How I Fail as a Mother

We all have moments that take the stuffing out of us and make us question our worth. When in full command of rational thinking these are moments that build character. Occasionally an experience requires distance to reduce the sting so you can learn from the mistake. Other times all you can do is acknowledge and wallow in your failure.

The last few days have found me staring failure in the face as I attempted to create darts and hem a dress for my daughter. The dress, issued by the school to every girl in the symphony, needs to fit many sizes of bodies so it fits no one well.

My petite size daughter with her generous bustline was issued a dress that fits exactly that one part of her body. Everywhere else the dress needs to be taken in and up and every other damn thing.

I have always failed at being a “crafty mom”. I can’t sew, knit, crochet, quilt, draw, paint, sculpt or do any craft of any kind. My talent is strictly limited to coloring in coloring books and using a Spirograph. I have no imagination for Halloween costumes, or gift making or any other clever, useful, transformative skill.

The acres of black polyester made my headache with anxiety. I could taste the copper tang of failure in my mouth as I spent thirty minutes threading the damn sewing machine I bought in desperation at Target just before closing on Monday night. I then read the directions four times before I gave up for the night with nary a stitch stitched.

Last night I fully embraced my imminent failure, and armed with double stick tape, StitchWitchery, and safety pins I attacked the dress. I spent 90 minutes measuring, pinning, re-measuring, re-pinning, taping and ironing.

It is done. I have fulfilled my maternal duty. The dress looks lumpy and a little lopsided but it’s short enough and she won’t trip while carrying her double-bass.

Bring on the next failure.

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