Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Invisible mama rant + a little quilt talk

Do you ever feel invisible? In the mama gig I'm so very, very happy that the boy gets to be the focus of attention. I don't enjoy attention, really, and he's adorable. I also don't, however, like the whole dismissal that happens when people (too many people lately) decide I'm just a mom and am therefor, evidently, without thoughts, feelings or any other non-robotic-like capabilities. Yes, I feel a bit mechanical when washing the booster seat tray for the eighth time in a given day but I also know about the world, I have a few decades worth of life I've navigated through, I have stories to tell (even non-kid ones) just like the next guy and I'm doing big stuff for the world. I'd argue that what I'm doing is critical. This time I devote to raising another little soul who cares about others and the environment, who reads (most adults don't now, you know) and who thinks things through and who finds joy and compassion in the world... This time and the energy and our days are the most important thing I can and should do right now.

So I'm really not invisible. I'm doing something that matters. And while I'm doing it I'm also more than the sum total of the parts of my days.

Other mamas are like this too.

Phew. I feel better now. I also make things which strikes some people as being cute but strikes me as being loads better than wasting four hours a day in front of the television. It's a great way to help our one-income family because gorgeous (I try) handmade gifts cost a lot of time and not as much money (usually). This little doll-size (20" x 23") quilt was so much fun to make. It's not quite as wonky in person as it looks in the photos; usually it's the other way around with me so I'm pleased! I've never really made a "non-traditional" quilt before, whatever that might mean, and I had so much fun cutting fabric and piecing it together. People either seem to love it or really not dig this little quilt. It's definitely inspired by quilts I've been seeing recently (I've been working on a little piece about Laughing Duck's quilts for the SMS blog and I always love all of the quilting done at the Pink Chalk Studio). I used to stitch in the ditch for the quilting but I tried something new this time (it weakens the seams to stitch in the ditch and I want a lot of dolls to cozy up under this quilt). The Alexander Henry fabric was a touch of something way outside my norm too and I like it.

I'm a bit feisty today, evidently. By the by I'm surrounded by loved ones who 100% believe all of the mama-related stuff I wrote, so there's that. It's just that life involves a lot of people and sometimes I wish they were smarter. And nicer.


Katie Jean said...

Yes, I am a mama like this too! I'm so glad you took the time to write that. I often feel like that after I've picked up the books in our living room for the 20th time each day!

Love your quilt too.

vintagechica said...

You are not alone in your thoughts...know that for sure. And wanted to say that anyone who creates such lovely quilts as the one you photographed, is more than a mom! You are an atrist as well. Blessings friend.

Amy said...

I TOTALLY hear you. Just had a sit-down last night with the hub about how I feel like a hamster on a wheel and that while I don't work outside the home right now, I also don't feel it is my job to pick up after four other people. Argh! Just a little pitching in would mean a lot. I like to think I'm doing the same important job as you, but there are definitely times I have an overarching sense of futility such as when I'm doing a repetitive task as you mentioned. It's like that move Groundhog Day with the dishwasher around here. Clear table. Load dishwasher. Run. Empty. Repeat.
Good thing there is crafting to keep us sane!
Great quilt!

Anonymous said...

thank u too! i needed to read your thots tonite. hubby is away teaching for 2 months and home alone with 2 kiddies. what we do is important and very real work - every moment of every day. i feel better seeing you quilt and write and raise kids. keep on keepin' on! Sarah in North Bay, Ontario

Beth said...

It is such a shame that we aren't given the credit we are due as stay at home mamas. We ARE doing the most important job in the world and we do it 27/7 365 days a years for years and years - no pay, no holiday leave, no sick leave, no penalty rates.... but then you look down at your little ones as they are playing and you KNOW what we do is worth it. Your blog is just lovely, as is your name!

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