I was recently listening to Jessica Turner talk on a podcast (I can’t remember which one, as she’s been on several of the ones I listen to lately) and I really appreciated what she said about how we should be spending our free time and fringe hours doing what makes us each individually happy. She LOVES crafts, her blog is “the mom creative” after all and she loves planning elaborate crafty birthdays for her kids. She had a friend self deprecatingly say something about how her child’s birthday would never live up to Jessica’s child’s. Now, this friend of hers DOESN’T love crafts. I’ve been in this exact situation so many times. Because I’m the one who loves crafting, who loves planning, whose stress relief plan includes crafting. Remember how I track my habits on the Coach.Me app? Well, one of the habits I have on there is “Do Something Creative” because I know me, I need to do something creative a few times a week feel like a functioning person.
I don’t however do crafts because I feel like I have to “do it all” or because of Pinterest Stress - as this NY Post article details. I feel like the whole culture that imparts “Don’t let Pinterest make you feel like you’re a bad mom,” or “You don’t have to be Martha Stewart” doesn’t take into account that there are those of us who really derive joy from creativity like that. We don’t do it to ‘show off.’ We don’t do it because we feel like we have to or to compete with other women or moms. We do it because we love it. Now if you DON’T love it….well then don’t do it! Don’t be self deprecating about it. Don’t feel guilty that it’s not your thing. Just skip it. Do something else. The end.
You know what isn’t my thing? Cooking. Sure, I can follow a recipe and bake something if I need to, and I have a few ‘go to’ easy things that I make for parties. But I don’t cook well. It stresses me out. I never feel like I’ve got that knack for it. My husband can throw five ingredients together, or improvise a recipe and make something super delicious. No Big. It’s his thing. In fact – in Amtrak retirement I can TOTALLY see him opening a food truck. And even though cooking is a typical ‘female task’ or something that makes a ‘good mom’ in a portion of society’s eyes…I don’t let myself feel bad that I’m not good at it and that it’s not my thing. I eat out when Chris is working out of town…or scramble eggs (not as well as him)…or I eat a lot of cheese and pasta. And that’s okay with me.
I craft. I love it. I don’t cook. I don’t love it.
Why can’t we all as women and mothers celebrate our individual talents and strengths rather than feel bad for the ones we don’t have? Or don't even aspire to have?
And while I haven’t read Amy Poehler's Book, I’ve heard the quote that’s been floating around from it, and I think it sums this up perfectly: