Dear People Who Are Mad About Valentines,
There is a post going around called Overachieving Pinterest Moms Should Stop Making Valentines for Their Kids.
“You know which parents I’m talking about. They spent hours on Pinterest, scrolling through idea after idea after idea, on the hunt for the cleverest and cutest of Valentines. Hours more were wasted in the craft store, dragging exhausted children into “just one more aisle” before they headed home, plopped the kids in front of the TV, and got to work … on their kids’ Valentine’s Day cards.
The fruits of their labor will be stunning, I’m sure. No globs of glue or dribbles of paint in sight. They will come home in my daughter’s backpack, and as I paw through the pile of Valentines, they will stand heads and tails above the others in terms of “quality.”
And yet, I will know they did not come from any of her pals. No 8-year-old I’ve met has ever crafted anything that I’ve seen on Pinterest (at least nothing that gets repinned on the regular).”
We are a homeschooling family, so I know very little about the politics of classroom Valentine exchanges. But I’ve seen accusations like this levied at moms (by moms) about things like birthday parties and Halloween costumes as well.
And I wonder. Why do we have to be so quick to assume the worst?
Maybe those kids really DID make those Valentines. Maybe Susie is some kind of Pinterest Prodigy, able to craft at a level well beyond her tender years.
But what if she isn’t? What if Susie’s mom helped? Or helped a lot? Or just made them herself?
I suppose it could be because she wants to make me feel bad. But I really, really doubt it. It seems much more likely that she made that Valentine because she saw something on Pinterest and it brought her joy, and she wanted to share it with me and my child so that it would bring us joy as well.
I know a lot of crafty women. I know women who are talented sewers and knitters and bakers and scrapbookers and party planners and NONE of them do what they do to shame another person. They do it because they love to do it and God gave them the talent and desire to do it well.
We all have different gifts, it works better that way. If we were all good at singing then there wouldn’t be any basketball. If we were all good at baking there wouldn’t be any scarves.
Should kids make their own Valentines? Sure. Absolutely.
This very afternoon, I tossed our craft box, two February issues of Disney Family Fun magazine and four bags of candy on the table and went to take a nap with my baby while the kids made
a huge mess their Valentines. If I had stayed to supervise or help or take over, if I had finished them up after bedtime, would it have meant I loved my children’s friends (and their mothers) less, that I was out to get them? No it would not.
So if MY children come home from our parkday Valentine exchange with any Pinterest-worthy Valentines, they won’t “be shifted immediately to the bottom of the pile.” I’ll assume they were given with love, and that’s how they’ll be received.
Speaking of letting kids do stuff . . . have you heard of Tierney Family Bistro? We let OUR kids open a very exclusive restaurant.