With Valentine's Day approaching I went to Pinterest in search of original Valentine's card ideas for my school aged children. For some reason I've picked up this notion that I can not send my children to school with generic Valentine's cards. I do this every year, and every year I end up going down the rabbit hole of Pinterest induced "I AM NOT A GOOD ENOUGH MOM!" It starts with Valentine's cards for school and ends with guilt that my whole house is not draped in banners of pink and red. But I am exhausted from the decorating and un-decorating of Christmas, and now there is another one? Well I'm not doing it Pinterest, I just came to you for Valentine's ideas, not guilt.
Every year I pick up on an unspoken tone emanating from the craft bloggers of the world, actually it comes from the non-craft bloggers too. This is the message: if you want to be a fantastic (and super trendy) mom you won't send your kids to school with a store-bought Spiderman Valentine. Really fantastic moms spend hours and money creating quirky, vintage, whimsical, non-sugar Valentine's gifts for their children's classmates. Children, mind you, who could care less. Children who want to take store-bought Spiderman Valentine's to school and classmates who want, want, the sugar and cheap Valentine's cards.
Then there is the "treat" which apparently isn't much of an actual treat (meaning sugar) anymore. It's been replaced by a pencil, bracelet, matchbox car, lip gloss, or a miniature box of cereal. Okay, that one is sugar so I'll concede it's a treat. And there's a witty phrase to go along with it. And a ribbon. Who is spending that much money on these things? It's not just the cost of giving everyone a bag of chips (again, I'll concede that's a treat) that gets me, it's also the time. Is this what I'm a stay at home mom for? So I can spend hours making sure other kids get a fancied up Valentine's gift? I don't have time for that, I'm trying to watch Making a Murderer.
After perusing Pinterest and getting overwhelmed the decision has been made to go with a store bought Valentine's card and a sugar laden treat. I will take the kids to the nearest grocery store and let them pick out Spiderman, or Spongebob, or My Little Pony, and we will spend an afternoon assembling them together. This is how it happens every year and the kids don't feel cheated for not having custom cut and stamped and fluffed Valentine's cards to hand out. The other thing that happens when Valentine's Day has come and gone is that I think "I should have tried harder". What on earth am I talking about?! Even as I say it I recognize the absurdity of it all. I am a great mom, we all are, and yet we do this to ourselves. I'm not blaming the crafty moms, it's their right to be crafty. I'm not blaming Pinterest either, I'm the one who chose to waste my time there. So my mantra this year is "I am a good mom regardless of my children's Valentine's Day cards, besides they just end up in the garbage." Also, I am a fantastic mom because I'm not sending my kids to school with Mandarin oranges and "Orange you glad to be my Valentine?" cards for their classmates (though it does sound a little bit cute). I'm preventing them from having Mandarin oranges thrown at them during recess by classmates on a sugar rush who only wanted pixy sticks.