The little things
I have noticed during my time on the internet that blogging about being a mom tends to swing back and forth between two extremes. Either we work hard to reassure ourselves that we are alright as we are, that we are doing plenty for our children, and that it's perfectly fine to be "lazy". The other extreme is the ideal of perfection--that moms should work hard to provide decorated homes, nutritious meals, cute clothes, inspired teaching, and a variety of other things for their kids. I have pretty much always fallen on the "lazy mom" side, and have even caught myself feeling judgemental of those who expend extra effort on their children. I think where I'm at right now is trying to find some balance somewhere in the middle. Kids like the little things; they like stuff like fun invitations to parties, cakes shaped like buses, and nicely wrapped gifts. Doing things for others is a way to show that you care about them. I think the problem comes in when we do things just for the sake of appearances or when we spend time and effort on things that aren't important to our children. Or when we do so much for our children that we either have no time for ourselves or we fail to teach them independence. Balance is a tricky thing, but for me I'm realizing that I can spend time doing special things for my kids and it really does make them happier. Sure I'm not "perfect" and I'm even a bit lazy at times. I think along with balance comes the ability to find our own voice as a mom. I like to cook, so decorated cakes and nice meals come easily to me. Stuff like folding origami boats isn't as simple, but I found that it took less than an hour of my time. The boats are the invitations to S-Boogie's goodbye party; I printed off a little paper with the party information and stuck it inside. The cake was for Little Dude's birthday yesterday. It really wasn't too hard actually, especially since I've had some practice with decorating before. And it was worth it to see his eyes light up and to hear him say "bus cake" all afternoon.