I’ve been a crafter, DIY whore, and baking food-pusher for as long as I can remember. My soul is wrapped up in making a mess and hoping something beautiful comes out of it. I can’t seem to help myself. When my sister got married and said she wanted her bridesmaids to wear sparkly shoes with our teal dresses, instead of buying a pair that were pre-sparkled, my other sister and I sparkled our own stilettos with Mod Podge and loose glitter — it was way more fun.
I like to get my hands dirty and try new things. I get urges to make a cheesecake for no reason at all on a random Tuesday. I get very excited (and a little anxious) when I see a piece of art I love in a magazine, so I delve in and try to make it myself instead of taking the time to shop around.
Once in a while, a project comes out as expected, but most of the time it doesn’t. I don’t care, I am not going to give up my knitting needles or sewing machine because what I make doesn’t look like something from a Martha Stewart magazine. That’s not the reason I do it.
I do it because it is part of who I am now and a part of who I was before I became a mom. It’s a part of me that hasn’t changed through the roller coaster of life. I loved making shit then. I love making shit now.
I love and appreciate art in all forms, and although I don’t consider myself a Pinterest mom, I guess I am. I pin the shit out of Pinterest, gather the supplies, and try to create what I see in the picture. It feeds me in a way buying something off the shelf does not (although I do plenty of that too). To me, the whole process is therapeutic. I don’t really care if I need 457 pompoms, if I feel like making them, it’s going to happen. (Oh, and just so you know, you can take 457 pom-poms and make them into a pom-pom rug.)
There are times when I let my kids help me, but there are also times I give them the playdough or a screen and tell them I need to do this alone because I need to create. It feeds my soul.
I know that often moms who like to make shit get a bad rap, but contrary to popular belief, we aren’t doing it to get attention or because we feel like we must do these things to make ourselves look superior to other moms. That’s such BS.
I am not trying to “outmom” anyone here. I am not trying to be a show-off or make anyone feel unworthy because they don’t do things the way I do.
By redecorating a room and snapping a picture and throwing it up on Pinterest or Instagram, I am simply getting in touch with the person I was before I had kids. I still need to be with her every once in a while. And there are times when that looks like staying up late and making clay bowls and painting polka dots on them just for the hell of it.
We aren’t trying to fill a void or make other mothers feel unproductive. I know many Pinterest moms. They are my friends, and we’ve been creating shit together long before Pinterest was born (probably before the creator of Pinterest was born, ahem). I am inspired by these women. They show me things I didn’t know I wanted to try, especially when I see one of them re-tiling their kitchen. It makes me realize I can roll up my sleeves and figure it out for myself too.
The thing is, anyone who makes shit does it because it brings them joy — just them, They aren’t trying to steal anyone else’s thunder by painting stripes on their wall or making a wreath out of birch bark.
Who started these rumors anyway?!
The point of life is to enrich it. For some of us, that includes getting together to drink wine and paint. There is nothing wrong with feeling amazing after we’ve wiped down our baseboards and organized our Tupperware cupboard.
Is it for everyone? No, everyone has their own thing. Some moms are really athletic. Some moms like to organize fundraisers and volunteer, or own their own business. We all put our energies into things that feed us or bring us pleasure, and that’s exactly what we should be doing. We work really hard and, oftentimes, put lots of people’s needs ahead of our own.
So, if we want to get elbow deep in grout and try out a new backsplash, or take 3,000 pushpins to make a thumbtack wreath, to recharge, then we are going to do that.
And instead of letting someone else’s gifts, hobbies, or favorite pastimes make us feel less-than, we should be focusing on our own strengths. And just so you know, I can totally knit you a sweater if you take my shift at the school fundraiser next week.