Perhaps I should be a little lazier so my kids don’t expect super project mommy all the time. Since having kids I have become uber crafty DIY woman. I build furniture, make scrapbooks, and have art projects coming out the wazoo. Basically I found real joy in working with my hands and making things myself. I wanted to pass this joy on to my kids. They assist with tools when they can and with paint (at least on the first coat). They help with their scrapbook pages. Usually I have something for the kids to make a couple days a week and have special things planned for the holidays.
Last year on Valentine’s Day we made photo frames and took pictures and get this…I did it for Sophia’s entire class. Be careful doing this…the mommy bar applies to other parents too.
We painted 15 frames red and pink the night before, made a huge trip to Michael’s for supplies, organized everything and hit the 3′s for some frame decorating and picture taking. I brought a 4 week old Violet into the class in her carrier with all the supplies. The kids decorated with my help for an hour or so and then after taking a picture of each one I came home, nursed Violet and printed out all the pictures and brought them back into class to put in these frames for their mommies and daddies. Sophia thought this was fabulous. I did too, but it took a long time.
This week I realized that I have created children who expect fantastic crafts all the time. Whenever there is not something awesome going on, they expect a cool art project from mom or ask to build something and paint it.
Over the weekend Sophia asked when we were making Valentine’s for her class. I almost jumped and said “Right now sweetie!” but then I was hit with a wave of exhaustion and explained that this year Target would be providing out Valentine’s. She was more than a little upset. I think she was assuming we would still rock an awesome project for this holiday of hearts.
Just moments after Sophia and Miles wished me a Happy Valentines Day they asked what our Love project was going to be.
Crap. Violet is sick. I am sick. I am barely making it through the days here and I had nothing. Well, I did have a text message from a friend reminding me that I was watching her son for an hour or so in the afternoon. I felt so bad. I had nothing. No plans. No special paper. No hanging heart mobiles or Valentine treasure boxes. I pulled “We’ll make a Valentine for Daddy” out of my ass and tried to ignore the confused and disappointed look on Sophia’s face. Miles was cool with this. Anything for Daddy is good for him.
So we got home from school, got out some construction paper, scissors, heart craft punches and glitter and made cards for Daddy. Without the glitter I would have been toast but kids and glitter make for lots of smiles and a huge mess. Miles made the green one. Sophia cut her own heart (I was so proud) and rocked the purple and red.
Sophia said it was fun and that when I felt better maybe we would do something bigger again. I told her that lots of kids do not do big projects every day and she told me that’s one of her favorite things. That makes me special. My heart melted.
That, people, is a mommy bat set too high. I don’t have it in me. I can’t nurse the baby and do the laundry and do crafts and clean the house and make dinner. Maybe I could institute a 1 day per week project with the other days sticking to coloring and glue. Maybe we could make a really cool calendar and mark the craft day with lots of glitter (there I go again). I am hopeless.
Any suggestions? I need to lower the mommy bar enough so that it hits me in the face when I try to tackle way too much with too little time again.
Where is your Mommy Bar? Did your abilities change when you added more children? Do you still try to do everything or have you made some cuts? Do your kids understand? Seriously, I need my kids to be okay with me doing just a little less. Thanks for any and all advice!