If you’ve been checking in on my blog this week, you’re aware of the Valentine’s crazy crafty explosion up in here. You probably want me to shut up about Valentine’s Day already. I kinda do, too. I’m tired.

But I just have one thing to say about all this. It started as a Twitter rant, but I realized it would be better as a more thought out blog post.

All this stuff I’ve done this week? The homemade Valentines, the breakfast, the pics of my kids? None of that was to make anyone feel bad about their store bought Valentines or their chaotic, regular morning routine today. None of that was to “compete” with anyone or “impress” anyone.  None of that was about anyone but me and my kids. 

I’ve seen a lot of rumblings on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram the last few days from parents who “don’t get it.” Why do some parents put so much effort into their toddler and preschoolers Valentines? Lots of assumptions that people like me are doing it to “show off” or because we “have too much time on our hands.” That we’ll “regret this next year” when we try to “top ourselves.”

Listen, if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s consistent. Who the hell knows how much energy I’ll have next year with a new baby. If I have to run out and buy store bought Valentines, so be it. I may be disappointed I don’t have the time to make any, but you know what I won’t do? Try to make others feel bad for the time they spent on theirs.

I had the time and a little surge of 2nd trimester energy this year. I made it happen for my kids this year. Heck, next year my then 5 year old will probably beg for the store bought Valentines over mommy’s creations.

You know what I didn’t do? Give any shits about Christmas. I was too tired and sick to care. But I know all of you who DID do amazing things with and for your family on Christmas didn’t do those things to make me feel bad or to compete with me.

So you don’t want me to judge you for your kids’ store bought Valentines? Done! But it goes both ways, okay? Don’t assume that every homemade Valentine that your kids bring home today is made by a mom with the intention of showing people up, that’s it’s a little bag of “I’m better than you.” Maybe she’s just a mom who doesn’t always do things with her kids like paint and bake cookies, but this one time of year she did something special. And she’s feeling good about it because it was something she did with love for her kids. 

73 thoughts on “It Goes Both Ways”

  1. Amen. I posted a comment on the huffpost blog post you shared on FB. We made homemade valentines with scraps of construction paper left over from previous crafts because I don’t want to contribute to the commercial aspect of the holiday. But you know what? To each her own. And FWIW, I found all of your Valentine’s Day stuff inspirational and it was CLEAR that you were having fun doing something nice for your kids.

  2. I made valentines with my kids this year. Not because I am super crafty, or wanted to show anyone up, but because I had the supplies on hand and didn’t have the extra cash to go out and buy valentines. My kids enjoyed spending the time together creating their valentines and didn’t have any idea they were making cards because we had to.

  3. Dude. This is such BS (not you the HuffPost article). I wish we could get it through our thick skulls that NOT EVER MOTHER LOVING THING IS A COMPETITION.

    I put some candy in a bag and called it good, oh and the cheese dip I was assigned for the class party was white velveeta and mild ro-tel that I microwaved into submission. You know why? I think Valentine’s Day is a lame holiday. I always have; I always will. So my lack of motivation to get my less than crafty self to Michael’s is further exacerbated by that. You know what I see when I notice mother’s doing all of these things with their kids? Good. Good for them because they are spending time enjoying their children in a way that suits them. And that has nothing to with me. Just like the elaborate puppet shows I put on my with my daughter have nothing to do with them. Even though I am sure someone somewhere out there thinks I’m trying to one up her.

    Gah.
    I in no way ever think that a mom who has the craft gene to be trying to show me up up or make me feel less just because I don’t.

  4. This is exactly how I feel, I’m only doing these things because this is what I wanted motherhood to be about. Spending time creating with my children, I’m not going to let someone else’s insecurities hinder the kind of parent I am capable of being for my children. BTW – just happened upon your blog via pinterest, really great! Craft on!

  5. Amen, sister! I agree 100 percent. Feel good about the wonderful things you do for your family and don’t spend a second thinking that you shouldn’t be “showing off.” That’s not what it is, and I know it. Other moms have other, non-crafty strengths that they share with their families. And they shouldn’t be made to feel bad about doing those things, rather than making valentine’s either. More love and appreciation, less (actually no) hate – that’s what we all need.

  6. Awhile ago I saw a friend getting a bunch of crap for creating an awesome party for her kid. I can’t believe people feel the need to berate someone for that…for some people, being crafty and throwing elaborate parties is a hobby…I don’t see why people would be critical of someone doing something they like to do for FUN!

  7. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the Valentine’s day stuff, even if I didn’t do it. I hope to take advantage of a few of these ideas next year when I don’t work on V-day.

    Please continue to post crafty stuff, I love it!

  8. “If there is one thing I’m not, it’s consistent.”

    THANK GOD I’m not the only one! For realz!!

  9. I’ve been thinking, and there is something to the idea of questioning the escalation of how school kids celebrate a holiday. I’m not talking about what you do for your family – we all have our own traditions – I’m talking about asking ourselves, “Do we want to turn Valentine’s Day into a day that it becomes expected to give presents to all the kid’s in the class?” I’m not talking about a piece of candy or card (no matter how elaborate) but adding the crayons as presents is worth thinking about.

    No, they aren’t that expensive, and you doing it does NOT mean anyone else has to give a present, but aren’t these small, incremental steps what lead to the huge snowball effect?

    Consider weddings: A 1950s wedding meant cake & punch in the church community room and look at weddings today. They didn’t turn into week-long, multi-event extravaganzas overnight. One person added one thing to make it “special.” Two people attended and thought that was neat and “I’ll do that, too.” Eventually everyone is doing it and it’s no longer special, so now a trail-blazer is adding something else to make it “special.” Can you imagine what our children’s weddings are going to be like?!?!

    I’m not saying what anyone should or should not do for any holiday. I’m only saying, shouldn’t we ask ourselves where this might lead and do we want to go there? I’m sure everyone’s answers will be different but they are questions worth asking.

  10. Good for you, Sugar! Don’t let others taint the things you and your children find special. It’s just petty and mean to belittle your efforts. I am raising grandchildren. Trying to save for college educations and retirement doesn’t leave alot left for extras. We don’t do fancy vacations or days out. We do ALOT of handmade and, hopefully, special things for our friends and classmates. It’s all a matter of priorities and I won’t judge yours if you don’t judge mine!

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