This post is not meant to offend by any means, I am mearly curious and, well, realistic.
I have been following numerous quilting and craft blogs now for over 2 years. The women that write these blogs are amazingly inspirational and creative. However I find it really difficult to believe that these women are able to create and still have a life.
I don't mean that in a bad way but I have been reflecting strongly on my own life in the past few weeks. I would love to do what these women do, creating multiple quilts a month and seemingly have a perfect home, family and social life. But there are a few things that don't add up to me and something has to be falling through the cracks that is not immediately clear to the people on the other side of the screen. I've made a list, if this has already offended you or made you bored you don't have to continue reading but I encourage you to do this.
This is a big one for me. I don't know how these women do it. They all seem to be at home mothers with only one income and their hobby doesn't necessarily bring in anything. Some blogs I have come across do have their own small shops or have advertising on their blogs but that cannot possibly cover the expense. This seems even more baffling when you account for the fact that a lot of the time expensive fabric lines are being used to create quilts that are just for home use. I have no problem admitting that as a graduate student I have like next to nothing extra and my fabrics a lot of the time are Wal-mart or JoAnns on sale.
Am I just missing something? If you add up the expense of the quilt I am currently making out of lower quality materials it is about $50. That is just a small wall hanging. How in the world is it possible to live in a one income house, with small children and do multiple quilts that cost upwards of $100 a pop? To me this is where a large portion of my hobby is confined. I have a small stash of fabrics, mostly stuff I got on sale when the JoAnns near me moved. But that is it, takes up no more than a small set of plastic drawers. I wonder how much some of these women's fabric closets are worth if you were to add it all up for insurance reasons.
This one is also really tough for me to figure out. I am childless for the moment, although Peter and I have been thinking long and hard recently about starting a family and when the right time would be. However, I would say 90% of the blogs I read are written by women with children under the age of 12. How do they devote so much time to crafting without letting some of that get in the way of raising a child. I'm not saying that they are not raising their children or that that they are raising them poorly by any means but I just can't fathom spending that much time behind the machine and raising a small child. Maybe this just comes from inexperience and never having had a child before but it doesn't add up.
Then there is the marriage. While not officially married yet, for all intents and purposes I am married to Peter. I hardly see him at all during the day because of our schedules with classes and such despite living together. When he is home I want to hang out with him and spend time with him as much as possible. I am sure this is not much different for some of these women but for some reason it seems like every free moment is spent behind the machine or at the iron.
Finally there is the social relationships. I know in my life these have been lacking and fall through the cracks. I can't fathom, unless you are sitting there quilting with your friend, assuming your friend has the same affinity for the hobby you do, you cannot be physically capable of sewing, maintaining your family relationships and you other friendships as well. There is not enough time in the day to nurture all these relationships along with a hobby that swallows all of your time, there just isn't.
3. Constant Creativity
How do these women be constantly creative without getting burnt out? I have seen this on some blogs but within a few weeks (or less) they are right back at being perfect and creative. This is something I struggle with a lot personally because while I might have the intent of going and sewing I cannot muster the amount of creative power this takes sometimes. This usually results in months and months without ever touching the sewing machine. It is not for lack of ideas a lot of the time, it is for lack of creating will.
4. House and Home
I admit it, my apartment is a mess and has never been and will likely never be perfect. For me it is a unrealistic goal to keep it perfectly tidy all the time. I live here, therefore it will not be picture perfect all the time, I don't think I would be happy if it was. With that said I am no slob either, you will not see me on the next episode of horders. A lot of blogs do give sneak peeks at the craft rooms after a particularly creative episode stuck it. But that is it. There are other blogs I follow that are Martha Stewart perfect all the time. It is just not realistic and you cannot tell me these women with children under the age of 5 have picture perfect homes 100% of the time. They why are they afraid to show it? Do they think that people would think any less of them if there was a pile of toys in the corner of a hamper full of clothes in plain view. I know I wouldn't and would be completely refreshed by someone actually showing the truth of the situation for once.
I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. I am not Super Woman or Martha Stewart. I have days where I where I sit in front of the t.v. and do nothing including cleaning, creating, being in a relationship. So that brings me to my final and probably most important question...
While this is a hobby that is fulfilling, what else are these women missing in their lives. Dreams never chased after? Places never visited? People never met? Things left unaccomplished?
Are we slaves to this because the blog universe says we have to create all the time and be 100% perfect while doing it? What are we willing to sacrifice to let others think that we are everything and then some?
These are all just questions and this is a long drawn out blog to get to the point I just made. I will continue blogging not for the benefit of others, because I am sure no one actually reads this, but for myself so I can track my progress and moments where I too am creative. I wish everyone could make a pledge similar to this, blog for you, blog because it helps, blog because it chronicles, blog because there is more to life than what others want you to believe there is.