Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Lesson in Mommyhood: Christmas Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

I've put a lot of pressure on myself lately. I told myself that because we'd be home by ourselves this Christmas that I'd soak it up and do things I {thought} I love to do, like sew while watching The Sound of Music. We're tight on money for gifts this year, so I thought I'd be productive and penny-pinch and make Isaac a fun little alphabet blanket with my {new-ish} sewing machine {that I got last year for Christmas from my mom and haven't had time to touch!} with the fabric I got last summer that I {gasp!} haven't had time to do anything with.

I set out at 9pm on Monday night to sew this lovely whimsical turquoise blue and brown alphabet blanket. I was excited, envisioning me sitting with him in the future and practicing our A-B-C's together. Lovely mommy images came to mind of a cuddly and cozy preschooler memorizing his letters...

And then about half way through cutting out each "whimsical" letter free-hand and cursing in my mind at how long it was taking, I kept repeating to myself "almost done, almost done, almost done," and was thrilled when that darn Z was finally cut out. The next step was to sew the letters "whimsically" onto the first piece of fabric for the one side. Ha. Good luck! I kept messing up the stitching {this of course was after all that time Alan spent setting up and bobbing the bobbin (is that the right lingo??) for nearly 40min. I finally decided forget the A-B-C theme and just make the blanket already-plain and simple.

You'd think that's where it gets easy, but unfortunately, I, in my creative 12:00am mood, decided to add the quilted diagonal stitches to liven up my boring blanket. Let's just say that at midnight, lines aren't exactly straight no matter how much you try! They didn't look too bad, but upon close inspection, one would think this was a Jr. High Home-Ec project. At 2:30am I gave up and went to bed for the night after my bobbin got jammed.

{TANGENT: I didn't know there was an eclipse last night!!! Or that going to bed so late, I could have actually witnessed it!!!}

Low and behold, I had enough gumption tonight at 11pm to continue on my crazy task at hand: the blanket. I picked up where I left off last night, fixed the bobbin and finished the diagonal stitching. Then for the edging...well, it's got edges, but...I wouldn't say they are what most blankets look like. I wanted to put satin ribbon on the edges like the popular taggies. And it worked! Until I realized {now at 1am} that I was out of ribbon and can't afford to go buy more for one edge of this darn "quilt".

As I sat there, surrounded by thread, scissors, scraps of fabric, wanting to cry, and hoping that the pins I lost off the table don't get found by the kid later, and I realized that I had put this pressure on myself to make this awesome home-made gift in time for Christmas, and for that reason rushed it, and thus ended up with a somewhat-usable blanket with one edge left to be finished.

So why did I push myself these last couple of nights till 2am? I guess as Isaac's first real Christmas {let's face it, this one he'll have more fun with than last year when he was 2 weeks old} and I want to make it special. His cake flopped for his birthday, and we're without family for Christmas, so as a Mommy, I want to make it special and I thought something home-made would be special for him.

The blanket {might} get finished {someday}, but for the time being, it'll wait till either another Christmas or another kid. I don't have the time, money, or patience to finish it in time for Christmas this year. It was a good effort, and my heart was in it, but it just didn't come together like I liked. But at least now that I've come to admit that it won't be a gift this year, I can spend the next couple of days till Christmas not worried about getting it done and just enjoy the last bits of this, my favorite season.

Being a mom is about making and learning from mistakes, that I've learned already this year, but I thought majority of them would have been with parenting than with sewing and cake decorating ;)


  1. So sorry that you were disappointed. Honestly, you could put the blanket in a box, and he'd love it, he'd play with the box more than anything at the age he is now. I know I don't know you well but I see your eyes light up when you talk about your son so know you are an awesome mom~he'll remember the memories of your Christmas traditions, not a blanket that may had a few stiches out of place, and who knows he may grown to love it because it represents how as humans we are not perfect!
    Merry Christmas:)

  2. *Hugs* I have been there! Crying over a sewing project at 2am, yes right there. And your cake was not a flop! It looked great, tasted great and your little man loved digging into it!

  3. <3 Thanks ladies, that means a lot :). I started picking up all the sewing stuff and was about to throw in the towel, but then decided I HAD to sew at least ONE thing, so I sewed a new little phone cover for my phone to match my purse that my mom made me, so my little Christmas gift to myself was to 1. Complete at least one sewing project before the new year (even if it did only take 30min) and 2. Phone Cover=Me Gift :). I'll post a pic later!