Our World is a Far Cry From That of our Mothers'
I want to matter, I know “you” do too. It is human nature to want a life purpose. I feel this very strongly, I want to have purpose, I want to matter. I want to believe that: I have, am, and will continue to contribute something that is worthwhile, that the world.
I would not have even listed my life now as a possibility, being a mostly stay at home mom with post-partum depression talking to my cat during the day was not even on the list.
Here I am, right now – my legs stretched out resting on the ottoman before me, my laptop on my lap and I am chasing dreams, thoughts and fragments of possibilities. My son is sleeping, the cat is curled up adjacent to me and the house smells like freshly baked cake.
It is not a bad life – it is just that postpartum depression has knocked my bearings and while I am not surprised it caught me up, the intensity of it on some days and the complete lack of symptoms on other days has left me confused. I feel alone. Being home with two non-verbal communicators for 8 sometimes 10 hours five days a week leaves you just a little crazy.
I feel no sense of accomplishment. I don’t feel like I really matter in any scale bigger then my tiny sons desire for the “juices of nature” as my father in-law refers to breast milk. On most given days it is hard to believe that my life matters.
And so I quest for purpose – for the capacity to design a life that does matter. A life with intention, that involves both being present right now, but also purposefully striving towards something that I want for my future.Read More
The date sat circled on my calendar. The nanny was hired. The one-size-bigger pants were washed and ready to be worn. The breast pump was unpacked and ready to be hauled around. Yup, it was time to go back to work.
And I refused to accept it. I ignored the calendar. I pretended the nanny was a new friend. I despised those pants sitting in the corner and gave them the stink eye every time I walked by. The pump was just a new baby gadget to add to the growing mound already collected.
And yet, mid-February rolled around just the same. I grudgingly accepted this fact by “pretending” to get ready for work. This meant changing into yoga pants and a nursing top before 3 p.m. Sometimes I put mascara on. A few nights before THE BIG DAY I dreamt the nanny was actually the real life inspiration for ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle’. I had night sweats the baby would think I had abandoned him and grow up with a meth problem. The pit in my stomach grew bigger and my fearful delusions scarier each day.
But then I had to wake to an electronic alarm instead of a crying baby. My biggest job for the day was get presentable to the outside world and go do a job somewhere else, instead of the job I was doing at home. No words can describe the cave-woman uber emotion I felt that first day pulling out of the driveway. There seemed to be a hyper-instinctual draw back into the house. “DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE THAT BABY!” my body screamed. Yet, the further I got from house the more I could breathe. I willed myself to try to remember my work login and focus on how to do the job in front of me instead of the one I’d left behind in someone else’s capable hands.
Once at work those around me indulged and actually seemed to enjoy seeing my thousands of baby pictures. I realized something with a start. I’m interacting with adults… And I like it! I relaxed a little more and set about the day. I tried to ignore the fact my one-size too big pants were too tight. I actually enjoyed myself. Until I realized I had ignored my boobs for too long and I was 2 minutes away from a seriously embarrassing situation. How had I failed to realize caring for my boobs at work would be like caring for another person? It took days before pumping at work was a reasonably timed and brief break in an otherwise normal workday.
The best part of it all? Those first pictures the nanny texted to me, showing a well-adjusted, smiling and happy baby. A baby who had quickly learned that there was another adult he could trust who was safe and helpful. A baby that gave me the biggest, best most melt-my-heart smile when I walked back in the door at the end of the day. He was still my guy and I was still his Mommy. Going back to work was never going to mess with that bond. If anything, I better appreciate the balance I have in my life. I treasure my time at home more, even on the hard days, because I have a chance to also work and get a little perspective away from my first and most important job as Mommy.
Of course, I am working part-time. This perspective would probably be shot to hell if I had to pull out of the driveway five days a week. The cave-woman would definitely be out in full force. And then watch out world!
Of course, never mind within two weeks of returning to work the whole family had a cold that I had brought home. That’s a whole other blog post.Read More
When you were little did you have alphabet refrigerator magnets? While today’s stainless steel appliance craze may have put those letters and all magnets to bed, let’s pay tribute to them today with something similar — vinyl cutout letters.
Vinyl is a durable material that is inexpensive, and gives you a great opportunity to make a lot of different projects. Start out your kids with making cutouts of their favorite letters and decorating them. Who knows, maybe as adults they will be able to make handbags, hats, and fringe necklaces, all from vinyl.
Some of my crafty works:
Another throwback you may remember was the sets of funky shaped scissors that allowed you to make zigzag designs or straight cuts, for instance. They were great for cutting paper, and sometimes worked fairly well with poster stock.
The Cricut machine is a modern tool that looks much like a standard printer. The only difference is that it can cut out shapes out of vinyl, paper, and well over 60 materials in total. It is incredibly popular among scrapbook fanatics, as well as parents and teachers coming up with new and creative arts and crafts to do together.
The Cricut in its various versions is readily available online. I got mine from Amazon, after one day of serious research. I thought at first the machine was a tad too cheap to do good work or be durable. Now, after some time using it, I can say I was definitely wrong. The Cricut does any job you throw at it, provided you don’t feed a material that’s too thick or tough. One recommendation: read these reviews on the Cricut Explore or other vinyl cutting machines at http://maxcnash.com/best-vinyl-cutting-machine/.
When it comes to the Cricut it all relies upon cartridges. These cartridges dictate what the machine can cut out for you. It has an alpha-numeric cartridge that makes cutouts from vinyl for you.
The machine’s precision takes the paltry results, frustration and hand-wrenching work out of hand-cutting letters and numbers. In other words, your family gets to focus on creativity and design rather than on the fundamentals of cutting with scissors.
The second of the two cartridges that the Cricut Explore machines come with will help you create your piece-de-resistance. It is capable of supporting all kinds of cuts that step far outside the realm of simple letters and numbers.
You might like to see how advanced your styles become as you start to learn the ropes of the vinyl cutting machine and what it can do for you. It is a very popular tool in most arts and crafts homes for a reason.
So, you have exhausted making letters and numbers. Maybe it is time for you to move onto other types of projects that are increasingly complex. Take for instance a clear acetate box. If you are a crafter, it is begging for you to add your personal touches to it.
Lucky for you the Cricut printer can cut on adhesive-backed vinyl in many shapes and styles. From a modern and clean look of geometric shapes, layered smartly to create an eye-popping design, to creating cutout bows for shoes, the vinyl cutter is amazing.
It can be difficult to stop looking at ideas. There are many more ideas beyond making bows for shoes, personalizing walls and posters, and decorating boxes. Though, these are all great starter projects when you are just beginning to learn how the cutter functions. Enjoy it and share any ideas you create.Read More