“Overacheiving Pinterest Moms” Probably Aren’t Making Valentines *AT* You

by | Feb 13, 2014 | February, Open Letters, St. Valentine's Day, Things I Think | 12 comments

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? 

Why do we have to assume that that mother is ripping craft supplies from the hands of her doe-eyed children so she can make just the Valentine that will shame all the other mothers of the class?

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.

Yours Truly,

Speaking of letting kids do stuff . . . have you heard of Tierney Family Bistro? We let OUR kids open a very exclusive restaurant.


  1. Micaela Darr

    Phewsh. Now I know what I'm up against. {Heads directly to Pinterest} (wink wink)

  2. Shauna

    Great post! We went to Target today and BOUGHT our Valentines. I used to get enjoyment out of hand making Valentines but now we have to make sooooo many with 5 kids participating in the homeschool exchange. My children were handed candy, cards, tape and pens. It took about 45 minutes and they were finished! 🙂 Your children's Valentines were so cute and I am sure that they had a great time making them!

  3. Molly

    Well I guess we should never buy anything handmade by anyone else ever again. That would be cheating!

    Who cares if Mom or Dad helped out (a lot)? This happens all the time with Valentines, Christmas Presents, School Projects and so much more. Little Suzy has a great idea and is so committed to it, but doesn't have the skills to pull it off yet, so Mom and Dad step it up (even though they'd much rather be doing anything else with their time). Or maybe they put things off until the last minute and Little Buddy had no interesting the project they had decided on, but Mom and Dad didn't want him to show up to school empty handed. So many options, but like you said most of them come from a place of love. =)

  4. Mrs. Amen

    Awesome post! I'll share what happened last year with/for my son in preschool. I forgot it was Valentine's, and my DH was out of the country, and i was home alone with DS (4yo) and DD (6mo). I put them to bed, then went to empty and reload his little backpack. Where i found a reminder about the party the next day. So, with no opportunity to go buy anything, and no candy in the house, i decided to make cupcakes and just stick a "happy Valentine's from DS" heart in them on a toothpick. I thought it'd take me an hour, hour and half tops. Well, at 2:30am when i finally collapsed into bed, there were 2 dozen pretty cupcakes decorated just so, with cute little hand cut hearts with messages. I forgot i love to bake and can get easily carried away in these little projects. I promise i wasnt crafting AT anyone, i just didn't want DS to be the only kid whose mom "forgot" again. Oh, and i still had to have us all up and out the door by 7am so i could be at work on time.

  5. Amelia Bentrup

    I haven't seen that orginial post, but wow…the anger in that is crazy. How sad. I hate it when moms look at things other moms do and get all angry or think they are doing it *at them* or *to show them up*

    I'll never forget one year we had a party and invited some friends over. My friend and I both had toddlers around the same age (her toddler was her first, my toddler was my 3rd). I had homemade pizza and cake and other assorted party foods. (I think it was a birthday party for my daughter and these friends were the godparents).

    Anyway, as I was serving the food, I heard the husband quitely say to his wife "see, she can cook with a toddler around" He didn't mean for me to hear it, but I did, and I felt so bad that he was comparing what I can do to what she can do. Everyone has different skills and abilites and I had 3 kids and years or practice of cooking with toddlers underfoot. When my oldest was a toddler, doing something like that would have been much more challenging.

  6. Melissa Tedesco

    When I read your post on righteous anger, I had just finished studying Matthew 12 and wasn't sure if reading your blog was still healthy for my faith formation, but I really appreciate posts like this and other parenting tip posts. I'm happy to have your family as another Christian example in my life even if I sometimes have differences of opinion. Thanks for living your faith and sharing it with us!

  7. Diane Jaquay

    I'm one of "those" moms who used to make fancy Valentines and other things for my kids to take into school. Why, because I LOVE crafts, and love having a reason to make them! I never once thought of trying to make the other moms feel bad! The things I chose to make were based on what I thought the kids would love receiving and nothing more. Sometimes my kids helped me to make the items, but mostly I made them while the kids were in school. It was fun and fulfilling for me, doing something I dearly love to do. I miss those crafty days now that my kids are in HS. It's really too bad that some people have to look for the worst of motives in others. I believe this almost always stems from either guilt or envy or anger in their own lives. Very sad.

  8. Nanacamille

    I love the Valentines the kids make for me. They are clever and cute and full of love and globs of glue at times. Nanacamille

  9. Cynthia

    Oh Kendra, I agree wholeheartedly. Even though we all get our feelings hurt from time to time, I would say it seems to me, that we as a people have become so unnecessarily sensitive. So ready to blame someone else for how we view ourselves. I am a terrible craft-er. Terrible. But I shouldn’t write something up aiming to shame those who flex whatever talent God gave them. If there is malice, that is one thing, but most often, like you pointed out, there isn’t. Much like a “popular” blogger isn’t out to put another blogger to shame. Or a mother who cooks well doesn’t make sure she rubs it in a friends face who orders take-out each night. To each their own. We all need to take a deep breath and be happy for one another.

    Whew. Ok, I’m done. This kind of stuff gets me sooo worked up 🙂
    Speaking of talented, your kids get my vote! That catapult is genius!

  10. Christie

    Kendra, I needed to hear this. I'm the mom who finds joy in doing beautiful things for people that mean something to me; but I'm also the mom who feels badly if I 'm not able to do it and a little bit resentful toward the moms that can and do. Thanks for setting me straight. c:

  11. Anonymous

    You won't mind the irony if I pin one of your homemade Valentines, will you? 🙂

  12. Amy

    This is so wonderful! I love Pinterest, and I always feel a bit bewildered by the hostile "Stope the Pinterest Mom!" posts that pop up from time to time. I just like to do crafts for and with my kids, and no I never do them *at* anyone else. Well said!!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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