I complained to our friend about how I want(ed) to actually crochet stuff that was useful to my family (like sweaters, and not just for Bernerbee--who is, in fact, the only one to ever get a crocheted sweater from me), bake and cook and clean so that the house is perfectly organized and smells like fresh-baked cookies all the time, and have a garden (and compost pile too) that I could pick the fresh produce from and can it or preserve it so we could enjoy it all year long and save money in the process.
Well, I told her, I am just not that kind of stay-at-home mom (or person for that matter, as my life wasn't like that before I was a sahm). I'm just not cut out like that, I guess.
I cannot bake (some of you know the story of the "corn muffins" that were actually cupcakes...I haven't mixed up baking soda and baking powder since!). I can barely cook dinner that turns out the way it's supposed to. Our apartment is in a constant state of mess. And forget sweaters...there's no need for them in Houston (Thank goodness! Something to cross off the list so I don't feel as bad!).
And our friend seemed like she understood and hated that feeling too. We commiserated, and I felt a wonderful connection getting all of that off my chest.
So for her birthday last weekend, I gave her a jar of delicious, freshly hand-picked and processed in my home, by me and my little Chupie, Strawberry Honey Jam. And in the card that I gave her with it (also hand-made--I was getting brave!) I told her that I hoped she thought nothing of my gift. She should enjoy it, and that was all. Don't think about that I made it. Don't think about the time I spent on it. Please don't feel bad about this gift, I begged.
And luckily she said she loved this type of gift and wished she had the time to make this sort of thing. But I looked around at her birthday party, and sort of laughed in my head. She is a full-time working mommy of two kiddos. And for her OWN birthday she made at least (I didn't take an accurate tally, but remember some of them sitting around in different places in the house) 4 delicious loaves of homemade bread. Not just quick bread; no, no, bread that has to rise and takes serious time. At the last party we had at her house, (she has a lot of get-togethers--I wish I could be such a good hostess!) she had homemade creme fraiche and scones! This lady does some serious "DIY" in the kitchen, and is good at it! (I'm better at, "I followed the directions perfectly on the box...and it still came out gross...").
So I'm not sure how to feel about all of this. Here's the thing: I was proud of my jam. It was good. I worked hard on it. I wanted to share it because I thought she would like it (it's her kind of thing to have no-artificial-anything food). But at the same time, knowing how I (and supposedly, this friend) feel about other people when they share their homemade deliciousness or crafty-works-of-art, I felt guilty giving it to her. I wonder if this is how those perfect sahms feel when they give stuff that they've made--like they are proud of it, and that is all. Not meaning to spread guilt, just happiness, with a little ego boost ("Oh my god! You made this?!").
I haven't been able to clear my mind of this... Maybe making a shining little blog post about how easy it is to make the jam will help... Coming soon to a blog near you.... Strawberry Honey Jam, Fresh Picked and Homemade. :)