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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pillow Talk

The internet (aka Pinterest) is so dangerous! I can get some really good decorating and craft ideas one minute and the next, I'm spinning in a cycle of self-pity, crying about how I don't DO anything. Of course, this is crazy. I mean, how many toilet paper roll hacks do I need to know about? But, I think at the core of my emotional landslide is that I remember doing (and enjoying) creative projects and I wonder what happened? Why don't I feel the urge to create like I used to?

I know that motherhood has made it hard to find the time to engage in things like crafting, scrapbooking, and painting - the kids' partially finished baby books are guilt-filledreminders that I did try at one point. Time just slips by and the crazy cycle of moving around totes, full of stamps, paints, and pictures, continues.

Of course, being a mom has given me ample opportunity to do various crafts with the kids (insert popsicle stick ornaments here). The difference is that the kids and I are usually at a place, such as a fair or the library, where the craft is provided for us. It's not me setting up the creative outlet for the kids (or myself); I haven't been the one to initiate the majority of projects that they do and I've been trying to figure out why and how to get that desire back.

The holidays delivered a timely opportunity for me (and others) to give the kids some arts and crafts gifts for the holidays. I was hoping that by helping them with these projects, my creative spirit would get moving again and I could come up with future ideas for them. When I started to work on the projects, I realized, almost immediately that I probably stopped trying different creative outlets out of fear that it wouldn't be right, it wouldn't be perfect. And, I don't recall feeling that way about projects until I became a mom, and that is just so crazy to me. I don't ever want to feel like that and I don't want anyone, especially my daughter to feel like that either.

So, I changed my perspective rather quickly and focused on the time I was spending with the kids and not what the product was going to be. One of our first products was making Crayola markers with Emoji stamp tips. It was difficult at first for me to figure out the color ink combinations; Anna thought all the colors were pretty (even if it looked like all the same shade of purple to me). In the end, this was a successful experiment and even better, we were able to give 8 markers to her ever-texting, teenage cousin! This experience led me to color this cute owl tote bag for a co-worker to use at the hospital.


Up next? Killing our fingers on the Alex Knot-A-Quilt. It's not easy, but we've completed 2 rows and we can tell it will be cute once we get it done, but wow does it test your fine motor skills!

The kids have asked to dive into "real" paints and canvas, so I'll be putting some of my old wares to use. One of my favorite home organizer "gurus" is Peter Walsh. He emphasizes that if you aren't using or displaying that in which you claim is important to you, then it really isn't and it's time to let that stuff go. Not only is it time for me to let some stuff go, but it's also time to let go of the notion that I have to DO anything and that those anythings have to be perfect. That's freedom from the myth of perfection and all mothers deserve that. xoxo

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Pouches' Community Corner

Postpartum Support Virginia

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For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression. Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.