Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I feel like this needs to be said

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  Today, Keaton will be having his Valentine exchange in his class.  I'm one of those mother', we're one of those parents who make homemade Valentine's with the kids. I've done this for the past three years for one simple reason: my mom did it with me.  I have memories of so many cut-out hearts and doily butterflies and I want my kids to have those memories too.  The first year we did this Collin kind of rolled his eyes at me.  By year 3 he now rolls up his sleeves and digs in because 1) he knows an eye roll won't sway me and 2) he sees how happy it makes the boys.

In the past few days I've seen so many posts online about those over-achiever mothers, the ones with the homemade Valentine's.  Here's the thing, this isn't about you.  I'm not trying to one-up you as a mother and my kids sure as hell aren't trying to one-up your kids (they don't even know what that is!) This is about us.  This is about the four of us sitting at the table (usually while Nolan naps) cutting and gluing and sticking and stapling.  This is about us working together and having fun.  Of course, it's not ALL fun, there's also a lot of, Careful with that! and This line!  This line here! and of course there was the time that Hutt spilled an entire bowl of popcorn all over the floor - but for the most part, it was fun.  Our Valentine's this year took several sittings to complete and on more than one occasion I gave the boys the option of doing x or working on Valentine's.  They always chose Valentine's. And not once during all of those days, not once!, did I wonder if the other mothers would bring homemade Valentine's to Keaton's class.  Not once!  Because this isn't about you.  It's about us.

I got up early because I have a deal that needs to get done today and the instant I saw the box of Keaton's Valentine's sitting on the dining room table my stomach flipped.  I suddenly realized, I'm nervous to bring them into his class.  Will the other mothers judge me?  Will they scoff at his over-achieving, homemade Valentine's?  Honestly, I was getting so worked up about it I kind of wanted to puke.  But then I decided, no, screw that, this isn't about you.  This is about us.


Amanda said...

Don't ever let another mother sway your choice to spend family time. It's a tradition and that is what the boys will remember just as you do from when you were a child. This year I did not have the time to make homemade Valentine's which made me sad but we still sat together at the table and wrote them out. Memories, that is what you are making, forget all the other stuff.

You're a great mama, do ever forget that!

PS: The boys loved their Valentine's and mine made me choke up, you're the best :) Love you!

Gail Harper said...

There are days when I am super mom and there some when I am the worst mom EVER. It is what it is. This year, Valentines snuck up and caught me totally unprepared. Should we talk about Jacob's fundraiser that I totally bombed?

I was the child of the mom who did NOT even send a box of Oreos, let alone come to the class party. I try to be the mom who does all she can because I know how it felt to not have a mom. The famous "they" again - can make all the comments, judgements whatever you call it they want but, in the end it is about YOUR family and what makes you all happy.

You ARE a GREAT momma! Those other mommas can only dream to be half the momma you are. I say, if it works for you do it, if not don't. It ain't worth losing sleep over! Let them stay awake nights thinking of how great you are. Those who truly matter, already know it!

But, I'm glad you said it! :)

Tracy Over said...

I hope that you do not let other mothers sway you and your decisions on how to spend time with your family.

I think making things yourself is awesome. I try to make things with my kids when we can and it feels good. And if someone looked down on me for it, I would be heart broken. (we have homemade banners for decorations for v-day)

I hope that you keep on keeping on!

RAN IN JAN said...

thats really so sweet of you. My best friend's mother too celebrates valentines day with my friend. When I came to know about it for the first time, I was shocked. It was no way closer to my practice in my family. These type of things makes the kids closer and everything open and happy. dont bother about other moms, you are a good mom and you know the best for your kid. atb

Mama B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama B said...

I've started typing a comment about 4 times and erased it each time, it just wasn't right. But as I thought and reflected on Ash Wednesday service this morning, the one where I attempted to take both kids with me, before preschool, and felt like everyone was starring at them as they stood on the risers, sat down, took their boots off (H took her socks off too), yes. that service.

As I sat in the church, I felt embarrassed at first that they wouldn't just sit and listen. Then I stopped and listened myself, I listened to the message.

"Pray like no one is watching you. Fast like no one is watching you. Do good like no one is watching you. God knows."

That is what I got out of service this morning.

Only God's opinion matters.

amanda said... I'm 32 y/o, and I still make homemade Valentines! Of course, I upped the ante on myself this year for my favorite Konopacki boys. Not sure how I'm going to top this one! Lol! I love that you take the time to do this with the boys, and that they love doing it with you. That's all that matters. I was talking with friends today about school Valentine's Day parties, and how some moms go c-r-a-z-y with over-the-top snacks, then the kids ususally pass them up! Hope Keats has fun at his first school Valentine's Day party!

Em said...

Hear, hear! I couldn't agree more, Kate. We got your Valentines in the mail today, and they truly made our day. Lucy kept saying, "Oooh, this is my FAVORITE popcorn!" and "Those boys made 'den??" :)

Anyway, I totally get that the reason you do this is to make memories, do a project together.

Although this year the holiday snuck up on us and we didn't get organized to do the craft I wanted to tackle in time (which made me sad!), we did do it last year, and it was so much fun! It is definitely something I'd like to make a yearly tradition.

But, here's the thing: I got the same kind of comments last year. We made our homemade Valentine's, sent them to friends, and brought them with us to exchange with the other kids at daycare. And one of the Mom said the next day..."Oh...I get're one of THOSE Moms." I was so taken aback by it, because it was my first year doing anything of this sort, and it never even crossed my mind that because we cut up our own construction paper instead of buying valentines that that was, well...a thing. A thing to be judged for.

So...I get it. I get that people are judgmental and weird about this stuff. And yet...I don't. Because, WTF? Like you said, this isn't about one-upping anybody, it's about expressing love and friendship and making a memory in the process.

Why do we women judge one another so harshly about such things? Maybe, just maybe, somebody did something because it was enjoyable or they wanted to be nice...not because there was some ulterior motive. Sheesh.

CAS said...

You said it well here! It is your choice and you enjoy doing it and so do your boys! I LOVEEEED my Valentine from the boys and from you! It is very special as I don't know how you can do it all with the 3 boys and full time work, you seem to amaze me! I'm glad it was a family time for all to experience. You sure made my night... and I others who get to recieve your love ! thank you!

Anne said...

If it's the kids making them- it's one thing.

that is adorable.

when it's obvious the moms did it- THAT is where I get my panties in a twist.

Your kids make them with you? It's their deal? That's fine. But when a 4 year old hands out hand dipped marshamallow treats with carefully placed sprinkles? No. A valentine's moose? yes.