Tag Archives: Crafts

Chill out, moms

Today was Declan’s Christmas party at school, and I had a HUGE freak out when I (mistakenly) thought that several of his classmates had brought gifts for the other kids. (There was goodie bags and various other holiday accouterments in his backpack, I was in a rush and didn’t look at them, then I filled with rage, etc.) I was wrong, but during the time between when I saw all the stuff and actually opened and saw what it was, I was PISSED. My initial reaction to the thought of buying or making gifts for an entire class of 3-4 year olds that don’t even know each other’s names was OH HELL NO. THIS WILL NOT BE HAPPENING. And while my rage was unnecessary (this time), you can’t blame me for believing that’s what happened. Because some of you moms need to CALM DOWN.

Look, I’ve made it crystal clear that I’m much more Rosanne Arnold than June Cleaver. And while I don’t want to be a June Cleaver, I don’t begrudge my June Cleaver friends, or blame them for being so, well, June Cleaver. If you truly love crafting and baking and sewing and making ridiculously cute everything, that is awesome and I’m jealous. I have some truly gifted friends and I am AMAZED at the things they pull off just for the heck of it.

I'm her, but with cuter hair.

But lately, with all the Christmas stuff going on, I keep hearing over and over how STRESSED everybody is, and how BUSY the holidays are, how HECTIC things get. And maybe it’s because my kids are still young, I dunno, but it seems a lot of this stress is ridiculous.

I understand creating memories, family fun and the beauty that comes from making or creating something. I do, really. But if making the perfect Christmas cookies drive you to binge drink like me, don’t do it. That’s what the grocery store is for. So you want to bring something to your child’s Christmas party? Great! But instead of these:

The creator of these cookies blogged that her baked goods took 14 hours to decorate. Pass the meth.

How about these:

Even I can make these. Or buy them.

Why set the bar so high? The kids don’t care. Think back to your childhood. What made you happy: the fact that you got to eat cookies at your desk in school, or the fact that your cookies looked like pieces of art? Exactly.

If you are so stressed out over holiday parties and baking and decorating and shopping and wrapping, you are doing it wrong. A little stress is understandable; it’s a busy time of year. But if the cause of your headaches and hair-pulling are related in any way to frosting, bows or Hobby Lobby, do what the Roseannes of the world do: nothing. It’s much easier.

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Arts and crap

For some reason that makes ZERO sense to me, every year about this time, I decide to make crafts. Holiday decor, Halloween costumes, you name it. I suddenly get the urge to join the ranks of all those other moms and women the world over who make throwing together crap like this look as easy as grabbing some toilet paper and a marker.

It’s not.

Not for me.

First off, I don’t have googly eyes just laying around my house, waiting to be glued to things. I don’t have a “craft” room in my house. I have a junk drawer in the kitchen with a glue stick, some tape with cat hair stuck to it and maybe, if I’m lucky, scissors.

So why on EARTH do I think I can pull shit off? Why? And even worse, why do I subject Declan to it? I don’t know. It’s cruel. But yet I do it, again and again.

So today, an image from Pinterest caught my eye. (What is Pinterest, you ask? It is a time suck of epic proportions. It’s like an online bulletin board, where you can “pin” images you see online that you love. For the creative folks, I’m sure it’s very inspiring. For the idiots like me, it is just constant proof of how bad I fail at domestic tasks. Fun!) It was billed as “a Halloween banner you can make with kids!” Sounds great! Let’s do it!

Declan saw the picture of the banner and immediately loved it. I asked him if he wanted to make it, and of course he said yes. Because he’s 3 and has no clue what making a Halloween banner entails. He just thinks Halloween = Candy, and anything to get him closer to candy is a +1.  So while Simon was napping, I run and get out our craft supplies, which consist of some colored printer paper, a glue stick, some dull scissors and a bucket of broken crayons. Hobby Lobby, I ain’t. We spread out in the floor and get ready for some harvest family fun.

About 3 minutes in, Declan is over it and I’m still reading the instructions. I figure once I start cutting stuff out, he can jump right in and we can share some memorable mother/son time over images of pumpkins and ghosts. Instead, the conversation went like this:

Me: Here, put some glue on the pumpkin eyes… no, the eyes. More than that. MORE. Give it to me.

Declan: Look! I’m running in a circle! I want some juice.

Me: In a minute. Listen, put more glue on that and stick it on the pumpkin. No, there. THERE. Next to the other eye, just give it to me…

Declan: Can we make something else?

Me: Yes. Which one do you want to make?

Declan: The cat.

Me: We don’t have black paper. How about the owl?

Declan: THE CAT!

Me: How about Frankenstein?

Declan: I’m throwing Puppy at you! (he throws his ginormous stuffed dog, sending all my cut paper everywhere)

Me: DECLAN! Stop it! Now come down here and help me do this owl.

Declan: I’m going downstairs.

In the end, the Halloween banner turned out pretty cute, which is a massive improvement over pretty much anything else I attempt. But making it was about as fun as a root canal. Actually, once I stopped forcing Declan to do it, it was fine, but why would I want to do that crap alone? No. If I have to suffer through it, he does, too. We are a family, dammit. We do this together.

This banner was made with nothing but hate and loathing.

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