Two summers ago I found a great plastic frame in a garage sale with the intention of buying some cork board to make it into a bulletin board. I loved the shape and like my daughter it reminded me of a magic mirror. Needless to say the only cork I could find in the stores we in frames and it didn’t make any sense to me to buy something on our limited budget only to destroy it. So it has sat behind our couch for the last eighteen months as a sad little reminder of what could have been. Any time I need to get something from behind the couch I would see it there and get a little sad that my best laid plan was a bust. A couple of days ago I got a great idea… I could use cardboard covered in fabric instead of expensive cork. So I used my glue gun with some trusty dollar store glue and some old fabric from my daughter’s curtains.
Then I glued the fabric covered cardboard into the frame. I first tried the glue gun but it didn’t hold. Luckily we have some Gorilla Glue and I had a lot more success. After everything was secure I pinned a few family pictures in place and then added a few scrap booking flowers onto the front for decoration. A copper colored ribbon that I had on had for another craft I never seemed to create was used as a hanger and it was ready for my daughter’s wall. I do love how it turned out and how I was able to put pictures of the important people in her life in one place.
I am quickly finding out that when people ask you if you enjoy staying home they don’t really want to know the truth. They want to hear you say yes, you love it rather than no it is really boring. Nothing seems to end the conversation quicker than a no. So I am learning to just say yes. I have had some advice to get involved in the school and I just smile because I don’t think I could be more involved. I stay for family reading every morning in my daughters class; I am the co chair of the parents committee as well as a member of three subcommittees; attend all of the monthly assemblies; and all of the parent coffee mornings with the principal. Still I get bored. Then I have to laugh at myself because on paper I wonder how on earth I could be. So I take a deep breath and let go of the what ifs and enjoy what is.
These past few months have been tough. My romanticized version of what it would be like staying home have come crashing down with the realities of non stop child care, no money for hobbies, and the isolation of not having colleagues to talk to every day. I find myself being too harsh, too short tempered, and full of self pity. I lost track of the things that I used to like over the last few years and slowly allowed myself to disappear as I focused on being a mom. The perfect analogy for this would be that when we had to move in with my MIL a few years ago I let all my plants die. I used to love to garden and I just left them outside in the middle of winter so I would have one less thing to take care of.
But today; today the sun is shining and I am starting to pull myself out of my funk. So what if I can’t afford all that pretty fancy fabric I see online, as another post I read reminded me quilting used to be all about the scraps and living on a budget. So today I read a sewing tutorial and I am going to make a skirt with my daughter’s old curtains for her to wear. I scrapped together some loose change and bought a small plant in a two inch pot. It will grow. Slowly but surely I can make my life into what I imagined it to be without needing money.
After recently becoming a stay at home mom after almost five years as a working mom I am finding myself reflecting more and more on the pressures and judgements I have been putting on myself. When I was working all I wished for was more time at home and the first few weeks of staying home all I could think about was what I was missing about not working. Now I am starting to embrace the possibilities that I longed for just a few short months ago. I have time to try new hobbies, cook real meals for my family and get involved in my daughter’s new school.
I am learning that I am better than I think I am at things, that I have valuable opinions to add to the school commitee I joined a few days ago, and that everything doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. My family appreciates my efforts.