Valentine's Day is around the corner, and that means producing roughly 50+ Valentine's for my children's classmates (and getting SO MANY in return). Now we all know there are many routes to take on this one: a) swing by Target, pick up a few boxes of the little rectangle paper character ones, done and done b) Make something by hand? Toss the kids some construction paper and safety scissors and let them go to town OR, c) you can type the seemingly innocent words "kids valentines" into the search bar on Pinterest and see what pops up and let your crafty side go caaaa-RAZY. But, be careful, you might turn into that "Pinterest Mom" in your kid's class...
What will you find in the creative, sparkly depths of Pinterest? Everything from hand dipped pretzels dotted with heart shaped sprinkles that come in individually wrapped cellophane baggies tied with red and white twine (someone please make these to give out at my children's classroom so I can steal them) to bottles of pink and red bubbles taped with personalized Valentine's labels, Pinterest is the over-achieving crafty mom's dream and can be the less crafty inclined mom's nightmare and shame inducing spiral.
The problem is, we sorta tend to snicker at the Pinterest mom and her "trying too hard" at the class parties, for everything from her meticulously put together lunchboxes to her adorably matching children in their July 4th outfits (ed note: okay yes I am guilty of this myself, what can I say? I love matching). Behind her back we wonder how much time she must have on her hands to go through such a process. We scroll past her Elf on the Shelf posts over the holidays and roll our eyes at the effort she must've put out to rearrange the kids closets and draw on the mirror. But really what we're thinking is, "Why you gotta make me look bad, Pinterest Mom?!"
The thing is, she isn't making you look bad by overachieving on the Pinterest front. Every mom has their strengths, and maybe, just maybe, this is hers. Maybe working out is your thing, and you post photos from the gym and out with the fam on a hike. Maybe you are a volunteering maven who spends her time bouncing from your kid's school to Girl Scouts and back home giving hours of hands-on time. Maybe you're a working mom who is building a career she believes in. Maybe you know how to make your own almond milk and hand knitted all of their winter hats (seriously I wish I could knit though for real). Any way we do it, whether it includes hand dipped chocolate pretzels (okay I'm seriously hungry now) your way is a good way and our strengths shouldn't cut anyone down, AND being proud of what you are good at isn't the equivalent of putting someone else down. So no apologies for your class Valentine perfection, Pinterest Mom. Don't pretend like it was "no big deal" to create twenty five mini gumball machines with printed out tags saying "I chews you". You did the work, bask in some glory my crafty friend.
There are some of us out there (I count myself among them) who are obsessed with bunting and making cute shaped pancakes. I positively swoon when I see miniature cookie cutters that I can punch out little kitty cat shapes in cucumber slices for their lunchboxes. Do they always eat those kitty cat cucumbers? HAHA no. Do they always appreciate my craftiness? Also a no. But I like doing it, and dammit, rainbow pancakes just make me happy, okay? And even though I probably spend an absurd amount of time color coordinating various things in my home, I also have my fair share of non-Pinterest-y moments when I'm shoving a handful of ones in their hands to buy lunch that day because we've run out of, well, everything, and my bathtub is going to be overtaken by bath toys sometime in the next few days (I have yet to Pinterest-ily solve that dilemma).
Plus, chances are the Pinterest mom isn't judging you for your store bought Target Valentines, the truth is probably closer to the idea that making these little creations for her kids makes her happy, and your Valentines don't factor into that. Chances are the only negative reflection is the one that only you yourself are seeing, so instead of focusing on what she does that you don't, focus on what you do right, and make that shine.