Your Pinterest and IG feeds are packed with completely cute crafts for the kiddos. Those pics are perfect and you’re jonesing to let your inner-Martha Stewart out. But when your ability to set up kids’ crafts doesn’t match up with the increasingly unattainable expectations that social media has rained down on us moms, it’s totally understandable that you’d feel like an outcast in the art-making arena. You shouldnt feel bad, and here’s why.
1. Kids don’t care. Your child doesn’t know the difference between your painting skills and Picasso’s. Not only do they not know the difference, but they don’t care. Draw a stick figure for your kiddo and see what happens. Most likely your child will think you’re the best artist — ever. Your child wants to spend time with you, draw with you, and paint with you. They don’t care if the craft in question turns out looking angelic or… unconventional.
2. You’re not a professional artist. Holding yourself up to the pretty product of a professional crafter isn’t fair. Your job might be parenting, but it’s not creating art. Unless you went to art school, make a living painting, or in some other way craft professionally, let go of the ideal and accept that your (and your child’s) Pinterest projects won’t look like they belong in a museum.
3. Pictures lie, sometimes. Those entirely unattainable images from Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are mocking your crafting ability. At least that’s what you think. But in reality, they’re not exactly “real.” Keep in mind, a kids’ craft blogger may have spent hours carefully creating the craft and taking photo after photo of it. The dozens of flubs aren’t Pinteresting or Insta-worthy enough to let the public see.
4. Creativity is key. Think about why you’re crafting with your child. If it’s to help your kiddo get creative, the product doesn’t really matter. Instead of focusing on whatever the fab photos are, concentrate on the process to get there. Don’t stress about painting the perfect portrait with your child. Relax and let your little artist play with colors, shapes, and textures.
5. There are more like you. You aren’t alone. There isn’t an army of super-crafty mamas out there who are getting artsy with their kids on the regular. It’s more likely that there are plenty of parents who want to help their children create, but don’t feel comfortable with deep-level crafting.
6. You can laugh — at yourself. The paper mache planet that’s growing on your kitchen table looks more like a deflated Easter basket than Jupiter. And that’s totally okay. Even though the Pinterest image looked like the real deal, you and your child are getting a laugh out of the artsy misadventure in front of you. And bonus, this is a story for all time. Just think, you’ll tell the tale of the paper mache planet at your child’s wedding rehearsal dinner someday.
7. No one does everything well. You’re a master at making the perfect grilled cheese and can fold those impossible fitted sheets like a pro. You have skills. But crafting isn’t one of them. There’s no reason to expect that you’ll win at everything you do; that’s a lofty standard that no mama can live up to. Let this one go and concentrate on what you do well instead.
8. Parenting isn’t a contest. It may feel like a contest, but it isn’t. The point of crafting with your art-loving kid is to support their interests, spend time together, and nurture their creative side. It’s not to win the Craftiest Mommy Contest. Even though it’s tough to let go of the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality, sometimes you just have to.
9. There’s enough mom-shaming going on anyway. You’re feeling the judgy eye of the other mamas on you — and from every angle. They’re judging what you wear, how you do your hair, your pregnancy pics, your birth announcement, how many organic treats you back in your child’s pre-k snack box, and just about everything else you do. Don’t join in and judge yourself too.
What’s your favorite art activity to do with your child (and it doesn’t have to be perfect)? Share your pic and tweet us @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)