Crestfallen

Thursday night I had to sew the crest on my son’s jumper. In doing so, I broke five needles and most probably my spirit. I mean how can you break needles? Am I the only person in the planet who has broken a needle? Cheap, lousy needles. Ninety exhausting minutes I spent on that simple task, sewing a crest on the jumper. I shudder. Why hadn’t I listened in Home Economics class? Simply, all I remember from the sewing room in school was the ten minutes at the end of class the teacher made us pick pins up off of the hardest, roughest, carpet two knees have ever knelt on. If only I had remembered that magnet weekly.

Where is this going? Oh yes, the crest. There is a generation of women who would tut at my sewing skills and I assure you they were all present (in my head) when I was sewing on that jumper. They’re Italian mammas, Irish mother-in-laws, Polish aunties (aren’t I cosmopolitan?) Jay, look at the paw on her sticking through the needle. Is that how you thread these days? She’ll be there ’til tomorrow. It’s supposed to be flat on the jumper not crumply. They hang around, this symphony of nags in my head, when I’m about to venture a new domestic task that I know I’m not all so good at, criticizing my every move.

Here’s my answer to my symphony of nags. Who cares? Why didn’t I just give it to someone expert at this so that I could after a long day of looking after children and cleaning a house just sit down and pour myself a glass of wine? Seriously. Beating myself up about a crest? And I know I’m not alone in this because everyday, every time I see a friend trying to wrestle with a cranky toddler or present a child with her lopsided attempt at cookies, I think really, are you judging your domestic abilities again? There you are (for example), all PHD-ed up berating yourself because you can’t remember the second verse of Jack and Jill. Something, something, balsamic vinegar and brown paper.

So sisters, if you’re doing it yourself, try not to judge your performance on impossible standards that were set in a different time, mood, in someone’s elses’ lifetime most likely. Just put the jumper in the bag and pay the lovely person in the shop to do it for you and concentrate on reminding yourself of all your potential, of all you have achieved, that you are not the sum of your domestic abilities. Phew. And for the love of God, don’t ever buy cheap needles.

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