – if you are good at those things, then they are gifts of yourself packed with meaning for your children. But if you are not, for the love of all that is holy, take the pressure off yourself and give your children the gift of you in the form of your unique talents, abilities, and ways of relating.

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Again … Nice introspect for myself … Maybe I should take the pressure off myself too; all the expectations and wishes I was better at this, “I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day ” talk … I should let my talents and gifts come to life for the kids … The pressure I put on myself to have established times, I need to homeschool this way and that, etc … Who am I and how to bring that into the equation better and push out the “need to be like/live up to that ideal mommy hood equation”. Love you!

    • Yes, it’s maddening! So hard to not feel the pressure and the guilt. The funny thing is I always think of you as the most graceful, easy going mom, you make it look easy! I would never know you felt this way too but I guess we all do sometimes in different ways. Anyway, much love to you – your feedback and encouragement means so much to me!

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