I bought my kids’ Valentines for school, and that’s okay

Have you been on Pinterest lately?

It’s brimming with the sweetest Valentine’s Day crafts for you and your cuties to do together. Even my Facebook news feed has been full of links to videos and blogs with heart-inspired DIY.

Last year, I spent a full episode of The Bachelor cutting out little tags I’d printed that read “Sip-sip horray! It’s Valentine’s Day!” and fastening them to crazy straws. My daughter was two and half and not exactly a huge help. But I didn’t mind. They were adorable! The kids were going to love them.

And they did. But they also viewed the darling tags I’d spent hours on as an obstacle to getting to what they really wanted: the straws. The tags ended up in the trash.

Would I have done it all over again? Absolutely! It brought me joy to feel as though I was doing something special for my daughter and her friends.

Here’s the thing.

Rather than spending hours painting, cutting, glittering, sticking and/or packaging with Daphne this year, I decided to swing by the store and let her pick out a bag of prepackaged snacks for her friends.

And that’s okay.

The truth is, I have a love/hate relationship with DIY. As in, I hate that fact that I love it, because I’m not particularly good at it.

Whatever the craft, recipe, fill-in-the-blank, the photos always look so perfect. The directions make it seems so quick and simple. And it should definitely be less expensive than something store bought if I’m making it myself, right?

Well, if you’re not a regular DIY-er {I’m not}, you probably don’t already have a craft room full of supplies to pull from {I don’t}, which means you’ll need to hit up Hobby Lobby before you get started. Consider how those little buttons, stickers, clothes pins, and ribbons add up and try to think of ways you may use the leftovers so you don’t waste, or you could end up spending way more than you’d planned.

And then comes the actual Doing It Yourself….Is it just me, or does it rarely look as good as the example? I usually end up disappointed or frustrated or regretting that I didn’t just go buy whatever it was that I was attempting to create myself.

As moms, we put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to be perfect parents. But parenting isn’t a one-size-fits all job description. And social media has only perpetuated the idea that the grass is greener in other moms’ yards.

While I’ve loved looking at the beautiful photos online of Valentine’s Day crafts, I’m also comfortable in sitting back and saying I don’t have time for that. And knowing my kids aren’t going to be worse for it.

Are you a DIY mom? I totally envy you, especially if it comes easily for you! Handmade gifts are cherished because they are personal. Kudos to you for your artistic vision and patience. I’m sure your kids will inherit both from the time you spend creating together.

But this year, I’ve aligned myself with the store-buying Valentines moms.

My daughter was so proud to pick out her treats for her class all by herself. She even gave me an unprompted hug and thank you! And while I cannot be certain, I’m pretty confident that she wouldn’t have done the same if I’d spent hours cutting out tags again.

Plus, the time not crafting was spent riding bikes around the neighborhood and playing outside with my daughter instead.

This Valentine’s Day, I wish you a stress-free day to cherish your family and friends and do something together that you all enjoy. Whether you spend the day crafting, shopping, riding bikes or just sitting at home, make sure you’re surrounded by those you love

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