It Goes Both Ways

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. 

  • Rie Conley - Well stated.ReplyCancel

  • Bess - Right on! I saw a comment from someone, along the lines of “You’re only doing this for yourself, you know.” Um, no. My kids made cards from construction paper and cut out hearts. Not because of any reason except we’re broke right now but we have tons of construction paper plus glue and scissors. They enjoyed it, and so did I. Who gives a shit if the kid at school just throws your homemade Valentine back in the box? Not us!ReplyCancel

  • TheNextMartha - I don’t do a lot of handmade for Valentines. Mostly because it’s my husbands birthday so that takes priority in effortville. I will do heart snacks today after school because who doesn’t love a heart rice crispy treat?ReplyCancel

    • Jenny B - Good reminder! I have a mom friend who just gets SO.VERY.EXCITED about every holiday that she goes over the top and that is awsome! It makes her happy so I love it for her! Doing all that would, however, make me bitter & resentful of the time it took away from sleeping and other things that I’ve chosen to make a priority in my life right now. So I do what I {don’t} do and she does what she does, or you do. It’s a good reminder to me that we all need to just be ourselves!ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - No judgments here (and my kids brought store bought). My daughter would LOVE this – both kids love homemade stuff, and they both made their teachers’ cards by hand, because “it means more” (their words, not mine). I would have loved to get all creative – hell, I have the time.

    But I’m in temporary housing, with all my crafty supplies in storage for another 4 months (which is hell), depressed and in a whole “I don’t care” mood.

    Maybe I’ll get it on like Donkey Kong for Easter. Who knows?

    Lovely idea, and if your kids love it, it is worth it. I’d say moms making comments about showing other moms up are insecure.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Anne - Preach it.

    On the flip side? Holy shit, I am so tired of being told “this isn’t for you” or “this isn’t about you” when I complain about having to do Valentines. I know it’s not FOR ME, but guess who ends up doing it anyway? ME. So if I want to bitch about how I’m forced to make Valentines for kids who can’t read, I’m going to.

    I make plenty of sacrifices for my kid. Trying to make something big out of a holiday I dislike is not one of them. & that’s totally cool.ReplyCancel

  • Babe_Chilla - Since this is somewhat directed at me, I feel the need to reply.

    I don’t judge people for crafting things, and I am certainly not against homemade. I legitimately feel bad for my child because when it comes to arts and crafts, I am beyond useless. Where I get twitchy is when everything becomes a competition. There are 27 kids in my daughters class and I honestly am way too lame to even cut a heart let alone craft something. Yet here I sit, watching the internet go ape shit over Valentine’s Day like it’s the first one that’s ever happened.

    Some of the crafts I’ve seen done or whatever, are not cheap. I don’t know where the idea that crafting is a budget friendly activity came from because lord knows, when you have zero supplies and have to hit Michael’s for one of everything, it costs a small fortune. Much more than the $5 I had to spend on store bought cards.

    It just seems like everything gets pushed way over the top and out of proportion, and that sometimes people (and I don’t even mean you) lose the point in all the madness. If you want to craft and do things with your kids for your kids, then that’s a great experience for you all. There just comes a point where people go to wild extremes and the entire point is lost. My kid is just as happy with a peanut butter egg from the store as she’d be if I was capable of making pancakes into hearts (which I am not).

    And there is a lot of judgement. People telling me “you know it only takes a few hours of your time” or “you should be making memories with your child, not purchases”. Great, that’s awesome and we do make memories, but her watching me sweat and cry trying to perfect some Pinterest craft I had no hope in hell of accomplishing isn’t quite the memory I’m trying to make, you know?ReplyCancel

    • Jill - First, I promise this wasn’t directed at *you.* I assure you there are A LOT of people in my FB feed, Twitter and IG who expressed the same sentiments. So please don’t think this was a subtle call out of you, friend.

      I totally understand the annoyance of the over the top Pinterest world we live in today. And I agree that the people who preach that it’s “not that expensive” and “takes just a few minutes” and “OMG MEMORIES AND LOVE” aren’t doing it right.

      But there’s no saying that this is a “competition.” There’s no way of knowing a mom is doing this to impress anyone, even if she does the most crazy, elaborate, expensive craft out there. We just don’t know her intentions, and it’s hurtful to assume. Granted, that’s not to say that women like that *don’t* exist because they do.

      I completely understand the frustration of feeling pressured to take part in something you don’t enjoy to keep up, but the only one can make us feel that is ourselves. Trust me, I struggled with this a lot over Christmas.

      All I’m saying is not everyone who does these crafts and projects are doing it because the internet told them to. My mom did stuff like this with us long before Al Gore invented the internet.

      And I would never want another mom to feel bad about what she does for her kids based on what I’m doing for mine.

      xoxoReplyCancel

      • Babe_Chilla - Ha yes sorry, I was particularly ranty about this last night so I thought it might have SOME thing to do with me, not entirely.

        I think where the competition comes in are the people who couple “I whittled these hearts out of driftwood from our last beach vacation” with “crafting is really important and it’s about the memory and DO THIS IT ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES” because no, no it doesn’t.

        People seem quick to throw in a quip about it “being about the kids” or “showing you’re dedicated to them” or “giving them your time” and that’s the part that makes it feel competitive. My kid gets as much of my time as she can, my lack of craft skills shouldn’t be indicative of otherwise, you know?

        I don’t ever for a moment think “this bitch is trying to compete with me!” when someone does something handmade or crafty. My BFF crafts everything and I’m jealous. It’s when people MAKE it a competition that it gets out of hand. “I work and go to school and my husband travels and I have 5 kids and LOOK I DID IT SO CAN YOU”.

        For the most part I think the people who do it, and do it well, must do it for the joy. I can only assume that it took practice to get to the level of skill some people have. It’s when it’s wrapped in a bit of a kick to those who don’t do it, that it sours the whole thing.

        This series of tubes sure makes people crazy….ReplyCancel

        • Jill - Completely understand the POV.

  • Michelle K. - Exactly. Great Post Jill. I feel the exact same way. Last year, I didn’t do as much as I did this year, and who knows what I’ll do next year. We do what we can when we can…. when we want to. That’s it. Kudos to you for putting this out there.ReplyCancel

  • Sara Sheikh - Yes!!! Thank You.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy @ Liberating Working Moms - I’m just glad my mom is visiting and Abby is at home this week so I don’t have to get caught up in any of this ;)

    But yeah, to each his own. Some holidays I do it up, which is especially a lot for the Jewish girl getting all Christmas-y and Easter-y (I married a gentile), and then others, whatever. And from year to year it changes. You want to do it up, great. You don’t want to do it up, that’s great too. But let’s not take it out on others or criticize others. And sometimes, whatever you think, let’s just keep it to ourselves. It takes more energy to be negative, than to be positive is a lesson I’ve learned. Let’s be respectful, which is really the root of all this. We don’t have to like everything or everyone, but if you want to be respected back, don’t attack. And let’s be examples for our kiddos.ReplyCancel

  • KeAnne - Preach! I full admit that I half-assed Valentine’s Day this year. I bought the cards last night after work and signed names at bedtime. I had plans for homemade cards for the family but oh well. That’s OK. Valentine’s Day isn’t a big holiday in our family, and you never know where a different family chooses to spend their time. What I do care about is that I won’t be able to attend the day care Valentine’s part today, but I was there for Halloween and Christmas, so hopefully it evens out.ReplyCancel

  • Haleigh - I think you need to do what is right for YOU and YOUR family and everyone else can go suck a nut. In the time they take bitching about everyone else, they could have either created a craft or gone to Wal-Mart to buy some.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - There you go again, trying to inject sanity into the parenting conversation. :-)

    I’m so glad I can count on you to not to engage in the competition, not to pick up the gauntlet, no matter how many are thrown. (At least not do it publicly. I’m sure you let some comments fly in the privacy of your own home.)

    If only everyone could just be content with their own way of doing things. They wouldn’t feel the need to chide others with “it only takes a few hours.” They wouldn’t need to respond defensively. Sigh…ReplyCancel

  • Joanna - I see all the sides. And I think the comments about Valentine’s Parties = which mom is better at Pinterest are funny. I think yours and a million other people’s homemade ones are adorable and someday I may do them. Heck, I’m trying to figure out how to make stuff on my own.

    And I regularly throw over the top theme parties because I LOVE throwing parties.

    And here’s where people are going to flame me to death… while I don’t specifically to impress. I damn sure do like some credit for it. I spent 2 hours picking out buttons and hot gluing them to Madison’s t-shirt for her 100 days of school shirt and then I threw that shit up on the interwebs because I wanted people to think it was cute. I did it for my daughter- 100% yes. But once it’s done, isn’t it nice for people to think something you did was cute? And I do the same thing when Madison cuts out a piece of construction paper that she says is a star and I think is more of an amoeba, because i want to show off my daughter.

    I’ve laughed at the rants about pinterest because I think it’s funny. And maybe because I also felt a little guilty (self induced) that I didn’t have the time to throw anymore effort in this year- and its not because I work, it’s because we have a lot on our plates) And I don’t think the crafty ladies are out to impress but ya know, they probably would like it if someone said “that idea is so cute, or that turned out great” because everyone wants to feel good about what they did and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I’m not even sure I have a point here anymore? Where’s the vodka gummy bears?ReplyCancel

  • ...love Maegan - they’re just insecure about their own lack of effort on Valentine’s Day and in general. That’s it.ReplyCancel

    • Tracy @ Liberating Working Moms - that’s generally where a lot of snark comes from. Like all of it. Coworkers, friends, internet. I try my best to step back and figure out what I’m reacting to, and if I’m taking my bad mood out on others. Great point here!ReplyCancel

  • Tara - Ya know, if you just half-ass everything, then you never have to worry about any of it. And yes, I speak from experience. My kids couldn’t give two shits about holidays other than turkey = Thanksgiving, presents = Christmas, and cake = birthdays, and guess who doesn’t have to bust ass to make it “special” and doesn’t have to feel bad when she doesn’t? Me. The End. :)ReplyCancel

  • Abbey - You put this soooo perfectly! I am the same way, there are things that are homemade and some that aren’t. Depends on our life, my energy, etc…. If you are doing your best and loving your little ones, job well done :)ReplyCancel

  • Brenna - LOVE this!ReplyCancel

  • liz - Thanks for writing this – you actually made me cry… it’s been on my mind every time I see a post on facebook or twitter or a blog post (and I’ve seen a ton!) about how pinterest/instagram/blogs are out to make moms feel bad for not having the perfect valentines for their kids… (basically what you said above)… and it hurts. Because as a working mom – I don’t have time to do all the little stuff all of the time. But I loved the fact that I had an excuse to get my kid to giggle for a photo… and then let him get all sticky as he got to eat a sucker while we put together his pinterest-inspired-valentines last night. I loved taking the time to make them special for him… it was about him… not about making anyone look bad or feel bad.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Thank you for this! I am one of those mommies who didn’t get to do a lot for Christmas because of morning sickness and tiredness…and I work full time so I don’t always have a tone of time to do a lot of arts and crafts with my little girl. So when I get a chance to do something special for her, I take it. I am not trying to make other parents feel bad…I’m just doing something special for my kid when I get the chance.ReplyCancel

  • Tara - This is perfect. I’m drowning in ‘morning’ sickness right now, and was feeling a little bad that my poor kids didn’t even know it was Valentines Day! And my poor two-year-old didn’t even get a birthday cake on her birthday this week. Next year.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - some people you can’t please, no matter what.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - It fascinates me what people can get worked up about. Here is a bottom line – if you have the opportunity to get passionately upset about Valentine’s Day, you are living a wonderful and blessed life. Keep that in mind rather than speculating over what this or that mother meant to achieve or what is she trying to tell you secretly. I went to the store and bought cards, balloons and cake. I am now going to be cutting out hearts out of watermelon, which I find silly, but I agreed to do it for my son’s daycare and here is what I look forward to most – showing up in that daycare with a tray of whatever it is I bring and see my child being happy to see me. Stop making so much fuss about who does what and why. It’s not a competition unless you put the imaginary chip on your imaginary shoe and start trying to outrun the others. It’s your choice.ReplyCancel

    • Andrea - And with “YOU” I don’t mean “YOU” as in Jill, I mean “YOU” as in all of us.ReplyCancel

  • molly - Well, shit. I was one of the ones who made comments on FB. I hope you can forgive my butt-headedness. Reading this post, you make a good point. I know you were really sick over the Christmas holiday. Well, I do feel like I tried really hard. I made pancakes that looked like Ruldolph, for fucks sake. Truth be told? I was challenging myself to see if I could actually do something I saw on Pinterest.

    I am terribly jealous of crafty people. You see, I wish I was more like you – always coming up with great ideas and my kids reaping the benefit. I want them to grow up to say that they had a fun creative mom. I drown in guilt sometimes because I feel like I’m just not good enough. The truth is, I could have tried harder. But this time we were all sick (and still are) for valentine’s day. I can totally understand “skipping” over the holiday craftiness when you don’t feel well.

    Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m sorry if I made you feel bad about the crayon craft for the kiddos. I love that cereal too and had I not had sick kids I definitely would have gone looking for that at the grocery store!

    My guilt is just that – mine. It’s my brain that is making me feel bad.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I completely agree. My son isn’t at that age yet, but I can already tell, based off of the fb pictures of all the homemade gifts made for classes. That being said, I love crafting and most like will craft something, not because I want me kid to feel the most loved, but for me and my love for crafting and not ever having enough time to do it. This might give me an excuse to do a hobby I did before the kids came, and I can just say, oh yea, it’s for him…haha, in reality it’s my break to do something I like!ReplyCancel

  • Dianthe White Hall - people need to get a grip – we went to our annual Valentine’s party on Sunday – I intended to take pictures of the kids in their Valentine shirts and use the pictures for the Valentines – instead, I bought them from Hobby Lobby and let them sign their names – I took their pictures at the party and used them for the school Valentines – no candy, no prizes, just the card.

    i got up this morning and made (well, warmed up) pancakes and cut heart shaped strawberries – Sydney only ate the strawberries and Myles threw 2 major tantrums, 1 of them because he didn’t have time to eat… because he was busy throwing a tantrum because he wanted cereal instead – I was fine with all of it – because I did what I was capable of and it was perfect.

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” – Eleanor Roosevelt.ReplyCancel

  • Jen Church Biasi - YES! What YOU said!
    <3 Love and light <3 ,
    A store-bought valentines mom ;-).ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - OK – I have to share this and hopefully you all get a good laugh. I commented earlier. I signed the store bought cards for my son’s daycare and that part went fine, other than the cards read “No Valentine’s Day would be complete Without you to make it extra sweet” and I can’t decide if it is too suggestive for 2-year-olds (however, that’s all I have and no time left). I bought a fudge cake with beautiful icing decoration for my husband, but accidentally dropped the box upside down, so you can imagine what it looks like now. And the watermelon hearts I was supposed to make for my son’s daycare? Well, the watermelon was too ripe, the hearts kept falling into chunks and the juice spilled everywhere, splattered all over the kitchen cabinets and ran down the cabinets and into every freaking drawer, ending in a big puddle on the floor. Did anyone mention they were not crafty enough? Happy Valentine’s Day you all!ReplyCancel

  • Kami - Ugh. Mommy wars make me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

    For the record, I adore everything you’ve done for Valentine’s Day. I did the “o-fish-ially” goldfish valentines for Lincoln’s class this year. Next year I’d like to do your crayon pouches :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacey - Amen sista.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Blair Gobin - AHHHHHH! thank you – I needed this today! I totally got shit for my homemade valentines, in a teasing way, from my friends. And lord only knows how many thought those judgy things about me but didn’t say anything. I work full time, have another business I’m trying to run on the weekends, and very limited time with my kids during the week. So yes I go the extra mile on holidays to make them special.ReplyCancel

  • Clarissa Page Bing - Thank you! I actually did homemade valentine’s this year, and I was feeling really good about it because I very rarely have the creatively or time to do something like that for my kids. But at the same time I didn’t want people thinking I was trying to show off or anything.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Dombroskie - Very well said Jill!ReplyCancel

  • Alena Chandler - I love this! There are just times in parenting where we can do more than other times. It’s not a competition when we do more, it’s just part of the rat race!ReplyCancel

  • Becca Lynn - Jill… I’m sorry.

    No, I’m not one of those that made some comment on any various social networking site. And I definitely didn’t think those thoughts towards you.
    You have a blog to run. People LOVE tutes. This generates traffic, etc. Plus you had the energy to be crafty?? BONUS! :-)

    But I had this thought in relation to other moms at my child’s daycare. Those moms that hand-made their Valentine’s, or even spent WAAAY more than I did on mine, because I simply didn’t have the money.

    So, I’m sorry to you moms out there who did an amazing job with their Valentine’s Days for their kids.

    You make an excellent point, and I sincerely hope that I’m not being judged by them for my store-bought cards and boxes of Valentine hearts. I’m a single, working mom with not even enough time or energy on my hands to keep my house clean some days.

    We’re all MOMS. We’re all WOMEN. Let’s act like we’re on the same team, not like we’re fighting against each other. That’s not fair and it’s not getting us anywhere. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jeannette - You said it right there- the only opinions that matter are yours and your kids. I hope your kids loved it! I love your creativity and enthusiasm. Happy Valentine’s Day!ReplyCancel

  • Jess Heimer - A.M.E.N. Maybe if these people spent less time criticizing others they’d have more time to fashion the crafts they are clearly jealous of.ReplyCancel

  • Jacklyn - People really got pissy about this? We’re all on the same team people! We’re all just trying to do our best. Let’s support each other instead of tearing each other down! Cheese and Rice!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Amen sistah! To each her own!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Ok, a follow-up thought. In defense of my Pinterest addiction . . I had stacks and stacks of Real Simple magazines. I had stacks and stacks of Bon Appetit issues. I never read them. Ever. I just didn’t have the time. I see Pinterest as my custom-made magazine. And, it doesn’t pile up. So all those cute ideas for every holiday, I just electronically snip them, put them on a board, and maybe some day I’ll do them. I’ve never felt pressured to do what I see on Pinterest, and when I see something awesome that another mom made, I think, wow, how cool is that. It’s lovely, maybe I’ll try that or some modified version or maybe not. And I feel good having had minute to ‘browse a magazine’.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy @ The UnCoordinated Mommy - Thank you!! You also left out that maybe we do these things because we ENJOY THEM!!! Is that so hard to believe??ReplyCancel

  • Sian - Strange how different people think. I felt bad that I didn’t have time – but loved what you have done for the little ones and think its wonderful. I can’t wait for a relaxing day to use your ideas! That would require my 16 month old to stop screaming sometime soon though… Terrible twos come early? #givemestrengthReplyCancel

  • Mandi McClure - Well put. I hate getting grief from other mom’s when i do something special formy little guy. Don’t make me feel guilty about it. I phone it in a lot of the time, too. Nothing wrong with that either.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I was that kid whose parents never came to school functions and while other kids’ moms were “room moms” I wasn’t sure my mother even knew where in the building my classroom was. HOWEVER – in 5k, my mom had the day off for our Halloween party. She came to school with a cake decorated like a pumpkin, dressed in a costume, and had fun crafty treats for every kid in class. OMG – I was so proud of her! I told everybody about what she did and how pretty she was in her costume, what a good cook she was, how amazing her crafts were. I just went on and on… Even now, 27 years later, it is one of my best memories from childhood.

    A few of the other moms criticized my mom for making such a big deal out of Halloween that year because it’s the devil’s holiday (which is ironic because my mom actually hates Halloween – even more proof of how amazing she was to make a big deal out of it for me). Like you, my mom stood strong and pointed out that there were other times when she didn’t have the time or energy to make a big deal, but she did at that time so she took advantage of it! Years later, I found out that she had the day off because she had miscarried over the weekend and had a dr’s appt that afternoon after my class party. Best mom in the world? I think so!ReplyCancel

  • Trisha - WORD!ReplyCancel

  • Copper - People are silly. I love that you made the morning special for your kids. and if you hadn’t had time- that’s life! why do we all feel like the internet gives us the right to judge other people’s lives? it’s so ridiculous.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - 1. It’s sad that we live in a society where we feel we need to justify our parenting — and crafting (!) — choices. When will the judgment end? This mom business would be so much more fun if we could be supportive of one another and our choices.

    2. My parenting philosophy = do you. Want to craft? Yay. Want to buy stuff? Yay. Want to say screw it and do nothing? Yay.

    Now let’s keep it moving and talk about important things like wine.ReplyCancel

  • Jen H - So good, Jill! “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.” Nailed it.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I bought valentines from the dollar store for my 13 month old. The real reason? They had glitter on them. Made me happy (and frankly, I’m pretty sure all the valentines that went home end up in the trash anyway, just like ours will this weekend). But, I love reading your posts and thinking about how I want to do holidays once she’s old enough to care. Will it actually happen? Who knows, but its easier to follow your directions than make my own! Cheers to you for that!ReplyCancel

  • Baby Making Mama - Am I the only one who doesn’t give a crap what people think about my craftiness or lack thereof? The good thing about being too busy for social media interaction is missing out on this drama. I don’t feel like people are quite as catty IRL, at least not to my face, and who cares what they say behind my back? Brush off the haters mamas and do you!ReplyCancel

  • Meg Griswold - I agree with you whole-heartedly. Just because person A is doing something they care about, doesn’t mean that they are doing it to make person B look bad. This is all in person B’s head and they need to realize that by getting all grumbly, they are revealing more of their own insecurity than saying anything about person A. Like people who constantly point out how much younger you are than them. Sensitive about your age much? I hate how they put that nasty tone in their voices when they say “I don’t know how you find time to do that stuff?” I’m not doing it to annoy you. I’m doing it to maintain my sanity, feel like a person, wake myself up–or whatever! AND, no one is making them read a blog about doing things with your kids and family. Read political blogs if crafts overwhelm you. Sheesh. Carry on.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - 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.ReplyCancel

  • Christina - 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.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah E. - 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.ReplyCancel

  • moisonmomma - 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!ReplyCancel

  • Allison - 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.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - 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!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Mercier - 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!ReplyCancel

  • Emily at Tales of Fruit and Cake - “If there is one thing I’m not, it’s consistent.”

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

  • Lisa - 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.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - 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!ReplyCancel

  • Nobody Wins At Valentines (And Nobody Loses) - […] And it goes both ways. (Click through for the post the following excerpt is from.) […]ReplyCancel

  • Joshua's Superhero Birthday Party - Finding Walden - […] didn’t grow up having birthday parties, really, so this is fun for me. I like doing it. This post from my girl Jill pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say […]ReplyCancel

  • The Rise of the Mommy Martyr - […] It’s been happening for years now. This mythical pedestal we have put the perfect mom on. We all see her differently. Either we aspire to be like her or we violently revolt against her. Putting her there to lash out against it. It’s weird. We see the moms with their pennants at birthday parties and chalkboard signs and we either a) start pinning that shit like it’s hot or we b) start droning on about how “unrealistic” that is. It’s so played out. I’m just tired of it. Some people like crafting…why are we fighting about this? […]ReplyCancel

  • Holidays are Give and Take | Take 10 With Tricia - […] event…sure. But is it consistent? NOPE. And that’s what I love about Jill’s post It Goes Both Ways over on Baby Rabies. Because for me so far this year, it was all about St. Patrick’s Day. We […]ReplyCancel

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