What I've learned from crafting.

 I love events,birthdays,first days of school,baking. I love making banners and planning parties. I AM that mom who spends hrs making her kid's Valentine box, who sews her pillows and obsessively decorates her kid's room. THAT'S ME! Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time but what bothers me is when others think I'm wasting my time. Why not just go to the store? Do you really think your kid cares? Or when other moms think I'm trying to show off or one up them. Every week I read some new article about how it's ok to not be "that mom",which I apparently am "that mom" enough to feel slightly offended. I do what I do b/c I like doing it. I need to create things for no reason other than its my desire. And I don't feel like it's a waste of time,I actually feel like I've learned a few things from crafting(baking,painting,sewing,etc). Here are a few things I'd like to share.

1. Nothing is as easy as it looks,even if you follow directions you can still mess it up.
If this doesn't apply to everything in life,I don't know what does. This is why I have so much patience with people,even people without kids who think they know how everyone should raise theirs. Whether it's raising kids,putting together something from Ikea,or icing a cake. You're probably going to screw it up.

2.Being patient is better than being fast.
Nothing will ruin your project faster than YOU! Sometimes you just have to let the paint dry, put your sewing away for the next day, suffer through the shitty job to get the one you want, lose the weight the "right way".

3.To not get discouraged if someone can do something better than me.
I look at the things some people do and think "WOW,I could never do that,some people are just gifted"(like maintaining a blog..). But it's true that every expert was once a beginner. Let that process through your mind for a minute. The greatest pianist in the world was once a little kid who couldn't even play a chord. The person who wrote the best selling book of all time,once didn't even know how to write. What do you wish you could do that you think you're too old for or not smart enough to figure out? I remember when I first started sewing and immediately tried to do a shirt but felt like throwing myself off a cliff when it came to the sleeves. Now I can do sleeves with ease and that makes me feel confident about learning other things.

4.Make sure I have the supplies before I start.
The last one may not seem like it applies to life but think about it. We have to make sure we make enough money before we buy a house or car,that before winter comes we have coats/hats/gloves for the kids,or enough gas in the car to get wherever we need to go.

5. Sometimes you need to get up from the table and walk away.
Working through frustration isn't always the answer. You have to know when to go,clear your mind,and come back with a new attitude. This is especially applicable to life. I used to be a preschool teacher with 2 and 3 yr olds and something any preschool teacher will tell you is that kids act crazy when you're having a bad day. It's not a coincidence that these two events are occurring together, somehow children convert your frustration into their own endless energy. Doing something as simple as bringing a sub in while you take a 10min break,completely changes the atmosphere and course of the day. When I became a single parent this piece of knowledge helped me in those moments when all I wanted to do was scream. A break was better for me AND for him. When I am doing homework and get stuck,I just take a break and come back with so many ideas. When I'm not sure what direction to take in life,I get away from everything and come back with answers. BREAKS ARE GREAT!

6. You can make awesome things out of junk.
I have to admit,I get a little thrill from taking something ugly and making it beautiful. I actually believe this is the theme of my life;to give new life to the discarded. Whether it's a dresser or a person or an idea. That is probably why I chose to major in Social Work. Not only have I learned to find the beauty but I learned to see that things aren't always best used for their intended purposes. I've always been under the impression that I couldn't help people unless I had a lot of money,however I had a lightbulb moment after meeting a woman at a flea market. She told me that even though she never had a lot of money,she had always wanted to do mission trips. Due to kids,money,age,health,she never found herself able to go. She could,however,knit like a boss. She turned her hobby into a mission by knitting gloves,socks,and hats and donating them to kids in need. Instead of being upset about what she was unable to do,she found a use for what she could do.

             Crafting has,for the most part, been therapeutic for me. Like most parents I've felt like the world is on my shoulders. Like I'm not Crystal but just mommy. That's fine,I love being mommy. But I maintain that it's bad for your child to lose yourself as a person. All my crafting has been that thing in my life that's for Crystal. Yes,I get to make things for my son and for our home but it's not out of day to day obligations. If I spend hours making my child a minecraft cake,it's not b/c I want to impress him or compete with someone, It's b/c Crystal likes doing it! I'm not the best,I can't do everything I would like to do, but everything I do makes me better and better and soon I can do the things I didn't think I could do...and yes,if I work hard on something I will probably put it on facebook or send a pic to my friend. It's just like when someone's kid graduates or you pass college algebra. Have fun creating! <3

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