Valentines Day {Way to Go Mom}

UPDATE: I can’t read a calendar. I thought Valentine’s Day was next week. It is not. Whew.

Okay parents…Valentines Day is coming up. That gives us 2 weekends to come up with our game plan. I’m so last minute with everything lately. If it wasn’t for this blog, I wouldn’t think about what next Tuesday is or the fact that I will have 2 little girls intent on doing something special for every human being they have met.

I’ve been pinning a couple ideas…simple ones that you and I can pull off this weekend if we want to be over achievers and not wait until Monday night. You can visit my Pinterest page to find link to the ideas:

Now I know some of you already have Valentines Day bags stuffed, treats made, and the decorations ready to hang. Others of you are shaking your head at the thought of doing anything. With that in mind, I wanted to share a post from February 2015:

When Pinterest first became popular several years ago, it was interesting to me to watch the reactions other moms had to the website. For some, it sparked their creativity and gave them confidence to try new things. Others complained that now everyone would be doing the same things.

A few years later a wise mother of young adults left a comment on my blog related to Pinterest. She said she feared what Pinterest and Pinterest standards would do to a generation of young moms.

There was a shift, so it seemed to me, of parties, snacks, events, decor, etc. created not out of love for creating, but out of other motives. A new version of Keeping Up With the Joneses.

There seems to be a new shift now – one of putting down those that put hours into cute birthday parties, fun snacks, photo-worthy homemade cookies and other similar stuff. This Valentine’s Day I watched it play out online and among moms I know. Instead of encouraging and celebrating moms that go that extra bit to do something creative for their kids, they seem to be the object of passive aggressive attacks by moms like me whose kids showed up to parties with store bought cookies and Valentines. There is this general idea pushed that if a mom goes the extra mile it is because she is trying to be Super Mom or that she has it all together.

Really though…creativity expressed in going the extra mile can often be just a mom acting out the way she was designed – sharing her gifts and her beauty.

Sure, some moms do it for praise from others, but not all moms. Some moms make 50 handmade Valentines with their kids for classmates simply because that is who they are and what they love to do. They should be encouraged not put down or embarrassed for living out their gifts. I was once the mom that showed up with ‘Pinterest-y’ goodies because it is a natural extension of who I am. I wasn’t looking to impress anyone, I simply loved the chance to create and share with others. I miss the days that I had extra margin to create in that way. Maybe one day I’ll be doing that again, but in the meantime I want to celebrate those that do. And I want to celebrate those that do not.

We are all uniquely and beautifully made.

Whether we come alive covering paper hearts with glitter, using coupons to find the best deal on store bought cookies or organizing a classroom supply closet – let’s cheer each other on! In coming together and using our words to encourage each other – we collectively shine.

Shining, happy people are pretty fun to be around too….especially when one brings cookies, homemade or store bought!

2.15valentines-012.15valentines-022.15valentines-03So…way to go mom that will show up at the Valentine’s Day party with store bought everything.

Way to go mom that will show up with the cutest snacks and thoughtfully made cards.

Way to go mom that can’t make it to the party, but will send your child covered in feelings of love.

Way to go moms. (& dads & grandparents & those raising & loving kids)

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  • Gabrielle N - Wow, beautifully said, and so true, true of so many things, times and occasions, not just Valentine’s Day. Thank you

  • Anna Brown - Way to go Ashley for being real and a fantastic cheerleader for all mums, parents, grandparents and care givers…..And for adding beautiful photography to the mix.

  • Mary - You do realize you have 9 days until Valentines day right? Don’t sweat it yet!

  • Bonnie - Yes yes yes!!! I flip flop between doing it the labor intensive (but cuter, healthier, Pinterestier way) and the easy way, and I try my best to not apologize for either. I just sent out 15 Valentine’s cards to our closest friends and family, but at day care we’ll be handing out play doh cans that I bought at a consignment sale. I love the idea of celebrating people who go the extra mile and share their creativity, and also the people who simply were able to attend. BTW we decided to just order take out for our small super bowl party, and everyone coming is super excited to not have to prepare anything.

  • Chrissy - Man, you scared me for a minute. Valentines is not next week. We have another weekend to prepare 🙂

  • Debbie C - Hi Ashley! Please be cheered that you actually have an extra week–today is just February 3rd. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing what you and the kids create for Valentines Day!

  • susie - My sister and I were just saying how much we like valentines day. In Finland they celebrate it as Friendship day and I was telling the kids how we can love everyone! My girls are like yours, so excited to share. I just had a baby last week so store bought valentines it is. I love when people go the extra mile and create things, but often I am way to cheap to spend money on crafts at this time.

  • Marian - Beautifully said. As women, whether you are a mother or not, we must support and encourage each other to do what makes them happy! Thanks for this post! I needed to hear it.

  • Jennifer - Great post! I agree!! I like to think every Mom is doing their personal best. Like you, I love crafting; it’s fun. And my kiddo loves it when I make things.

  • AshleyAnn - So funny….I might end up extra prepared this year!

  • AshleyAnn - Chrissy – Yep, I can’t read a calendar. I updated it!

  • AshleyAnn - Mary – I’m obviously not that on top of things…can’t even read a calendar!

  • Jessica P - I love your encouraging perspective. Well said.

  • Jenn - perfection
    i just love every bit of this
    may we not discourage those who create or those who don’t
    want to remember to be the cheerleader of other moms like you do so well

    loved your way to go’s at the end of the post. reminded me of a Superbowl commercial. It was PERFECT!