This is going to come off a bit ranty. Fair warning, ya'll. This has been brewing in my psyche, worming its way around my brain through vacations and sleep and Pinterest sessions. And especially on Facebook. Facebook can just suck it.
Here's the thing. I am not crafty. Nor am I artsy. The lowest grade I ever made in high school (and no, I'm not shitting you) was in Home Ec, most notably, the sewing section. I made this absolutely atrocious pillow with a bunny on the front that I gave to my grandmother (aka, the sweetest woman on earth) for Christmas, and even she was like, "Um....thanks?" I have been tempted throughout the years to take up knitting or crocheting or something else equally as benign and then found myself cursing wildly within the first five minutes OF READING THE INSTRUCTION BOOKLET. It is just not in me. Just as it is not in me to understand science, science fiction or any of the Lord of the Rings novels.
So I guess I'm coming at this whole thing already at an 0-2 count. I know I can't do it, so subconsciously, maybe that is what is fueling my rage. Take it with a grain of salt, I guess.
But, I can't help but get a little, well, perturbed, when I see all this DIY stuff floating around on the interwebz. Like I am supposed to, as a woman, have this huge desire to make my own glue for my kids and sew their clothes and make little envelopes out of fabric for them so that when they get up each day, they can read a little inspirational note from me (an example I've thought of: "Gabby, If you don't pick up your laundry, I am going to staple it to your face. LOVE YA! MOM"). Yeah, I'm not going to do that. If you want to, whatever, I don't care. If you want to do it while naked, while smoking a bong, while listening to George Jones' Greatest Hits, I still don't care. Live and let live, ya'll. What I do, in fact, care about is the prevailing thought amongst many DIY-er's that I have encountered that you HAVE to do it. That it is not optional. That if you don't, it is tantamount to giving your kid a bottle full of Mountain Dew and a straight razor and saying "HAVE AT IT. Call me if you bleed or something."
This, I think, is just one more thing that we women have to struggle with in this endless battle of trying to be perfect. Or rather, to appear as though perfect. At last count, I figure that we all have to be doing the following on a daily basis:
1. Get up. Look perfect. Exercise. Put on a face full of make-up and blow out your hair every day to perfection. Be careful to not look "too" good though, because people might think you are having an affair if you do. Wear heels, but not really high heels, because really high heels mean that you are a slut and that you don't care about your children.
2. Fix a perfect breakfast buffet (with options for picky eaters!) for your children. Eat a banana and drink black coffee and call it a morning. In the middle of this, pack lunches that you have homemade, preferably of ethnic foods so that child does not become a bad eater.
3. Get everyone to school while quizzing kids with homework trivia on the way.
4. Go to work. Do perfectly. Smile a lot.
5. Come home to clean home. Clean it some more.
6. Make child a dress and supervise a craft project using homemade glue and a castle made out of an old pool noodle.
7. Prepare a lovely dinner. Not too much sugar! Go easy on the butter, FATTY!
8. Shuffle everyone to bed. Make sure no one has spent more than two hours looking at a screen of any kind. Wash behind everyone's ears.
9. Have amazing, glorious sex with husband, preferably utilizing three different positions, a feather, and a garter belt. Don't want anyone to get bored!
10. Go to sleep for 8 wonderful hours.
Ya'll, I'm just going to honest here, which is not something you see on the internet that often. This was my day yesterday.
1. Get up. Try not to wake baby who is saying "MOMMY" in her sleep. Turn on shower so that I can't hear her anymore.
2. Put dry shampoo on my hair since I'm too lazy to wash it. Hot roller the heck out of that crap. Curse loudly when I realize I'm out of Bumble and Bumble Setting Spray. Baby, who had gone back to sleep, rustles around. Say "FML" under my breath.
3. Strap on a pair of leopard print heels that are high enough to warrant future back surgery on my part. They are comfy though, and I like them.
4. Walk out through overgrown yard that my husband and I neglected to pay $80 to have mowed while we were gone on vacation. Be vaguely worried that neighbor will come out and give me a glare.
5. Drive to work with the gas light on. Drive to McDonald's to buy some oatmeal, but realize the line is too long and I'm a tad late. Go without breakfast. Remember to call the water company about the bill I totally forgot to pay before we left for our trips and blame them for my own forgetfulness since they are too stupid to automatically withdraw like every other company in the whole damn world.
6. Get to work. Wait until everyone is gone to meetings and curse at the typewriter for being a bitch. Forget to call someone about a meeting. Hang out on Facebook until I get mad at all the people posting how many miles they ran the night before while I was eating a strawberry shortcake at TGI Friday's.
7. Have a busy day and end up not eating lunch, but I did manage to solve some printing issues and get a shit ton of work done. Be happy with myself. Husband calls and tells me to pick up some butter on the way home. Curse husband.
8. Leave work. Buy gas and butter and get mildly happy when a weird kid checks me out at the gas station. Go to Pal's and buy a humongous tea and a large order of french fries.
9. Get home to messy house with the still overgrown lawn. Pick up baby who is wearing mismatched winter pajamas (that's on Matt, though). Sit down on couch with several catalogs and a big pen. Mark "must have" and "dream" purchases while baby watches Olivia. Pretend that I'm watching as well.
10. Remember that I have to do laundry from the trip. Start it. Moan a lot about it.
11. Remember that I have two other children. Go see them in their rooms. Child 1 is both texting a cousin in Richmond, while using her DS to talk to the same cousin. That's two screens. Child 2 is playing Magic on the Playstation and starts harassing me about buying him some more cards. Tell him I'll do it Wednesday. Make no plans to actually do that on Wednesday.
12. Fix mashed potatoes with lots of butter and honey glazed carrots with extra honey for supper while husband grills steaks. Delight in the unhealthiness of my contributions.
13. Clean off table but leave dishes dirty in the kitchen because we are out of dishwasher tabs and both of us forgot to buy them, and I did enough dishes for one day while I was making supper.
14. Play with youngest kids on the floor. Find a half eaten banana laying on top of the TiVo.
15. Leave husband in the living room with Child 2, still playing Magic. Check on Child 1 who is now watching something on TLC and still chatting on two devices with her cousin. Take Child 3 to bed. Find Java Chip Frappuccino ice cream in the freezer and decide that I love my husband again, despite the butter incident. Give him a hug, which he is surprised about.
16. Eat the whole single serving ice cream thingie and pass out in bed while watching Hoarders, leaving make-up on. Leave husband to put other children in bed.
Now, I have better days. I was insanely tired yesterday from our trips and having arrived home at 2:30 the night before. But still. That's a pretty accurate portrayal of hum-drum life. It is not perfect. I am not perfect.
But there is a lot of love in the imperfection. Last night, Alice fell asleep and I looked at her, the same chubby cheeked profile she's had since birth. She is happy and loved and fun. My son is the kindest, most sensitive soul that I know. And my oldest daughter is amazing and funny and wise. I love them, and while I don't show them that love with crafts and love notes, it is there, and it works for us.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I should get back to work. And quit being vaguely tempted to try to make Alice a pillowcase dress (I have the cutest pillowcases from my college apartment, ya'll. It would be so cool---um, NO.)