Friday, February 14, 2014

What happened to the way things were when WE were kids?.....

Here we are.

Another Valentine's day has come and gone. Another "holiday" {let's be honest here} that we had to prepare for is over. Another one that we can mark off the list as completed until next year.

As a mom, you will understand me when I say that you actually get excited for these random holidays that allow you the opportunity to celebrate with the ones you love, have a little extra fun during this time of year, throw in a few "heart" shaped pancakes for breakfast, maybe even a little love craft, and soak in all the excitement and joy that your children experience out of doing something different during the day or on the weekend. Because different is good when you've been snowed in for two months.

It seems though, these days, as the holidays approach {and as they end}, the same topic of conversation {or constant complaining, I should say} comes up. If it's Christmas, it's elf on the shelf. If it's Easter it's what people fill kids' baskets with. If it's birthdays it is the pinterest inspired parties. And if it's Valentine's it's:

"Can you believe the extent to which these moms go to do these Valentine's?!"
"When I was a kid, we were sent to school with just store bought cards."
"These moms are making ME look bad."
"I'm teaching my child to enjoy the little things."
"When is all this over-the-top stuff going to stop?"

Can we say... first world problems.

Are we really complaining about moms who go above and beyond? Is this topic so troubling and heartbreaking that we must announce it all over social media so that other moms can all chime in and say "Yes! Amen! High Five! Ditto!" while the other moms {you know, those moms} sink in their seats realizing that they are talking about them. What are we saying when we---complain about those that challenge themselves and their children, that go to the store with said children and let them pick out stuff for their classmates, that sit at the dining room table for an hour, two hours, while they cut, glue, paste, wrap, sign, and whatever else must be involved in a project? I imagine they also didn't sit in silence while doing so.

What are we saying about those moms? That they shouldn't take this extra time to have fun with their children? That they shouldn't find joy in making crafts? That they shouldn't think outside the box and get excited when they think of something creative? That they should just be like everyone else and stick to what we as children grew up with because gosh darn it that is the ONLY way and the RIGHT way to do these Valentine's. And certainly, they should not be doing these things because it may upset the children who simply bought the character design cards at the store.

Shame on parents for having good quality interaction with their children at the expense of another child and their family. Have we ever given thought to the idea that these parents aren't thinking about making another mom look bad, making a child feel bad, or bringing anything but a positive experience for all involved? Is that not even a thought that has crossed our mind?

Our children will have a lifetime of events and experiences where they will be amongst those who go above and beyond, have a creative edge, and an undeniable talent in different areas of life. From art projects, to writing assignments, roles in theatre, varsity basketball team tryouts, and one day in the competitive workforce fighting to be the one that lands the dream job.

This getting upset at moms who "go all out" is such a hot topic, but I cannot help but ask WHY? I keep hearing the same tune---moms who work out and show off their "skinny" self, moms who throw over the top parties, moms who do crafty projects, moms who do elf on the shelf, moms who just don't know when to stop with this OVER-THE-TOP business--- they are all just making ME look bad. And my favorite line of all:

What happened to when we were kids and this {whatever the topic is} is how we did things.

That line by the way is overused, abused, and needs to be thrown out. It's a terrible excuse to be used in an argument---as if we cannot acknowledge that there are different ways of doing things, as if one way is better than the other, and certainly the only way. Times change. Embrace the change. Good or bad.

When is the last time you heard someone complain about all these overweight moms, the moms who buy the store bought Valentine's, the moms who throw a party with pizza and cupcakes and let the kids run wild for their birthday, or the moms who refuse to do elf on the shelf?

You don't hear about it. You know why? Because why would one care what another person does or doesn't do with their child. Especially when it's not hurting anyone in the process.

I can list a million more things for us to get upset over:

The mom that left her 5 month old in the car seat, not fed, and in feces for 8 days.
The mom that turns her back while her child is being abused.
The mom that aborted her 23 week twins because she just "didn't want any more."
The mom leaves her 2 year old and 4 year old alone at home so that she can go party.

Get upset that there are millions of children out there with no mother or father.
Get upset that there are children that don't get to hear the words I love you, get a hug and a kiss, and a warm bed to sleep in at night.
Get upset that there are children dying of AIDS, Cancer, and other terminal illnesses. Every day.

I imagine that every mother out there, every human being out there, can attest that they are probably just as upset about those things listed above as me or the next person. But it seems that these topics just don't get to be discussed to the extent that we discuss things that are, in the best way to put it, first words problems.

A Valentine's pinterest inspired craft never hurt anybody. Neither did a store bought one. One kid isn't happier than the other . And I bet the kids were too busy looking through their stash to differentiate who turned to pinterest versus who turned to their local grocery store.

So can we just all hold hands {sing kumbaya} already and move on---bury this topic once and for all.

Pinterest is here to stay. Crafts are here to stay. And the 80's and 90's have long been done and over with, and so should the line....

"What happened to when I was a kid...."


  1. I think it's great when moms want to take the time to do things with their children! I don't understand why that would be a point of contention when there are so many other things to be concerned about. Great points!

  2. You go girl!!! Thank you for taking the words right out of my mouth!

  3. The thing that bothers me is that the moms who did do the Pinterest-y things aren't saying anything negative about the ones who bought ones from the supermarket. To each their own, in my opinion.

  4. I already know when I have kids, I'm going to be one of those "over of the top" moms. I won't be doing it to brag or whatever... I just really enjoy being a creative person. That's who I have always been.

    I grew up doing crafts with my mom. It might have been as "pinteresty" as things are now, but I guess you could say, it would be borderline "over the top" for back in the day.

    I hate seeing moms say to those "over the top" moms that they value that more than spending time with their kids. I say, everyone should do what they want. If the other moms feel bad about how they do things, it is on them. No one made them feel that way.

  5. I hate how people get bashed for putting extra effort into things! Like you said, we should be PRAISING people who go above and beyond, especially when it comes to their kids! It truly is just insecurity.

  6. I'm a "buy from the aisle in Target" mom but I love seeing everyone's creativity. It's not my cup of tea but I definitely don't hate!

  7. I have no problems with other moms putting their creativity into making fun things with and for their kids. I don't agreeing in shaming people for what they do either.

  8. So so true Becky, thank you for this honesty! I am one of the moms that gets questioned and frowned upon and I have stopped caring what others think and say - I do it for me, for SJ and for our family. Not for them and their recognition!! So much more to worry about… x


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