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Trying to overcome my Easter anxiety
Our Peeps houses - photo by Carmen Rasmusen Herbert
I have always wanted to be a creative mom.

But it doesn't come easy for me. Maybe its because Ive had lots of littles in a short amount of time. Or it could be that Im inherently lazy, and just going through the basics of the day is sometimes exhausting enough.

Whatever the reason is, I have tried and prayed and cried many times about not being like her the creative mom. The mom who doesnt have to look on Pinterest for ideas. Shes the mom who invented Pinterest. She plans a new craft for every day of the week and has a photo shoot set up for every milestone in her childs life: birth, one month, two months, three months, up to 12 months, first birthday, Easter shoots, Valentines shoots, first day of school shoots, Christmas shoots, Thanksgiving shoots, Halloween shoots, best friend shoots, you name it.

We get a family picture once a year. The end. Oh, and I have a thousand selfies of my children on my iPhone that one day I may get around to transferring to my computer. Chatbooks? Yeah, right. Maybe next decade.

But the thing is, I really, really wish I was that mom. In fact, I feel an incredible amount of guilt when I walk into, say, my sisters home and see posters hanging in the kitchen for the daily morning schedule, which includes practicing a musical instrument, scripture study, individual and family prayer, and room tidying. My morning schedule includes getting out of bed. I may or may not get dressed.

Some moms do amazing crafts with their children that coordinate with a color or letter of the day theyve been learning about. Once a month I have a box of creative crafts shipped to my house that my children put together on their own.

So why this year for Easter I thought Id tackle the Holy Week ideas posted by my favorite girls on Mercy Rivers website is beyond me. All I can think is that Im pregnant and not thinking clearly.

It sounded like a great, beautiful, inspiring way to teach my children about why we celebrate Easter. Each day has a song, scripture and activity to go along with what the Savior did on his last week on earth. I missed Palm Sunday, so I decided to go all-out for the Monday nights family religious gathering.

I went to the store and bought brightly colored Peeps and graham crackers and Cadbury eggs, thinking I could incorporate them into the scene at the temple when Jesus overthrows the tables with the money changers. I had my husband go into the basement and get an old folding table on which we placed stuffed animals and loose change. After watching the video Jesus Cleanses the Temple, we took turns acting like Jesus and turning over the table while the others pretended to be bartering for the stuffed teddy bears.

It went over really well, except that two of my three were wearing swim goggles during the reenactment and my youngest refused to go to sleep without his fluorescent green Peep that he got oddly attached to during the process.

The next day was supposed to be Teaching Tuesday where each family member picks a parable Jesus taught and retells it to the family. And I completely forgot. It wasnt even like I was too tired and bailed on the activity, or remembered first thing in the morning and then as the day wore on, it slipped my mind. It didnt even cross my mind.

As I lay in bed that night, thinking once again about how I failed at creating this beautiful, memorable week, a thought suddenly crossed my mind: Who are you trying to prove yourself to? I stopped my self-bullying and pondered on that question instead. Who indeed? My friends at Mercy River? My amazingly scheduled sister? My small social media following on Facebook and Instagram? Really, who?

I know I talk/write a lot about motherhood and not comparing yourself, and being proud of who you are. But Im embarrassed to admit that Ive been, well, not so great at taking my own advice. I have been comparing like crazy lately, and really, why? We can still have a beautiful, memorable Easter just by reading the story straight from the Bible.

I remember hearing the song, Gethsemane from the Stories of Jesus CD for the first time and not being able to stop the tears. It is so moving in its simplicity. For me, music always has a way of speaking to me. That is where my creativity comes to life. Through notes and words and instruments.

So maybe doing elaborate Easter activities is not for me this year, anyway. But I am OK with just singing my children a song instead. Celebrating holidays, especially this one, should not be a competition. I dont know why Ive made it out to be one. In fact, nothing about motherhood should be a competition.

Take that advice, Carmen.
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