My four year old asked this week to do a craft, to which I finally pulled out our craft box to look and see what I had. We surfed Pinterest together and she'd point to this craft and that craft, and I wouldn't have the materials and had to let her down easy until we settled on one.
Finally, we settled on some adorable popsicle fish craft that seemed easy enough. I loved watching her excitement sitting down to finally conquer a craft this week (she's obviously missing that time since preschool is out for summer), so I pulled out my camera to snap some photos to remember these sweet moments.
This was on Monday and today is Wednesday and the fishes are not finished. Well some are, but not all of them. And there's no after photo to show right now because honestly they look so sad that I almost cried while assisting with them.
For whatever reason, I failed terribly at this craft and typically I'm decent with crafting. Granted my four year old did a lot of it on her own, but the pieces and things I assisted with look nothing like the original photo we were trying to accomplish. Total mom fail over here. My mind probably wasn't in the game completely because I was trying to do so much during the process.
My mind is always thinking of a million things that I HAVE to do.
I mean it was a Monday, a day of recuperating from the weekend and trying to piece the house back together. Pick up this, wash that, mail this and post that. It's almost like everything just wouldn't stop. Pieces were glued to the fish in between this and that and truthfully, it sucked. I sucked.
Do you ever feel like you just totally and completely suck as a mom? Not all of the time obviously, but just certain days where you can't catch up and you feel like you're sinking? And forget those that say "housework can wait;" I call bullshit on that because then who else will do it? Sure my husband doesn't mind if he comes home to a house well played in with toys and clothes everywhere, but let's get real, most of us want our husbands to come home to a clean home at the end of the day. I at least want to look like I somewhat have my stuff together. And my husband is amazing and gladly finds things that need to be done when I seem overwhelmed (or sometimes just because) and does them without me asking. But still, during the day...it's non stop.
Why do we feel the need as mothers to be so perfect all the time?
It sucks when you can't catch up and your patience is on thin. You feel bad when your kids want to do things and you say "in just a minute" but truthfully, 100 minutes has passed and you still can't sit to do it. Or you do, but your mind is elsewhere. You're always thinking of everything you have to do; how to possibly improve your routines; and how badly you just want some damn sleep. Like if only I woke up before the kids, then so much would get done sooner I bet.
Mothering is tough on days like this. You feel like you're failing and you're ready for bed because you just want to start over and pray that the fairies set everything perfectly in place over night so that you're able to wake up to a fresh start. You want all of the minutes in the day to work on popsicle stick fish that don't even resemble a fish and you want so badly to sit on the floor and play for not just minutes, but maybe hours with your children. You want to cuddle with your husband when he walks through the door without thinking about how you still haven't cleaned up the bedroom or that dinner is a flop again because it turns out that Pinterest is a liar.
Screw you Pinterest.
So this is when it's hard. This is when I can guarantee that most of us go to bed and pray that you'll wake up better, more refreshed and with more patience and joy than ever. That maybe tomorrow you can put your cape back on.
And usually, you do. That's what I've learned. Mothering isn't always perfect and is definitely not always easy. And yes, some days you totally suck. But chances are, you only suck in your eyes. I think back now to how excited my daughter was to finally get to sit and do a craft (by the way we do paint and art a lot -- I'm not a total slacker), and I realize that it made her day. She was so excited to show her daddy when he came home from work.
She didn't notice that mommy didn't make the prettiest, Pinterest worthy fish and she probably didn't care that we forgot to finish them right away. She just knew that we worked together on them and that I helped. That's what she will remember...and that's what I need her to remember.
She doesn't need to remember the house a mess, or mama being overwhelmed or short with her. No, she definitely doesn't need to remember that and I wouldn't want her to.
So let's find the holes in the minutes, the moments through the messes and the joy through the exhaustion to create the memories we want. Let's find the grace to forgive our sucky days and find the moments to do the things that matter.
Like making popsicle stick fishies with our kids. Yea, let's do more of that.