There are a few things in parenthood that I hate doing. Because I’m no good at them. I just go along with what’s expected of me, dreading the whole thing. And of course, whatever it is turns out badly. Because of my bad attitude. So, I’m ready to call it – I’m no good at these things, do not like doing them, and would rather they happened elsewhere. I decided to write myself a letter:
Step away from the craft glue. That’s right, put it down, and move away from the craft project area. There’s something very wrong with this picture – and I don’t mean the giant collage you’ve been frantically sticking bits of crepe paper on to. Here’s the problem: the kids are know where to be seen. They’ve got bored, and wondered off to watch TV. This means three things: 1)You’ll feel obliged to finish off the craft yourself to prove it was worth it, 2) It will take much, much longer to clean everything up than it did to do the activity, and 3) The kids will NOT appreciate your efforts.
I don’t know why you do it to yourself. Because I know your secret: you hate craft. And all the fiddly bits of sequins, paddle pop sticks and felt that goes with it. You hate that it’s such a huge hassle, makes a massive mess and always turns out a bit shit.
No, that’s it. I’m calling it: CRAFT IS BORING. Furthermore: YOU AREN’T ANY GOOD AT IT.
Pack away the googly eyes, crepe paper and confetti, once and for all. And repeat after me: craft is for day-care. That’s what you pay them money for, right? And the same goes for painting. There is no sense putting out the easel, paper and paints, only for your kids to paint their feet when you’re not watching and laugh as they run around making painty footprints. On the carpet. You are not a Craft Mum. Let it go.
And while we’re at it, here’s a couple of other things you’re not. You are not a Baking Mum. Baking Mums do not cry while making cookies from a box mix. It’s not meant to be difficult. So here’s the thing – if it’s hard, stop doing it. Repeat after me: cookies come from Woolworths.
There are plenty of things you’re good at doing with your kids. Why aren’t you spending more time doing them? Like reading books together. Puzzles. Hide and Seek. Outings. Dancing. Singing (actually, while we’re on the subject, you’re tone deaf. But the kids don’t seem to notice and you know way too many Wiggles songs to let this one go).
You are not a Creative Play Mum. When the kids are bored or want you to play with them, you fell stumped for ideas. Despite the parenting magazines and websites you read daily, you cannot come up with anything on the spot. Secretly, you’d prefer them to amuse themselves while you make a cup of tea. Don’t feel bad about this.
You don’t have to be the mum-of-all-trades. So you hate all the mess that comes with craft. And you consistently over-bake your baked goods. Making up games causes you to sweat under the pressure. Let it go. Play to your strengths.
Enough of this idea that you need to be good at everything for your children. Kids don’t need everything – they only need you. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t actually have to try very hard at all. In their eyes, you’re amazing just as you are.
P.S. You are also not a Sewing Mum