Confessions of Craft Anxiety

I have issues.

Mainly with craft projects.

And it became abundantly clear to me at Sophie’s Back to School Night.

So there we were – Bryan and me – sitting at the little preschool table and chairs where we were instructed to complete craft. All the parents were given a blank sheet of 10” x 10” white scrapbook paper and told to create a place mat that would be given to our respective children for use during snack and lunch. So armed with a variety of stickers and Crayola markers, the parents started creating their masterpieces.

Let me make something clear. I LOVE this idea and my issues have absolutely nothing to do with the activity, the teachers, or the craft itself. My issues have to do with my crafting abilities and attitudes.

For me, crafting is not always a relaxing endeavor. It takes some time. I have to completely think about the idea; what I’m going to do; what colors I’d use; the appropriate stickers; and then I usually have some sort of idea what it will look like in the end before I can even begin the crafting itself. So with respect to the place mat, I’m thinking of a mosaic sticker border around the edges with Sophie’s name and some drawing on the inside. Okay, I think I’m ready to start.

So Bryan and I sit down to start Sophie’s place mat and then … it happens. Bryan begins placing stickers randomly around the sheet –not in the way I envisioned it. The stickers are not bordered, not touching, not a mosaic patter whatsoever!

I start to feel anxious. Oh my God, what’s he doing? What’s he going to do next?! Stay calm, I tell myself. This is a preschool craft. It’s not surgery.


I take a few deep breaths. I don’t say anything to Bryan and calmly allow him to finish off with the stickers, when what I really want is to rip them from his hands and start over. Once the sticker placement was completed, Bryan handed it to me to draw and write her name. I had the idea we would write a little note and our names on the back. Bryan wrote it on the front. Not what I would have done, but he’s the parent too and should have a say in his daughter’s place mat. All in all, it turned out lovely and I know Sophie is quite proud of her keepsake.

The place mat aside, I realized that I have major issues when it comes to these types of activities. I can’t believe how stressed I got about a preschool place mat! And this not just one incident. My foray into cake decorating probably caused more stress than relaxation since I was constantly worried about how the finished product would look. Clearly, I’m not one of those personality types that find the joy and relaxation in getting in the process.

So unless I want to pop a Xanax before every school activity and craft attempt, I am working with my new sense of self-awareness. I’m trying very hard to be better because I certainly don’t want Sophie to have these neuroses. And honestly, I don’t want it either. So with this week’s family collage project on the table, I vow it will be creative and not stressful. Sophie will pick all the photos herself, even if I don’t agree with the images chosen. It’s a new school year and new challenge for me. Let the crafts begin!

Deep in place mat concentration. (Looking at this, I should worry more about my roots!)
By the time this photo was taken, I’m feeling better about the activity.
The Final Product

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