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Sounds perfect to me. I dont know when it became ALL THAT.... but it needs to stop


I'm so glad my kids are beyond the school Valentine exchange age. I remember Valentine's Day exactly as you do, down to the brown paper bags.

It would be just lovely if you created a Pinteresting Valentine's Day for your daughter. Or a Candy Crush cake for her birthday. Or a Halloween costume that looks just like an iPod. Whatever.

But you are under no obligation to make every moment of each child's life a Pinterest-worthy wonder. Life is simply not like that. And honestly? The very occasional times when you do make that perfect Valentine/cake/costume will be special precisely because perfection is not an every day thing.

In the end, you did such an awesome thing, I wish I had parenting medals to hand out. You set limits, and gave her ownership and resources. She got to learn the concept of Plan B, and that Plan B is usually just fine. What a gift.

Katie Fleck

I both kinda hate and love Pinterest for this exact reason.


My son took a Girl Scout cookie box and put some duct tape on it with help from his 17 year old sister. He's happy, I'm happy. The 10 year old daughter didn't even want to do cards, she told dad to pick up candy, so he picked up fun dip for both kids to hand out. I don't have time to do pinterest and they know it. Thank God. I think giving her guidelines was a fabulous idea.


Bravo Carmen. You are a wise mom and handled that well.....very well. I plan to remember this in the future when what I have purchased is met with cries of distress - return immediately, give gift card to said child, give instructions. The end. I miss the construction paper and elmers glue days of my youth.....and a lot of other things form my childhood in the 70's. As always, THANK YOU for your posts. You are such a gifted writer and I appreciate your candor and honesty!!


Good for you! It's just another holiday that stores have figured out a way to make money on. And I'm sure there are some moms who have the time and interest to spend hours on Pinterest-worthy Valentine's, but you do other things for your kids. Like cook awesome food.

I've given my significant other strict instructions to give me DISCOUNTED CHOCOLATE on Saturday, and I'm looking forward to it.


You handles that in the exact manner I would have, by giving her perimeters you allowed her to make her own decision.


I have six kids too . . . we do what we can.


Yeah, screw Valentine's Day. Troy did space valentines from a box that came with a glow sticker. He was the ONLY child in his class that didn't give candy/something Pinterested within an inch of its life.


My kid's only 2- so I bought him a box of valentines & threw in a bag of candy thinking that was enough. You wouldnt believe how many goody bags he came home with! it was crazy

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.