I have a confession to make…I absolutely despise doing arts and craft projects with my kids. The dentist has more appeal to me than scrapbooking or leading a Thanksgiving craft project for a class of 20 second graders. There – I finally said it out loud and you know what? I am not ashamed.
Thanks to Pinterest, mommy blogs and the marketing of a zillion “make your own” kits, it’s assumed once you become a mom you should also immediately channel Martha Stewart. I dread the headband making, bracelet making and pottery making sets my daughters inevitable receive on their birthdays.
Looking back at my childhood, I never enjoyed art class and I wasn’t a kid who spent rainy days inside doing craft projects or sewing. Ironically, both of my girls are obsessed with creating objects out of construction paper, making paper chains and anything that involves glue sticks. I support their artistic efforts because it makes them happy, but I definitely don’t enjoy it.
As a parent, I cringe when I see crayons, markers, confetti and any other craft items strewn about my house. Don’t get me started on the piles of drawings that come home from preschool every single day. I usually wait until I am alone and then weed out the one or two best pictures and toss the rest. Come one – stop judging – you know you’ve done the same thing at one point or another.
Last year, I volunteered for my daughter’s first grade Halloween party. In an attempt to impress the other mom’s I found a Pinterest project involving turning Cuties into Jack-o-Lanterns and suckers into ghosts. Looked simple, but after close to three-hours of tying tiny strings on suckers, drawing faces on fruit and packaging 26 sets of everything, I was at my breaking point. Yet, I was damn proud as I brought those treats into the classroom.
Guess what – the kid tore them open in a split second and I would bet not one of them (my own child included) remember those treats. What my daughter does remember is that I was there and was part of her party.
Friends have recommended taking photos of every scribble, drawing and art project and then putting them all into a Shutterfly photo book. Or, laminating everything and putting them in a binder. Not surprisingly, I have no interest in doing either of those things.
I am not heartless. If you look around my house, you’ll see various drawings taped to the wall and pieces of artwork and sculptures on my coffee table. The Martha Stewart exception for me is baking. I do love to whip up a mean batch of brownies or cupcakes. Although, I admit to using a mix and doctoring it up a la Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade. My girls are always excited to add our super secret ingredient. Pssst – the super secret ingredient is a “pinch of love.” It makes everything taste 100% better.
I’m not hating on those who possess the craft gene. In fact, I am envious of the talents of my friends. I love seeing the photos on Facebook of the awesome crafts and decorating projects. It’s just not a talent I’ve ever possessed or even enjoyed. Like the meme going around Facebook says – I am more of an Amazon Prime mom than a Pinterest mom.
I spent years feeling embarrassed about my lack of artistic talent and the expectation that all moms should be craft and decorating divas. It turns out the pressure I felt was purely self-induced. My daughters don’t really notice or care that I’m not crafty. They love the uneven streamers I haphazardly tape to their bedroom doors for their birthdays and the giant bouquet of balloons from the Dollar Store.
When you come to a birthday party for one of my kids, the decorations may be straight from Party City, the cupcakes may have had an assist from Betty Crocker, and the goody bags may consist of a snack pack of Oreos. But there will also be lots of laughter, love and fun.
Now, if one of my crafty friends ever wants to help a sister out and have my daughters over to work on a craft project, I promise to bring snacks and wine!