I never knew I was “One of those Moms” until this past Valentine’s Day. I was perusing one of my favorite mother’s forums, a place where mom’s go to share joy, rant, and seek support from the day to day struggles of parenting, when a woman posted about hand-made valentines. I smiled and clicked to read more, thinking of the adorable baby socks wrapped in a hand-lettered tag saying “You Rock These Socks” that I’d delivered to Daycare that morning before I headed off to work.
My smile faded quickly when I realized that the post was about “One of Those Moms” who just had to show up all the others, and wasted all of her time, and was so fake with her hand crafted valentines she passed out to a bunch of grubby kids who only care about the candy. The post comments escalated my concern as they tied in moms who make Christmas gifts, throw “ridiculous” parties for their kids and moms who make Halloween Costumes from scratch. Each of these was heralded as an arrogant, selfish, display crafted only to infuriate other mothers and satisfy the “crafty” mom’s need to be the center of attention.
The post was about a traced child’s handprint valentine, not my baby socks, but still I felt personally attacked. I was shocked by all of these mothers, presumably with their own hobbies or interests (outside of crafting, it would seem), willfully attributing malice to the hard work of another mother. At first I wondered if that what all the Daycare moms thought when they got the Valentines my son shared. Did they rant to their friends and husbands about how foolishly I spend my time, trying to make them all feel bad? The thought dampened my evening, and I couldn’t shake it for days.
Then, just recently, I decided I don’t care. If I’m “One of Those Moms” its because someone else has labeled me so. I don’t craft in order to make other moms feel inadequate. I don’t see it as a waste of my time, and they come from a genuine place. I don’t even care if the people who receive them only want the candy.
Why I’m one of those [Crafty] Moms
Reason One: I like it.
I enjoy making pretty things, I find it soothing and it relaxes me. I’ve spent years doing it, and being a mom isn’t going to change that.
Reason Two: I like you.
Making things is how I show appreciation and care. My valentines were made to put a smile on your face and give you something nice to share with your child. Hopefully some day my son will help me make them, and his caring will shine through crooked crayon marks and smeared glue.
Reason Three: I’m frugal.
My DIY Christmas gifts allow me to be more generous than I normally could, because I can’t afford to get a Starbucks gift card for all my mommy friends. Humbly, I put together dollar store and sale items and pair them with a hand made card so that I can stretch my money and give something special to each of you. The same goes for birthday parties and Halloween Costumes. I can’t afford to go over the top in anything other than my own effort. So I double down and use my creativity to make it extra special.
Reason Four: I make memories.
In addition to Reason One when I’m crafting alone, I find that crafting with my son, with my husband or friends, is a great group activity. Sometimes our projects turn out, sometimes they don’t. Even if the costume, candle, or painting ends up awful – we still had a great time together. We all make memories a million different ways. Crafting is one of my favorites.
Reason Five: I’m Creative.
I’m a Graphic Designer, with a Fine Arts Degree and a full time job. I need a creative outlet in my life that doesn’t require sitting behind my computer. I like to use my hands, to feel the materials and to come away with something tangible, not digital. Crafting fills that need for me, and I won’t apologize for that.
So, I’m writing this post, on my crafting blog to shout to the world that I am “One of Those Moms”. I want to challenge, however, the flippant assumptions of malice that we moms tend to get sucked in to. Formula vs Breastfeeding, Stay at Home vs Working outside, Homeschooling vs Public school, “crunchy moms”, “nanny moms”, “part-time moms” – the list of ways we tear each other down is endless.
If you don’t like to spend your time making crafts – then don’t! But please don’t be angry because I do. Doing what is right for me does not mean I am better than you. It means only that we are different.