Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The pinterest inspired Valentine craft WAR

Would it surprise you if I said that when February turned the corner and I realized that it meant Valentine's would be here in no time, that I just knew that the week of what is supposed to be a warm fuzzy lovely holiday would turn into moms yet again complaining and throwing stones via all social media outlets.

Phew, that was too long of a sentence.

In short terms, Valentine's day + Pinterest = Mom war.

What is it any way with moms complaining about what other moms do around the holidays? I know, it's nothing new, I shouldn't sound so surprised, and it truly is like  clockwork; when a holiday rolls around, you already know what's coming. With Christmas time, it's Elf on the shelf. With birthdays, it's the themed water bottles and gift bags. With Easter, it's the bunny footprints and overflow of Easter baskets. And with Valentine's day, it's homemade Valentine's. But I ask you again, what is it.

You know what I also noticed as a trend? Moms {or women in general} somehow think this is okay to poke fun these mothers, that somehow their way is definitely the "right way," and that what they are saying is justified {"because back in the day, that's how it was done."}. But guys, I'm here to tell you, it's not. Engaging in these conversations, and making subtle statements like.... "You know the kid didn't even do the crafts, it's just the mom." Or, "My kid just cares about the candy, not stuff glued together to it," is wrong in every way. In fact, it's no different than someone trying to say "Why even become a mother if you aren't even going to try to breastfeed." Or, "Feeding a child McDonalds is no different than putting a cigarette in their mouth."

Seriously. Seriously.

Somehow, it has been okay {and the norm} for people to judge moms that send their kids with little crafts on Valentine's day, but for some reason I have never heard anyone say "Gosh, those moms that send their kids with those store bought cards are lazy and doing a disservice to their kids." Man, that sounds mean doesn't it? Because it is. And so is making snide remarks about those that do the opposite.

Let me tell you what a pinterest inspired Valentine craft really does look like.

1. It looks like us going through pictures with my daughter and having her pick out what she wants to do. It's no different than doing any other craft in our house {which we do on the daily}, except that we are making tons of them this time. When I told her that she was going to be making something for all her friends, she literally shrieked. She was so excited that it was even hard for her to pick 1 out of the many that she saw. She wanted to make everything. Thankfully, we neither had the time nor the patience to do that.

2. It looks like us getting all the materials out and talking about who would be responsible for what. We both had a role, and midway through crafting, we would switch it up once one person got bored with doing the same thing. She colored all the "cheese" on the paper, and did the eyes on the mouse, and I did a lot of the gluing. Then we swapped and she did the gluing and I did the coloring. And finally, I wrote the cute little phrase, and her job was to sign her name.  

3. It looks like teamwork. What I described up there? Is the definition of teamwork. Working together to accomplish a goal, and helping each other out.

4. It looks like a lot of conversation. We literally spent an hour and a half doing these {because of simple distractions}, and so we had a lot of 1 on 1 time to just talk. From the daily mundane, to things like "When you grow up...."

5. It also can look frustrating. And it can be. My patience isn't the best, and I have to do a lot of reminding, and you know what the greatest thing my daughter said to me at the end? "Mom, can you not say it like that?" And I said like what, baby? And she did this voice {that clearly I do}, where you don't yell or are angry, but it's more of a demanding voice that I know I get once my patience runs thin.  It was such a big eye opener for me, and reminded me that I have to practice my patience more with these sort of things. Did this mean that I shouldn't have taken on this project or just quit right there and finished it all myself? No, absolutely not. It meant that we grow together, and that my daughter has a lot to teach me.

In the end, we made 16 little mice on a slice of "cheese" that said "Mice to meet you" for the kids, and we traced her hands and bought hand lotion for the teachers and wrote "Thank you for your helping hand." Elli was so proud and so excited to take it to her friends, and it was honestly worth all the time and energy put into this project. It was even worth the criticism and eye rolls that is expected to come.

But you know what, it's not about other moms. It's not even about other kids. Nor is it about the teachers. At the end of the day, what one does in their house, and what they do or don't do during the holidays should not be anyone's business.

I think there are enough breastfeeding, baby wearing, organic eating, extended rear facing, vaccination, and cry-it-out debates that surely we don't need to add crafts to the list.

Because seriously, BE MICE!

{not ours, we never did take a picture!}


  1. As the non pintrest mom I can say that my personal perspective is a little jealous of the moms that craft their valentines with their kids. Every kid is different. And honestly I couldn't get my preschooler to write his name on his valentines. And that's ok. One day, maybe he and I will make something like this and he can focus on a task like this. But for today, I will be proud that he likes to do his school work and crafts- even if it's on his own terms.

    1. My little guy {age 2} could only sit still for a very simply {one} craft. I don't know that he would even be ready to do multiple next year, but we will just wait and see and read his cues. You are wonderful for going at this pace and doing what works for you guys and what interests him! Thank you for sharing your insight :)

    2. so many grammatical errors, my apologies!

  2. you always have the opposite argument to everyone else - it's like a backhanded compliment to yourself. you can't stand when people degrade you for being the perfect pinterest mom?! it's so weird. i don't think i've ever heard someone insult the mom who does crafts with her kids??? you're just trying to make it seem like people do so you can act all high and mighty about your amazing crafts!

    oh and before you tell me i'm jealous, which is your go-to when someone doesn't agree with you, i made pinterest crafts with sharpies and starbursts and my silhouette cameo too so calm down.

    1. Kristy, in over a year, I have received only 4 negative comments. All were from you. Interesting that you still keep coming to read. I'll take that as a compliment. But seriously, just email me if you want to chat?

      You sound like you could use a friend to talk to. So much hate, so much anger. Take that energy and show love to others. It will make you a better person. And since you said you did crafts with your kids, that makes you a mom right? Be BETTER than what you are in that comment. Show kindness so that your children can learn from you.

      I forgive you.

  3. I don't even have kids yet, but I've been a loyal reader for years. Your photos are mesmerizing and your writing is so powerful! I recently started my own blog, largely because I was inspired by bloggers like you! Now I understand how unsettling the unknown can be with regard to your readers and how great it is to get feedback! So here is my feedback: LOVE your blog and I'm glad to see you're posting again! I miss when you posted every single day!

    1. Dana,

      I appreciate your comment greatly. You completely did not have to say anything at all, but you took time out of your day to say something positive, and that means more than you will ever know. Thank you for reading, and I hope to get back in to the groove of writing more---I miss it terribly!

  4. I've always done a mixture of both with my kids. We used to create cute valentines, but now that my older two are (almost) 8 and 10, they just want to do store bought cards with some sort of pencil or pen attached. It's easy, and they make the valentines themselves. That being said, I'm looking forward to making valentines with Lily next year when she is in preschool!

    1. Oh mama, yes, yes, yes! Elli has been carrying around all her cards she got for the past 2 days and she has not taken the ninja mask off either. I love that they cherish these little things, and if next year she wants to buy only cards, I'll be more than happy to do so!


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