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Confessions of a Crafty Mom

Photograph by Twenty20

My kids regularly wear clothes that I've sewn them and eat bread that I've baked from scratch. We do Pinterest-worthy arts and crafts projects and they get to help me in the kitchen any time they want.

While these things are all true, it's also the reason my house is regularly a disaster, I can’t tell you the last time I worked out and we just hit the In-N-Out drive-thru on the way home from the craft store. My Instagram feed, like many of us, is heavy on the first list and light on the latter.

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In the world of Pinterest and Instagram, crafty moms are an easy target. We appear to be winning at motherhood and rubbing it in. The truth is, I struggle as a parent everyday. I'm a good homemaker and a horrible housekeeper. If I didn’t cook and craft with my kids I would struggle to find ways to fill our days that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out.

I'm no better mom than anyone else, I just happen to enjoy pastimes that photograph well.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jokingly been told “I hate you.”

I always liked making things, but it went into overdrive when I became a mom. It wasn’t because I felt like the only way to be a good mom was to make my own baby blankets, but rather, if I didn’t make something born of my own creativity, I feared I would lose myself entirely to the motherhood void. I needed my life to be more than bottles and diapers and the Itsy Bitsy Spider on a never-ending loop.

And that’s how it started—making things instead of folding laundry, learning how to knit along with how to pop out the Pack n’ Play. Most of the things I make are for or with my kids, but I assure you they are almost all selfish endeavors.

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I love the idea of inspiring other moms to get crafty with their kids, but I don’t think you should do anything you despise. I don’t expect anyone else to be my kind of crazy. My kids handmade clothes aren’t a political statement, the DIY piñata is not designed to make you feel bad for buying one, and I don’t judge other moms for not baking bread.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jokingly been told “I hate you.”

If messes aren’t your thing, leave the painting for preschool. Get dinner on the table in whatever way works for you. I only ask that you try to remember that my craftiness was not designed to make you feel less than, but rather the only way I know how to feel whole.

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