Was Your Mommy Ego Bruised on Valentine’s Day?

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Here’s a popular repost from last year. Enjoy, my under-achieving ladies….

Was it just me, or did your mommy ego take a nosedive when going through your kids’ Valentine’s Day cards from their classmates?

In eager excitement, my kids poured out their love-inspired notes after school. And instead of sharing in their joy, I caved into my anxiety and negative self-talk.

Homemade cookies? Fancy chocolates? Crafts and hand-written poems? Full-on snacks in GD decorated baggies with custom-made notes?

WTF?

Apparently I’m new at this game. I thought Valentine’s Day cards for preschoolers and 7-year-olds was a “To and From” situation. My mommy duty is to purchase a box of $2 cards, then help my kids print each of their classmates’ names which are later distributed on the morning of the 14th.

No?

Has Valentine’s Day become a new battle in ‘The Mommy Wars‘?

MORE: Stop The Mommy Wars: Empowering Photo Series

I should’ve known this was coming. On Valentine’s Eve, some of my Facebook friends started posting the evidence. “I got this great idea from Pinterest,” one of my online pals captioned a photo of the amazing homemade snacks and cards she whipped up with her kids.

Has social media created a competitive space for women to live up to the ‘Super Mom‘ image?

MORE: Tina Fey Says Mommy Chat Rooms Have “Some of the Worst Human Behavior”

In my feeble attempt to make sense of it all, I quickly assumed my Facebook friend was on some kind of Valentine’s party planning committee. But I soon discovered that this is the new norm.

And here’s the ironic thing. I thought I was being PC-chic with my puppies and kittens cards, not giving into the mass media hype of Lightning McQueen and Cinderella.

So what are we doing here, mommies? Can we just lay it out on the table? Is this like small man syndrome….you know, a short guy driving a suped-up truck kind of thing? Are we trying to overcompensate for something? Has social media created a space for Super Mom monsters? Has our gender’s disease to please been taken to another level thanks to Pinterest and Facebook?

In my opinion there is way too much pressure on women to be the ‘best mom’ out there, and Valentine’s Day is just another platform to let the mommy wars rage on.

Whether it’s the trendiest stroller, or the most organically-packed lunch, or the biggest and best birthday parties, or the most unique Valentine’s Day cards, it seems us moms are in a constant competition with each other.

The Super Mom thing is getting old. Maybe we should stop this?!

Sound off in the comments. Am I way off base, or do you feel the same way?

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Filed under: Big Kids,Carousel,Holidays & Parties,Parenting Styles

Photo credit: Someecards/HaHasforHooHas.com

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  1. Couldn’t agree more! My goal this year is to lower those expectations on myself. It’s not easy when you are bombarded with so many amazing ideas, so many cute things. But I let my daughter make her own valentines, with printer paper and a gold pen. They were free, they were cute (to mama) and they were her, and she was proud. They won’t make it into the popular category on Pinterest, but she was happy with them and that is what counts, right?

    I talked some about this in a recent post… link to lovefromtheoven.com It seems like social media has really upped the whole “keeping up with the Joneses” but in a whole new guilty mama way.

    Thanks for sharing Jenny!

  2. Leanne

    Not to mention it’s like Halloween all over again?? In my day it was a construction paper heart made at school. stuffed with $2 a box valentines from my classmates. Now, a dozen candy necklaces, bags of cinnamon hearts, home baked sugar cookes, suckers. I didn’t bring anything for my son’s class this year, as the note said “you can bring in a treat for the class to share, only if you want to” and since I’m an honest girl I had to honour the “if you want to” portion of the note. I’m glad I didn’t when I see how much of this stuff is simply going to get tossed. At what point do we say “if 20 kids bring 20 bags of cookies, chocolates etc. we have too many cookies?”

  3. Nadine

    I got the 2$ box for each of my kids, other kids (and mine) don’t really care or appreciate the value and time that went into mega crafting deluxe cards. I made sugar cookies for my dad and boyfriend, but not for the school. It’s a cash cow “holiday” I don’t like to buy into.

  4. Kristy

    I agree that the motivation behind a few of those Valentines is probably to show other people what a good mom they are. But the majority of those Valentines are from moms who find joy in creating. I like to see what other moms create, it inspires me to be creative. The only pressure I felt about Valentines was including some candy and that came from my kids. I went for the store bought valentines because I know where they all end up.

  5. Tania

    I was thinking the same thing with the Pinterest postings!! I think we overdo what we love!! I love my kids having sleepover, playing twister and nails,sometimes a Starbucks. I don’t like crafts, and making melon shaped hearts. You always get 1 or 2 parents that are looking to outdo their fellow parent…. I say let’ em then I don’t have to do it and pretend I like it

  6. Heather

    I think there are probably some moms out there who do it to ‘win’. This year my kids cut hearts out of copy paper and wrote to and from on them all. They were perfect and they were happy. We added a tootsie pop because suckers are awesome.

    I LOVE some of the ideas I had seen, but I don’t have the time to do that x 70 (3 kids in school right now…..kg, 2nd, 3rd). If i only had one, maybe I would take the time, because it’s fun!

    The funny thing is that the kids don’t really appreciate the special valentines any more than the plain jane. It’s just a fun event.

  7. Koni

    This reminds me of the pressure I felt, about 10 years ago, to scrapbook EVERYTHING. It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t have to (I didn’t even WANT to) put 15-20 photos of my baby in some Our-Day-at-the-ZOO-book that cost me $50+ in tools/stickers/paper/accessories, etc. At least with that trend, it was actually supposed to be done by an adult.
    My 2 pre-K’ers got 1 box of Tinkerbell Valentine’s, complete with stickers, to split between their classes. 32 Valentine’s with “gift”, 2 classes, NO CANDY and all for $1.97. They are 3 1/2 & 5, and they both wrote their own names on each Valentine, with my 5 yr old also writing the name of each student and teacher in her class. They sat at the kitchen table on two different days while I monitored/guided and helped slip the stickers into the pre-cut slots. It was relaxing, fun and it was THEIRS (crossed out mistakes, backwards letters and all!).

  8. I have no plans to actually participate in the whole Valentine’s Day cards for everyone. They are kids, they like their friends and might call it love. But I see no point in handing out cards or cookies or candies. It’s a media and store made up day. If they like their friends they can make cards for them any day of the year.

  9. Andrea

    Not at all. The “war” is silly and filed but the guilt of mothers everywhere. Why would a nicely made valentine make you feel inferior? We do it to ourselves. There are lots of things that I’m not good at, but party planning & crafting are my thing. I adore Pinterest, it’s an indispensable source of ideas and people I may otherwise have never found. I look forward to holidays and events, the time I spend with my son making valentines or whatever is priceless. I have never once looked at something he brought home and thought, ‘oh gag, this is store bought’ and I can only hope people don’t look at ours and have negative thoughts, that’s just crazy to me. Ive also never gone to a party and poo poohed on it because they didn’t totally theme it out like I do. If it’s not what you enjoy, don’t do it! But the passive-aggressive bashing of those that do, that I’ve been seeing more and more of lately is terrible. The reason I started my blog was to share my ideas and creations so others who ‘wanted to’ could use them :( Just my opinion.

  10. Andrea

    Auto correct and iPad typing, sorry! *fueled by the guilt.

  11. LOL, I have experienced guilt over this in the past but I’m so over it now. I bought the $2 cards and even signed them because my 2nd grade son refused to.

  12. I agree with Andrea 100%. Possibly some moms do it be the best or show off (and yes, that is obnoxious) but for some of us, we love to craft and be creative. I’m a professional graphic designer and I love what I do and it’s a way for kids to understand and appreciate what I do for a living. I would hate to think that the creations we make are looked down upon b/c people think we are showing off or trying to be “the best”. Last year, I made goody bags and homemade valentines that were really pretty. This year, I was just too busy with work, so it was the $1 box of Winnie the Pooh for us. Signed and done. Both were totally fine!! It didn’t make me feel any less of a mom from last year. Why not appreciate the time and effort that these moms put into things? To say that Pinterest in creating competitive “super mom” monsters is just silly to me. If you don’t like Pinterest, then don’t go on it. Creative and visual people love it. Putting down the Pinterest-loving moms is rather judgemental. To each his own. Just my opinion.

  13. Amanda

    My friends and I were just talking about this same thing! My son is only in preschool and I was shocked last year when he came home with bags of homemade treats and custom made valentines. They were only 2 at the time so it seemed crazy to me. We bought the cheapie valentines at the store so I felt like loser Mom when he came home with soooo much stuff! This year I stepped it up a little but didn’t go overboard. Still bought the cheapie cards but I made little treat bags with fruit snacks and a couple of Hershey kisses. My son was all excited to help but lost interest after about 2 minutes so I was left making all 30 treat bags by myself…LOL

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  16. Rosalie

    I could not agree more. I will be taking both my kids to Walmart to pick out their Valentine’s Day cards for friends, help to add their names, and maybe a few stickers. Nothing more. Its really about friendship anyway, letting people know you care. I don’t buy into the big bags of “bought” love and commercialism and thankfully my children don’t either.

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