For a couple of years I've been saving every card we send out (we send out a lot of cards...) in a little box to assemble into a little scrapbook someday. Nothing fancy or complicated. Just an album of when we sent the card and the inclusion of the matching address label and envelope seal if I saved them (you know I love matchy matchy matchy).
Finally, after 18 months of, "I'm GOING to do it this weekend!" I sat down and started it earlier this week. I got out all my little punches (wow, I had no idea I had so many) and started to plan out pages. When I get crafty, I like to go all out. I like to print captions and text in a relevant font and punch the paper out in fun shapes-- I like to really make something impressive. Most of the time I don't cut the paper so the text is perfectly centered or I end up punching something wrong and am ready to throw everything out before I've even glued the first thing down. This is what happens when type-A people with control issues try to relax.
When I got everything out Skipp said, "Why don't you just hand write the tags and captions this time?" and I did. I didn't get out the laptop and search for the perfect fonts, I didn't even really put that much effort into choosing markers or my penmanship. I just wrote them out and drew little doodads on everything. I also had the greatest time ever. I felt like a kid just playing with paper and markers (and our memories).
The scrapbook looks amazing. I drew a little title page and showed Skipp my progress and he loves it too. So fun seeing our very first Christmas card, our Easter cards and Halloween cards with Bitsy and Bandit. Remembering old vacations after seeing the cards we sent that year. We've sent a heck of a lot of cards over the past (nearly) four years.
What I'm getting at in this long (rather meandering) post is that the pressure I feel about making my scrapbooks perfect is the same pressure I've noticed a lot of people talk about when they visit Pinterest. It's the same pressure I hear a lot of mothers complaining about. The pressure to be "perfect" and do everything perfectly at all times. I personally like my scrapbooks to be "perfect" because I think they represent me and our life and I want a "perfect" representation for posterity.
Having said that, I realized this week all that pressure is pressure we put on ourselves. I've always thought it was kind of weird when people say Pinterest gives them anxiety and they are worried about a party for their children less than Pinterest-worthy. I think that's kind of ridiculous. Who cares what your party looks like on film? Isn't it for your baby, friends and family? No one is judging the level of creativity and effort you put in. Maybe I'm just naive as I don't yet have our child but I just don't think anyone in my family would care if my kid's first birthday party was in my backyard and featured a Costco cake and Party City balloons with nothing else.
I hear the same thing commonly when chatting with mothers. "The pressures to be Super Mom are SO HIGH. I just can't do it all." Maybe it's because I'm an only child, but I can't imagine there is some secret competition between moms to be the better mother and somehow provide more for your child than someone else could. I'm super excited to try and breastfeed. I think it will be so special and great if I'm able to, but you know what? My mother never breastfed me. It wasn't because her supply suddenly dried up or because she had some medical issue either. She just wasn't interested....and that's ok. I don't think she was a bad mother. She wanted the best for me always and did everything she could to make sure I had a happy childhood. I'm so grateful to her for that. I don't think she ever felt subpar as a person because she wasn't really into breastfeeding.
Maybe we should all just put the fonts and printers away and have some good old-fashioned fun with paper and markers. Realize that our biggest pressures are not from the world, but from within. I don't think I'll ever bother making a "perfect" scrapbook ever again....and that's just fine by me. Won't you join me?