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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I taught a fabulously fun home party with fellow moms from a local mother's club.  Since all of the moms I know tend to have a fair amount of stress (along with lots of love, adorableness, and excitement), I thought this group could use a little zen.

Throughout the night, we giggled every time I mentioned the non-representational, handmade aspect of the Zentangle® method.  The concept was fine, but my made up word choices, "roundish," "circle-like shape," and "straightish" induced chuckles.  Laughter is always great for reducing stress!  I also think that hearing the same idea multiple times can help it to resonate.

We don't need to draw perfect circles or straight lines.  Who can without tools anyway?  I know I can't, and I'm okay with that.  I'm human.  I'm an artist.  I am not trying to be a computer or to replicate some form of perfection.  Instead, I breathe and allow my artistic process to take me on a journey--straight lines or not.

Sometimes there is comfort in knowing we don't have to be perfect.  Moms have to do everything, and lately, it seems like they are expected to do it perfectly.  Even among mothers, there are factions disagreeing about the right or wrong way to parent from feeding and diapering to discipline techniques and education.  There is a lot of pressure to be a parent (I know it's hard for dads too, but I am focusing on moms since the class was moms).  There is a lot of stress with trying to make the right choices while  keeping our kids safe and happy.

We don't have to be perfect.  Our circles can be roundish.  Our lines can be straightish.  Our kids will grow up happy even if we have a cranky day, yell occasionally, or forget to use the orange plate.  They will remember their overall childhoods rather than the few days during which we were human.  Maybe they'll learn more from those human days and see that it is okay to make mistakes.  Maybe they'll be compassionate parents who will try to do the best they can too.

There are no erasers in parenting or in Zentangle®.  We can do our best to try to relax, enjoy some quality time, and breathe.

Everything else ends up perfect-ish.


  1. Oh, I wish I could have been in on that party! I bet it was a blast. My Mom used to tag the "ish" behind a lot of words, like giving me cooking instructions for something - "just so it's warm-ish, not boiling," stuff like that. You brought back some fond memories for me today. Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. I am glad that my post brought up some fond thoughts for you. I love how life does that when you hear a song, smell a familiar food, or hear something that jogs a memory. It's like there are these secret keys that other people can turn to unlock something special for us. I am glad I helped you find a key.

      Let's hope for some warmish weather soon too!

  2. Thank you for the reminder that we do not need to be perfect. It was a great class by the way! thank you!

    1. Thanks! I had a great time with everyone. What a fun group. I think we often think we need to be perfect--perfect parents, perfect artists, or just plain perfect. Life is challenging enough without striving for perfection. Perfect-ish works for me!