We wandered up and down the Target aisles, grabbing the few things on our list. As we approached the far corner of the store, the kids spotted the Valentines. A whole box of Superhero Valentines for just $3.00. People— there are like 30 Valentines in that box and hey, they even come with suckers. What a deal, right? The kids begged and for a moment I wanted to say no. No, I don’t want to be that Mom who just buys a box of Valentines. Come on, I want to be that Mom who hand crafts 30 adorable works of love, that perfectly show off every ounce of creativity that I can offer this world.
Mom, they even have Superman! And look Mom, it’s Batman! Look Mom, my friends would love them!’
It didn’t take long for me to realize that this isn’t about me. These are for their friends, from them. So, we not only bought one box of cheap Valentines, but we bought two. A superhero one and a Disney princess one, because my daughter was hooked as well.
We assembled these Valentines and talked about what Valentines are really all about. We give each other Valentines to say ‘I appreciate you. I’m glad you’re my friend. You’re special to me.’ And still, as we tucked those little suckers into the little paper Valentines, I felt like maybe this wasn’t enough. Maybe I should go hit up Pinterest and do something that’ll drop jaws.
Here’s the truth though: This isn’t a Mom competition. Or is it? If so, I’m stepping out of the competition right now. My kids love their box Valentines and I’m choosing to think that’s what really matters. I’m choosing what they choose, because this is for them, not me. My kids assembled their Valentines almost completely independently and what would I have taught them if I’d done it for them?
So, let’s do this….
Dear Mom who bought a box of Valentines,
You are no less than any other Mom, neither are you any more. You are just as great now as you were before you tossed that cheap box into your cart. I hope you let your kids choose the ones they love and I hope you had them do the assembly, as much as they were capable of. I also hope that you know that these Valentines are just as important, although they might not have caused you any late nights or needed any glue. I hope you don’t feel any less important, just because they were completed with a swipe of your debit card and 10 minutes at the table. I hope you know that your kids love them and so will their friends.
So, dear mom who decided to just skip Pinterest this year and not add one more thing to her already full plate, I just want to say that I get it and I like you. I like that you know this isn’t about you. I like that you’re not competing for the most crafty mommy award. Happy Valentines Day to the Mom who bought the box. You rock.
And just because I love you too…..
Dear Mom with glue gun burns and dark circles from late night crafting,
I hope you know that I like being friends with gals like you, although your Valentines look much better than mine. I hope you made them because you truly enjoy doing that type of thing, not because you felt like you needed to compete. I hope you let your kids help you, even if they might not do it as well as you can. And I hope that you had fun and that it didn’t just feel like ‘one more thing’.
I hope your kids love the cheap box Valentines from my kids, just as much as they love the ones that took hours to make. I hope we can smile at each other knowing that I am not better than you and you are not better than me. I hope we can agree that this is not about competing, but this is about celebrating love.
Happy Valentines Day, sweet Moms. You’re all amazing.
About Angela Strand:
Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a girl who loves Jesus. Besides staying home with her kids, she loves serving on her church’s MOPS team, being part of women’s ministry, writing and taking photos. She loves being outdoors with her family, seeking out adventure and being creative with her kids. You’ll find Angela blogging at www.angelastrand.com