Once I became a stay-at-home mom I thought I would become some super crafty, homemade making, everything is awesome mom. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either. It was this dreamy notion like all the ‘free’ time I had while on maternity leave.
It wasn’t long before I realized I couldn’t do everything nor did I want to. Some things just weren’t me and I really had to stop pretending that they were a part of my make up. So, I began setting boundaries, realizing my limitations and freeing myself of all the things I thought I should do.
Here are a few things I discovered that I don’t do and what I do instead:
I don’t bake from scratch.
The flour, the rolling of dough, the stack of measuring spoons and dirty bowls…I just can’t with it all. Sure, I have great intentions and recipes, but without fail, about a third of the way through the process, I think “why?” Instead, I know where to buy tasty, fancy baked goods. As a bonus, if I need something simple, I know how to buy a box and add three ingredients.
I don’t throw amazing birthday parties.
I mean I have before, but that was like three kids ago. I remember how everything including the food revolved around some glorious theme. My child may have even had a shirt displaying his age. Long were those days, but do you know what I do well? I know how to take a few kids to a fun place or have a simple pool party. I can order a hot pizza and you guessed it, purchase a cake from a local bakery. These days if you see my child with their age on their shirt, you can bet it is a hand-me-down. And kudos to me for finding it in time for their birthday!
I don’t cook the gourmet meals my kids request frequently.
I honestly doubt they will look back on their childhood and recall a specific dish they loved that I made. However, I do cook daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I frequently try new recipes and aim to give them a nutritious meal with a vegetable they will inevitably push to the side.
I don’t do creative art projects with my kids.
When my job outside the home was working with children, I had all kind of crafty things up my sleeve. I attempted to continue the craftiness as a stay-at-home mom, but once we got to letter E, I was tapped out. Now, lacing fruit loops on a string for counting purposes is about as crafty as it gets. Instead, I do go outside almost every day with my kids and we may just break out some sidewalk chalk.
I don’t make cute, Pinterest worthy teacher gifts.
Much like throwing those fancy birthday parties I mentioned above, I use to, but that was a few kids ago. Let’s just be honest, between all of my kids, there are about a dozen teachers. Instead, I take the well beaten path of pitching in for a teacher gift. On a good year, I may even have my child write a sweet note to their teacher.
It took a while for me to realize that I don’t have to be a jack of all trades. I could work smarter, not harder.
When I released the things I felt obligated to, I was able to discover the things I am gifted to.
Now, I have a peace with what I do AND don’t do well. There’s no more trying to achieve something outside my realm. I no longer spend time doing things just out of guilt or because all the other moms do it. I recognize that I don’t have to dabble in everything. Now, I spend time doing things I enjoy and the things I do well.