Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Not that kind of mom

A few weeks ago, I was at a playgroup and all the moms started talking about the Easter baskets they'd already put together for their toddlers. They were so excited and giddy as they discussed and compared notes.

I? Hadn't even thought to make one for Baby Girl.

When it comes to teaching kindness and empathy? I'm a rockstar. Sign language and language development? I own that. And as for my love? Well, nothing is greater.

But birthday parties, scrapbooks, art projects? Not so much.

Which isn't to say I don't try.

In the past two weeks, I've bought finger paint. I made window painting bags. I made homemade playdough. I made a freaking sensory bin, even though I still don't really get the point.

And every time, her response was the same. "Mmm, no thanks." Or at least that's what I imagine she's saying as she wanders off to scrub my windows with a baby wipe.

I really want these projects to work, for a lot of reasons. The day at home is really long, and I need ways to fill the time. I love the idea of teaching her to be artistic, of helping her develop multiple intelligences. But most of all? It's because they look fun.

You know, in theory.

In reality? I just don't get it. I hate doing it. I resent it. And then when she doesn't even like it, I get angry. I'm just not the right kind of mom for those things.

And that's okay.

But it doesn't always feel okay. Sometimes I feel like I must be missing a gene. Other stay at home moms do such great things with their kids, and I just can't. And it's not so much an issue of my baby missing out. She's fine. Happy as a clam.

It's me. I want to get excited about things the way the Pinterest mamas do. I want to enjoy being with my daughter. And when I don't, it makes me sad.

But I know in my heart that more projects I hate aren't the answer. I know that all I can do is be the mom I am, no matter how much I wish I could be that kind of mom. Does that mean I won't ever look again? No, I'm not that fast a learner.


This morning in her high chair, my Baby Girl signed "bunny."

"Where's the bunny?"

She pointed at the window, so I walked over and looked out. And she started laughing hysterically.

I turned around slowly, with one hand on my hip. With a twinkle in her eye, my tiny comedienne patted her leg, said "Do(g)!" and pointed at the window again, busting a gut as I turned to look again.

This game? I could play all day.


  1. I have a serious suspicion that the "Pinterest Moms" could not possibly fit all that pinning and actually doing the stuff they pin into their days. It has to be an illusion. Plus, I happen to believe that good parenting necessarily involves listening to your daughter's cues - and words! "bunny" is pretty advanced stuff! ;) - about what she thinks and likes and doesn't like and wants, etc. Art projects? Nice. Not necessarily part of "good" parenting.

    FYI, my super-creative architect friend who is married to an architect could not get her son to do a single drawing or painting, not even with the help of his day care teachers, until he was well into his 2s. The kid just liked blocks better.

  2. I'm with you. I'm terrible at crafty-type stuff. I'm glad you guys found something you both like to do. Besides, moms who can pull off fancy Pinterest stuff are overrated. :-)

  3. I'm with you. I'm terrible at crafty-type stuff. I'm glad you guys found something you both like to do. Besides, moms who can pull off fancy Pinterest stuff are overrated. :-)

  4. Obviously these things don't really do it for either you or BG . . . and that is A-OK!!

    I strongly suspect that if I were a SAHM I would be spending the majority of our days at a play place or a park because that is the sort of thing that all of us seem to do well at. Crafts and imaginative play are things I pretty much stink at.

  5. I so get this. I am not a crafty mom at all. In fact, my peditrician is a scrapbooker. I am seriously considering asking her to help me get together both girtls' baby books. Clearly I have no motivation or direction to make them beautiful.

    Early on I had to tell my oldest that mommy was not the artist. That is Daddy's strength. They do amazing drawings with sidewalk chalk. I think that you should play to your strengths. So as a theater and literature nerd, I sing, dance and read to my girls and talk their ears off. If I were a SAHM, I would spend a lot of our time in the library and at the park.

  6. I totally get this. Sometimes it's hard to remember that whether we are good mothers isn't measured by how many beautiful crafts we make no matter how hard pinterest tries to convince us otherwise. You've got that girl playing jokes already. You are a rockstar.

  7. You know what I really, really like about this post? Is that you gave ME permission to not do those things either. Sometimes I like the little artsy activities, but truth be told, they stress me out. A lot. And when I see other moms doing them, I freak out even more and think ALL the moms must be doing this and I'm not and my kid will be a failure! I know it's not true. We both know that. Giving ourselves permission to be ourselves is one of the best things we can teach our babies.

  8. YOU are the PERFECT mom for her.

    Just like I am the perfect mom for my boys.

    I'm like no one else in this town...why I turned on the computer and found friends 4 years lonely b/c I'm so different.

    But this? THis post? WHy I blog. The relatability.


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  10. I love your honesty! If you are passionate about something she will sense your excitement and learn many things. Go with your interests and expose her to many things.