Just Buy the Play Dough

We live in the Pinterest-age. I would even venture to say that’s an outdated analogy. We likely live in more of a TikTok age in 2021. Even us Millennial moms have packed our Pinterest boards and Facebook memes and headed for TikTok. Here we are met with decrees from Gen-Z to drop our skinny jeans (never) and adopt a middle part (gasp).

Well, we are are here any way, our ankles with the fresh red impression from our tightest skinny jeans and our hair falls into our eyes from our side parts. Here being our TikTok “For You” pages. We are bombarded by breakfast recipes, sensory play bins, Target room makeovers, and on and on. Are we sick of the constant messaging to constantly be doing and creating? Moms are particularly strained due to the combination of everyday parenting and COVID-19. We want rest, we want to feel good about our motherhood, and we want connection. We don’t want to do anything else! I take that back, we want to lay on a massage table, we want to sit in a hot tub, we want a facial, and we want to eat our favorite dessert. That might not be available to us, so we will take a bathroom break and have it actually be a break. We will order take out instead of planning and cooking another meal. We will cut every single corner we can.

I invite you to cut the corners. Beautiful things happen when we cut the corners. Cutting those corners gives us a little extra. At the candy store I worked at in high school, I remember cutting out seasonal shapes, think Easter bunnies, shamrocks, and reindeer from a gorgeous sheet of rice crispy treats. However, there would always be extra crispy treat left over. We could mold the remaining pieces together and get maybe one or two extra shapes to dip in white chocolate and serve it to our customers. OR we could collect the extra bits, dip it into chocolate and enjoy a sweet treat for ourselves. When my best friend and I worked together, we always collected the corners and treated ourselves.

Today, I gave myself a gift and I cut the corner. Before I fell asleep last night I was thinking of things I could do with my daughter. Play dough immediately came to mind. I made endless batches as a preschool teacher. Certainly I could whip up a batch tomorrow, I could even dye it green and add mint. But then I started to think about how that would take time, it could go awry, and I would get too emotionally invested. This morning I woke up and had already ditched my “Pinterest perfect” idea and decided we would just do our usual activities. However, during nap I snuck out to Target to get some things. As I strolled the aisles, I stumbled upon Play-Doh! I couldn’t believe it, not because I didn’t know Target carried it, but because I have never noticed it. Here it was right in front of me urging me to cut the corner. I pleasantly plucked a pack and added it to the growing pile in my arms.

As a creative person I find it hard to not create what I want. I want to put my own touch on it. I want to feel good about the creative process. I also want to feel like I am a good mom for going above and beyond for my baby. However, today I realized that there’s nothing wrong with just buying the things that we may otherwise feel called to create. Sometimes we have to cut the corner and take the gift of the time you get back when you don’t have to do something extra. So buy the decorations from Party City, pay someone to embroider the clothing item, order the gift from Etsy, and buy the play dough!

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