I was going to come up with a creative title for this post but I’m not that kind of mum.
I’m terrible at making awesome cakes for my kid’s birthdays. My boys don’t have perfect rooms stuffed with Kmart homewear. I can’t make outfits for Book Week or make beautiful gifts for teachers at the end of year. I avoid arts and crafts like the plague and there is no glitter in my house. I spend lots of time on pinterest pinning projects I think I can do, but the enthusiasm last for a total of five minutes before I remember I don’t own a hot glue gun. To be honest it’s probably safer for the family and the bank account that I don’t have one. Designer lunch boxes perfectly packed with dinosaur cut sandwiches? Yeah, that doesn’t happen.
To be a good mum you’re led to believe that you need to be able to design the perfect birthday party, and don’t forget to share it with your friends on Facebook to. You need to whip up the perfect costume for a party with very little notice because good mums have all the supplies on hand in her sewing box and if she didn’t she can just run down to her nearest spotlight store and buy everything needed and more. The handmade birthday invitations are ready to go weeks ahead of time and the birthday decorations were brought or better yet made weeks ago because good mums are always prepared. They enjoy spending the nights after the kids are in bed finishing art homework and baking wholesome sugar free muffins for their darlings little ones. That’s what good mums do.
I knew as early as age six that I wasn’t good at drawing this was reconfirmed in my year eight art class. Seriously make a picture using a feather as the centrepiece? yeah that was not a great project, it was so bad I don’t even remember the finished piece. Or rather I blocked it from my memory. I finally accepted in year eleven that art wasn’t for me and switched to design much to the dismay of my friends. I was able to get forget I wasn’t creative for a while, till I fell pregnant with my first son. Every baby needed the perfect nursery that a good mum spent months planning and setting up. There are whole forums dedicated to setting up the perfect nursery. I wanted cute little duck boarders in the walls but we rented so I thought buy or make everything duck related instead. A whole cute little fluffy yellow duck themed room. Sorry Master J but you didn’t end up with that. Nothing matched. I couldn’t draw stencils to later spray paint on the wood pieces and I couldn’t sew little ducks on your linen.
The feeling of working so hard to make something just perfect and failing is horrible. The hours spent working on that Lego cake that nobody remembers. The stress of not getting invitations out on time. The stress of not having a themed party that I can put up on Facebook and share while people like the pictures and tell me how I’m a great mum. The pressure that I put on myself to be that mum. The mum people admire, the mum other mums want to be. The perfectionist in me ending up thinking she isn’t cut out to be a mum.
Seven years later after many failed attempts at becoming creative or attempting countless arts and crafts projects I have finally accepted that I’m not that pinterest mum and I never will be. Oh the guilt, add that to my mummy guilt list that never ends. It’s okay to buy a cake that was made by someone other than me, that people will marvel at and say did you make that and I will sweetly smile and say no I didn’t. Because I didn’t make that cake and I didn’t even attempt it but my child had a cake, a birthday and family and friends to celebrate another year with. Will he remember the coordinated birthday theme I don’t know? Maybe he will or maybe he will remember how much fun he had and how his mum was fully engaged in his birthday instead of making sure everything was perfect.