Aprons Not Face MasksApr 04, 2020
If you would have been able to tell yourself six years ago that toward the beginning of 2020 you’d be told you were not to leave your home due to a global pandemic how do you think you would have reacted?
Six years ago, I was sewing aprons and leading cooking workshops at a local women’s advocacy group. I was doing this because I realized how an apron had been a key piece in the work to reconnect my family to one another. The first apron I made was not long after I left my corporate job. I left because my marriage was in shambles, and my children were not being raised to know anything but themselves. Sewing that apron began a healing journey of myself and of those I love the most.
Many of you I’ve seen posting you’re making face masks to either donate or sell to others to help keep people protected from the coronavirus. I want you to know I think this is a noble and very much needed use of your skill. I’m glad to see so many, like you, opening up your sewing machine and putting it to work like it was meant to do. Too many of them, as well as mine, have sat dusty and just waiting for you to keep her purring. If you’re sewing face masks right now, please send me your link to my email, [email protected], I’ll be sure to share your link so that others can see or purchase your work. I’m always glad to share another #prettygirlthatsews.
So, you might be wondering, with this skill I also have of sewing, why am I not making face masks to donate or sell? But instead, sewing aprons?
When I first came home from leaving my corporate job, I was so devastated. I felted extremely disappointed in not only my marriage and my lack of seeing the results of my parenting sooner that I fell into this horrible depression. I was anxious and worried all the time, to the point where I wouldn’t even drive anywhere unless it was my husband taking me or my best friend. I isolated myself from family and all the activities I had once loved doing. I basically put myself into a “shelter-in-place” mentality. I was convinced that “the world” had been the problem all along and that if I had only focused on what was right in front of me, my marriage, my home, my children, my environment; none of the difficult disappointments I was facing would have happened. I began a complete purge of anything from my life prior. A literal “Spring Clean Out” of everything that didn’t focus on creating a connection to one of those areas of my life.
As I began to live more of my life at home, the daily acts of cleaning, cooking, and creating a "new normal" and atmosphere began taking a toll on my pretty pricey work wardrobe. I didn’t have money to go and buy anything new, and I really didn't want to venture out to any stores because of the fear I created regarding people I didn't know. My anxiety was too high to even think about shopping for fun. It all began when I spoke with my Nana during one of our weekly conversations at the time. I told her how I had ruined a few shirts cleaning with bleach, and she asked, “Don’t you own an apron?”
I did not.
And so, an apron became a sewing project for myself. When it was finished, wearing it completely changed my outlook and my ambition for each day in my own self-quarantine to pull my family & myself back together.
You’re probably finding yourself in a quarantine like most of us right now, not self-imposed, but one by our government. Maybe by this point, you’ve felt the strain of the years of very little communication between you and your spouse, at no real fault other than the pace of our lifestyles and the status quo of parenting your children. You might be seeing, for the first time how t it has kept you from the connection you so hope you will have with them. And maybe, you’re realizing that you also own a lot less athleisure & sweatpants than what you thought!? Spring cleaning in your favorite shirt from Disneyland is definitely not going to happen!
So, this is why I am sewing aprons. For you. From me. For you to create your "new normal". What I believe is just as life-saving as millions of face masks.
Now, do I believe wearing an apron is the main ingredient to saving your marriage or will help you realized the type of parent you wanted to be instead of the parent you have been trying to live up to, or that it will keep you from purchasing a fair amount of leggings and athleisure over the next few weeks of coronavirus quarantine... NO, no it's not the main ingredient... that's you, boo-boo!
That first apron, I made myself, it made me feel pretty while I was doing things that almost felt meaningless at times. While I made meals or cleaned our toilets. Something I hadn’t felt about myself in a long time, let alone felt it enough to flirt with my husband. It boosted my confidence in the way I was carrying for him and in our home. This boost in confidence definitely played a part in how I interacted with him and how I focused on where I needed to work on myself first, not focus on where I felt he needed to be fixed. As for my kids, wearing the apron sparked more moments of being that spontaneous mom I wanted to be with them. It became a visual that focused on time together, whether it was baking together or needing their help in caring for our home. All the while, I was teaching them lessons I knew mattered way more than if I was volunteering for every activity they were a part of as the “super mom”. My apron is the visual that led to belonging in our home that can still be felt today, six years later, that wasn’t there before.
So, if you’re wondering why I am sewing aprons and not face masks, this is why. Your home is now your workplace, your therapy session, your playground, your commute, your lunch break, and your co-workers are now your family. You’ve been starved of each other for who knows how long, and now all at once you’re figuring out how to live and work together. You are fighting the virus of whatever you’ve been neglecting to notice in them, in you, in your life. I get it, I've been there, and honestly, I really believe an apron will help. If you're life and home is anything like what mine looked like before I tied my apron around my waist: I know where you're at and I believe you'll get through this.
Nurses and doctors have the power to save those of us who enter the hospitals with this horrible virus, so keep making your face masks. I'm not making them because I don't believe it's important right now for ME to be making them too. I believe there's just another group of heroes who need a little something different protecting them from a different sort of sickness - #momguilt. Mamas, you have the power to reconnect with your family right now in ways only being at home is going to offer you. Six years from now, hopefully, those face masks are no longer a daily necessity. I'm making aprons because my hope is anyone who buys one during this time will see six years from now their apron as a daily reminder of the resilience and belonging that was created in your home during a time when uncertainty filled the world outside your family’s door.