Parents, It's Time To Stop The Valentine’s Day Insanity

Alexandria Durrell gave up feeling guilty about not doing Valentine's Day crafts with her kids and she's never felt better.

Look, I’m not a curmudgeon, I swear, but we need to talk about Valentine’s Day and young kids. Those one-ply Valentine’s cards and crap-tastic pencils we’re wasting money on to send to all 28 kids in the class are being chucked into the garbage the second they exit the backpack, so why? Why are we doing this?

Is there a parent out there who really loves emptying out the dozens of cheap cards and hard plastic trinkets that inevitably come home each Valentine’s Day? Is there really anyone who relishes spending money on that stuff to send to four kids they know and a bunch of strangers their child complains about on a daily basis?

Parents, stop the Valentine’s Day insanity.

Here’s the thing: I don’t have time to sit with my kid and spell out 27 other names for him to carelessly scribble onto cards. It’s an exercise in frustration for both of us, and let’s face it—nobody likes everyone, so why send them to every kid? Because you can’t send them to just a few, that’s why. So you end up awake until 11 pm trying to scrawl names onto some Paw Patrol Valentines so nobody in your kid’s JK class feels left out—no thanks.

Then there’s the whole manufactured love aspect of the day. I don’t feel like drilling it into my elementary kids’ heads that Valentine’s Day is mandatory and we’ve gotta show our love with random pink and red gift items. It’s bad enough that as adults we feel the pressure of the “holiday”, isn’t it? I’m all for chocolate (always), and I do love cut flowers (daisies, please), but I don’t like pressure, and to me, that’s what this day is all about.

And how about the fact that it’s still such a gender-biased day? And sexist? There are boys’ cards and girls’ cards, and there are expectations and notions about how the day should go. I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten, another parent suggested she was their son’s girlfriend, and well, nope. She was five-years-old. They’re only little once, and while I’m all for the fun of the day, I just can’t wrap my head around forcing the notion romantic love on little kids.

Valentine’s Day becomes yet another chore parents begrudgingly do because of pressure from other parents, and let me tell you, the day I let that guilt go was the best day of my life.

No more money spent on character cards that aren’t even perforated properly. No more cheap erasers (that never even erase, what’s that all about?!), or pencils that shred and break each time you try to sharpen them. No more broken suckers, dollar store stamps, cheesy stickers, and certainly no more fights over convincing the kids to write their own damn cards.

You want to stay up and bake gorgeous iced sugar cookie hearts and Pinterest the ever-loving crap out of cards your kid can craft to hand out? More power to you, but please don’t look sideways when my kids bring a whole pile of nothing to school on Valentine’s Day.

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