A Plea To Crafty Moms from the Not-So-Crafty Ones

Sometimes those Mom-fail moments are expected and you’re prepared. But sometimes they smack you right in the face out of nowhere. Like this morning.

I poured my third cup of coffee minutes ago and while putting the cream back in the fridge, my eyes landed on our AWANA schedule. I took a sip and located the theme for this week.

And groaned. In fact, I groan every week at the themes.

These themes are killing me. Sock-Hop night(where on earth am I going to find a poodle skirt?), Noah’s Ark Night (dress like an animal-again…where am I going to find an animal costume?),  Super Hero night (my kids don’t even know what a superhero is), Bible Story (dress like your favorite Bible hero-um…what?), Aloha night(fresh out of hula skirts and leis), etc, etc, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. I love AWANA – it’s a great program. My girls have a blast.

But I have to ask: am I the only Mama left in the world that is not crafty?

I have so many dear and wonderful friends who can take a sheet and spin it into a dress for the Christmas play, or a pile of brown felt and transform their kid into a puppy for Halloween. They can make their kids’ Christmas jammies, whip up the most fantastic crafts (not store bought, mind you), whittle wood into toy trains, make a mason jar Christmas village, and all of the other Pinterest worthy things that make my heart soar and sink at the same time.

I’m the mom that grabs stuffed animals on Noah’s Ark night and says, “Just stick them in your shirt so the head is showing and say you’re a (insert whatever stuffed animal we found on the way out the door). I’m the, “Let’s just pin this pillowcase to your shirt for a cape,” Mom. I’m the, “Well, I guess we’ll wear shorts and bare in December for Aloha Night,” Mom. I’m the aunt that sends books or cheap jammies and received hand-sewn quilts and dresses for my kids from their aunt in return.

My poor kids. They are so excited about the theme of the night…until we arrive and see full poodle skirts and high ponytails, flowery leis and real grass skirt dresses, probably made out of tall grass picked from a beautiful flower bed just hours before.

It’s not that I haven’t tried to be crafty mom. I asked a few different women to teach me to sew.

Can I just say that sewing is like math to me? Calculus even. It makes no sense. And that’s just the part where I thread stuff through the needle. Don’t get me started on the weird paper things and pins and oh-my-goodness-why-didn’t-I-pay-attention-in-Home-Economics?! And, FYI, people who sew or knit don’t actually teach you how…they show you how well they do this or that. And when you make a mistake while sitting with them and ask them how to fix it…they don’t actually teach you how fix your mistakes. They take the mess, tsk, tsk, fix it and hand it back.


So once you’re home and a mistake has been make, you shred the stinkin’ project to bits, cursing and muttering and throwing. And you feel super mature and go make cookies just to prove you can do something.

Ehem. Anyone else? No? Just me?

Sigh. I try, I really do. I just can’t make things pretty. I’ve never been a person that makes things pretty. I was teased mercilessly in high school and college because I had no idea that black shoes and a brown belt was a no-no. Don’t get me started on my lack of make-up and hair styling skills.

I can make a mean cake, but don’t ask me to decorate it.

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(It was delicious, I swear)

I have helped to make some very pretty girls, but the poor things are going to need some serious help from their teen friends in a few years if they want to know how to dress nice or wear make-up.

I can take my kids to AWANA, but I certainly can’t get them points for participating in the theme. I often have to convince the gal at check-in that, yes, they are dressed for the theme. This scrap of yarn from a failed attempt at knitting ribbon in their hair? That’s the only team color we had in the entire house.

That little bear face sticking out under their neck? Obviously they are dressed up as a bear. Obviously.

Yes, they are dressed for Aloha night – honey stick your bare feet on the table and show the nice lady.

Yes, they are superheroes. Duh. See this wrinkled pillowcase on her back?

So all you crafty Mamas, please know that I–and any other Mom like me that might still exist–we admire you. We really, really do. We follow you on Instagram and ooh and ahh over your pictures. We pin the things you share on Pinterest because they are amazing and for one glittering moment we feel like we might be able to make it, too (full well knowing that in all reality we will end up posting to a Pinterest fail page).

But we possibly view you as the Victoria Secret model of crafting and mothering. We kind of wish you would stop flaunting the results of your voluptuous glue sticks and sleek fabric piles. Just for our sake, every once in a while, could you scale it back just a notch? Maybe you don’t have to make the mask and the cape and the puffed up chest all for one two hour event. Maybe you don’t have to make your own glitter and expertly braid and style your daughter’s hair to be exactly like Elsa’s and make the perfect sparkly Elsa gown. Maybe you could make it look more like the WalMart special that I can’t even pretend to afford, but know is always an option if I ever have to have my kids stand next to yours in a program.

In all reality, I am not asking you to stop for real. I’m not even really expecting you scale it back. I know that you need to keep doing what you’re doing. It’s art. It’s your release and if you’ve got it, by golly baby you should flaunt it. It’s beautiful.

But just once, I would love to be able to walk into AWANA night for goodness sake and not have to be made aware, yet again, that I am that Mom.

-Sincerely, The Queen of Pinterest Fails and Craft-able Wannabes


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