This year I told myself it was going to be different. I bought felt heart cut outs. I had visions in my head of glitter and glue and perfectly messy first grade valentines for my little Valentine to hand out.
I even went as far as to research what was the best kind of glue to use with felt. It was during this rabbit hole of a Google search that lead to me reading a blog post in which a woman compares TWENTY different kinds of glue that I remembered something very important: I HATE ALL THINGS CRAFTY.
I hate them. This is a word we don’t use very often in our house but for me it is the most accurate description of how I feel about crafting. I abhor it. I hate glitter. It gets everywhere. I hate glue. It never sticks to what you want it to stick to. And I hate felt. I hate it all.
This lead me to an important question: Why the heck was I so headstrong on Levi having adorable, handmade valentines? He didn’t care. He just wanted something Star Wars themed and with candy attached to it. And he could certainly do without the memories of his mom cursing under her breath and yelling at him for using the wrong kind of glue.
I cared because I know that when he comes home tomorrow with his little paper bag of valentines from his friends at least one or two of them will make me feel instant mom guilt that I sent him to school with something from Target. A little voice will flare up that says, “Man, you are so bad at this mom thing! You are now being judged by every mom in Levi’s class that sees your bag of fun sized Skittles taped to a box of Star Wars stickers. You lost this competition big time.”
This is so ludicrous. No one cares. No one. And most importantly, Levi doesn’t care. This little Hallmark holiday is for him anyways, right? It’s his class party. His box of valentines. His name scrawled on the boxes of stickers.
Here’s my message to all of you Valentine crazed moms: You do you, Valentine.
If you like the crafting and the glue and the glitter and the precious memories you create while making valentines with your kiddos, then do it! Glue the heck outta that felt heart! I can’t wait to see it come home in Levi’s paper bag tomorrow and be stoked for you and the fun times you had making it!
And that’s my promise to you, crafting zealot. I won’t judge you for loving your hot glue gun. I won’t play the mom war and try to compete and I won’t tell myself a story of how you are probably a terrible cook or something to make myself feel better. I will simply admire your handiwork and patience and attention to detail and then promptly devour every candy heart Levi pulls out.
But if that’s not you and you are more like me and hot glue makes you want to leave a you sized hole through a door, you just do you. Do the Target thing, the Dollar Store thing, the on sale at Publix thing and buy into the Star Wars, Paw Patrol, Superhero gimmick. Buy yourself a good roll of double sided tape and slap those suckers together.
My old friend and mentor (though she doesn’t know it), Brene Brown asks one question when it comes to tackling our shame demons and insecurities: Are you doing the best you can?
If the answer is no, then you re-evaluate, figure out why you aren’t giving it your all and try again. If the answer is yes, then you accept that you are enough.
If you make the cookies from scratch or buy them off the shelf. If you can attend the class party or have to politely decline. If you are happily covered in glue and glitter or happily swiping your card at Target. If you are doing the best you can in that moment, then you are enough. Period. You win.
Tomorrow when your kid comes home with a paper bag, shoebox, or ziplock bag filled with valentines, remember that your value is found nowhere in that bag. Grab a fun sized bag of Skittles (you’re welcome), squeeze your sugar crazed kid and rest in the knowledge that you did your best and you are enough.