Hi, my name is Megan, and I'm a Pinterest Mom. Although I get a ton of satisfaction from baking my kids treats, knitting them cute clothes, and setting up elaborate games for them using my own supplies, I constantly downplay my creative efforts in an attempt to protect other people's feelings. But I'm sick of pretending like my creations are no big deal, when in fact they do take a considerable amount of time and effort. My desire to make things shouldn't make other women feel bad, mainly because my choices aren't a reflection of theirs. So I'm stepping out of the shadows and claiming my rightful title as a crafting goddess.
There's a misconception that moms who bake, craft, or make their own games for their kids look down on parents who don't do the same. I can only speak for myself, but I'm fully aware of the fact that kids are going to have a blast at a birthday party whether the decorations come from a store or are handmade, and there's no recipe I've ever found that can mimic the magic that is a classic Oreo.
I don't take the time to make things with the mistaken belief that my children are living a more charmed or better life than their peers without knitted cowls that look like foxes or jack-o'-lantern sweaters. I know if I stopped all the Pinterest crafts tomorrow, my sons wouldn't wind up on a therapist's couch moaning, "If only my mother had made my birthday cakes instead of buying them."
I do it all because I like to make things, plain and simple.
Women with kids are always encouraging each other to take"me time". We remind brand-new moms that it's important to remember who they are as a person outside of being a parent, and when we hear of a fellow mom getting a pedicure, taking a yoga class or even managing a five-minute shower without a baby barnacle around her ankles, the reaction isn't jealousy, it's celebration.
But if we're going to be supportive of a mom finding the time to do something for herself, it shouldn't matter if that something is getting a makeover or whipping up a batch of cookies from scratch.
Why do we rally behind the mom who wants to find the time to grab drinks with the girls, but not the mom who makes her girls crocheted hats?
Baking and crafting are hobbies I've loved even before I had children, and continuing to make them a part of my life helps me feel less like my identity is being taken over by my status as a mom. In the years before babies, I'd scrapbook or make jewelry. With little hands putting everything into their mouths, the things I do to express myself may have become a bit more child-centric, but that doesn't change the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment I get out of making something.
Being creative makes me feel good about myself, and I'm not going to downplay my accomplishments because they might make someone else feel inadequate, which, to be totally clear, is never my goal. We don't expect people to keep news of a promotion quiet because others might get jealous. You wouldn't expect a woman with fresh highlights to throw her hair under a baseball cap at playgroup so other women don't feel bad about their roots, so why should I not tell people at the school bake sale that yes, I made these pumpkin donuts myself?
I don't hate the woman who always takes the time to do her hair and makeup every morning before dropping her kids off. Her sleek blowout and winged eyeliner look fabulous when I see her standing ahead of me in line at the grocery store, but that doesn't mean my messy bun and sweatpants are somehow her fault. I wouldn't expect her to think less of me because my priorities are different than hers. I don't visit the spotless home of a friend and think that she must consider my parenting skills to be subpar because I have smudges on the handle to my refrigerator.
So when I offer you a fresh-baked cookie, sure, I'm showing off. But that doesn't mean I judge you for not being like me. As parents, we all do what makes us happy with the limited free time we have, and we should try to remember that instead of comparing ourselves to see how we measure up.
Images Courtesy of Megan Zander (3)