It seems to me that there are two different ways that we moms recharge ourselves. Some of us enjoy relaxing at home, often by doing crafts, baking, or maybe doing extracurricular projects with our kids at home. Others of us like to get out of the house to fully relax. Those of us who fall into the second category have a harder time ignoring all of the things at home that we “should” be doing, and we therefore like to take our kids out on the town in order to unwind and have fun with our kiddos.
While I love having people over for dinner and I think I do generally enjoy our home with my family, I am definitely that second type of mom. To fully unwind, I need to go to the park or the swimming pool. It is in those places that my mind clears and I feel like I can unwind and just enjoy my kids, sans distractions. I especially enjoy being outdoors with my kids.
Since I’m the “Type 2” mom, being up to my eyeballs in 4H projects can be really challenging for me. I am happy to report that another year of 4H has come and gone and I have survived!
Yes, I know. There are many of you out there who feel that 4H is the highlight of the year. I have met you. You have told me all about it, with a glowing countenance. You must be the type of mom who can let your hair down while glitter is scattered across your tables and countertops. I am not that person.
Don’t get me wrong. 4H has many benefits. That’s why I have hung in there for three years and I will no doubt sign the kids up for it again next year. But you won’t hear me gushing about it. Rather, I will be the frenzied lady fanning myself over in the corner, trying to recover.
One thing I love about 4H is that the kids get to choose their own projects and develop their own interests. This year I let my 10-year-old talk me into doing three projects—photography, fine arts, and gift wrapping. My eight-year-old tackled two projects—basic crafts and cake decorating.
My sister-in-law won Grand Champion in gift wrapping when she participated in 4H as a kid. She is the epitome of someone who likes to relax at home, doing projects with her kids. If her kids are going stir-crazy, she turns to Pinterest. If my kids are going stir-crazy, I load them up in the car and we head to the Children’s Museum. That’s the difference right there, folks.
Since Aunt Megan is so great at crafts and she can tie bows like a boss, we asked her to come over and help my daughter with her bow-tying skills. I am grateful for the many adults in my kids’ lives who can inspire them to learn things I feel completely deficient in!
Despite my crafts-deficiency and my intolerance for half-completed projects being scattered all over the place, I do have a confession to make.
At one point, I took a few hours to work with my oldest daughter who was trying to figure out a Cricut machine to cut letters for her 4H poster. We learned how to add fonts to the machine to create some awesome letters. It was a little addictive, and I found myself enjoying the process and actually smiling, which is very uncharacteristic of me, when working on craft projects in my own home.
So, maybe there’s hope for people like me. Maybe there can be times when I can let my hair down while doing crafts with my kids, too, even though that’s not generally my nature.
Craft projects are so good for kids. These projects cultivate creativity. And it’s so good for kids to learn to finish a process and strive for excellence in their endeavors.
In the end, when the projects are done, the mess will be cleaned up. Everything will be okay. I can drop the projects off at the 4H fairgrounds, take the kids to the pool, and finally relax again!
By the way, my daughter won Champion in gift wrapping. Thanks to my sister-in-law: a mom who truly enjoys doing crafts at home with kids.
Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Charity Klicka; all other images by Amy Koons.