diy felt board and (spastic) musings on motherhood

A few months back I made this felt board for my son. Nothing too fancy, just framed white felt and lots of cut colorful felt shapes. The frame is some cheapo one I picked up from Ikea. I didn’t tack the felt to the cardboard backing but I highly recommend doing so (either glue of your choice or staples being careful not to go all the way through the cardboard) or your child might have more fun continually pulling out the felt backing than playing with the shapes (as my son did).

This is a simple, fun and fast project that is perfect for pulling out on rainy days or for use during those transitions where you need your child occupied (dinner prep anyone?).

Lately the weather here has been uncharacteristically gorgeous for the NW and we’ve spent oodles of time outdoors either at the park, on walks, bike rides and pulling up buckets and buckets of weeds. I’ve done no planting (yet) this season, but our planter boxes look dang good. Now to tackle our yard strip, a particularly sore spot for the neighborhood. I’m somewhat positive that our 800 year-old neighbors who still manage to keep their lawn meticulous will throw a party once we tackle that beast.

I’ve been taking lots of “indoor” activities outside like painting for one (sorry about the porch Hon) and we’ve spent many afternoons soaking wet thanks to our “water table” which is just a hand-me-down tempered glass patio table that I top with bowls and miscellaneous kitchen utensils, rocks and the like. I’ll pretend it hasn’t affected our water bill. These photos are from last year (he’s so little!), but the idea is the same.

We’ve also been really into bug collecting, which reminds me that this slug

currently sitting on my kitchen windowsill is in desperate need of fresh air.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Speaking of things sluggish, I haven’t been blogging much lately, clearly, and I can’t say why exactly. But the novel I’m about to explode upon you might be able to shed some light on that. I don’t think I’ve wanted to post about the above stuff, without acknowledging the stuff that lies below.

I love being a stay-at-home mama. Adore it. A-d-o-r-e i-t. But…

sometimes it’s lonely. Okay, often times it’s lonely. And the repetition of ordinary household tasks: laundry, dish washing (have I ever mentioned that we don’t own a dishwasher?), grocery shopping and the like can become tedious, bordering on depressing at times. Lately I’ve been feeling incredibly antsy, flitting from feeling content in the ordinary, to just plain bored.

Then I look at how lucky I am to have the luxury to be able to choose between work and full-time mothering that I feel racked with guilt at the brattiness of it. Some days I have the patience of a saint and allow my son to bag every piece of produce and other days, well, I just want to buy the fucking lettuce. And then there are those glorious, pure-happiness moments, which I experience many times per day of being able to just “be” with my son, and move about our day at his pace. And in truth, when I can stop to enjoy the moment and not judge myself, it’s bliss. I feel blessed.

That said, the past month I’ve spent my evenings re-watching the Sex in the City series/movies (as evidenced by my obsessive interest in designer accessories c/o of my Pinterest boards); watching those four self-sufficient working women awakened something in me…a desire for something…more. And I’m not just referring to Jimmy Choos.

Every now and again I have the thought that I could go back to work part-time (pretending that finding a super flexible, super part-time job in this economy would be cake), but I don’t want to give up time with my son, for a variety of reasons, one being the fear that when looking back, I’d regret that choice. Or perhaps when the time comes where I’d like to seriously re-kindle my career, I’d regret not keeping one foot in the door. This cycle of thoughts keeps plaguing me these days. I’m not even sure a job is the answer. Re-reading my words here, it all seems…whiny. I acknowledge my life is not wrought with seriousness. Thankfully.

No wait. I don’t want to be apologetic about my feelings. It is hard work serving others 24/7 and finding enough balance to care for yourself. Everyone deserves to feel well-rounded, in whatever capacity that means for the individual, myself included.

So there you have it. The tangled mess that is my mind these days. The modern day Betty Draper Syndrome. I won’t mention the ringing (banging, clanging, pounding) biological clock either. Oh wait I just did. Oh, and I won’t pay much attention to the food bender I’ve been on as well (and the many pounds that I’ve packed on), because I’d like to caulk it up to boredom and indecision, move on from that and concentrate on not using food as therapy from here on out. I’ll use you instead. Smirk.

So my question for the fellow SAHM’s out there, or scratch that, working mothers included,

how do you balance your life as a mother without losing sight of your goals, desires and aspirations as a woman? Or for those as clueless to those pesky goals and aspirations as I am, how do you balance your time? What roles or nourishing activities do you partake in, or you’d like to partake in, that keeps you feeling like the witty, sociable, intelligent, in-the-know and sexy woman that you are?

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