If you have kids of different genders, you may have noticed how differently they feel about the ridiculousness that is Valentines Day.Ah, yes. February 14. St. Valentine, the patron saint of making everyone feel loved (or unloved) and riddled with anxiety that they’ll disappoint their significant other. Like many aspects of parenting, this day is viewed quite differently in my house—a house where both boys and girls live. Here’s the breakdown of how to prepare, celebrate, and react to this ridiculous super special meaningful holiday if you’re a girl vs. a boy.

(Warning: stereotypes ahead. It’s okay. Have a chuckle.)

Valentines Day Prep

If you have kids, chances are you’ve helped them make the “box.” It’s supposed to be a cute receptacle in which other kids’ valentines can be delivered. Here’s how that goes.

Boys:

Materials needed: shoebox and one crayon

Refuse to acknowledge a box is needed until 7 pm the night before.

Write name on shoebox with one crayon. Say “I’m done.”

Girls:

Materials needed: several shoeboxes (to allow for practice runs and/or errors in sticker placement), 3 bottles of glue (plain), 3 bottles of glue (glitter), 5 sticker sheets, ream of shiny “fancy paper”, markers, crayons, colored pencils, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms (small, medium, and large), magical fairy dust, 5 strands of unicorn hair, gas for 3 trips to Michaels Continue Reading

Some good moms clean a lot. Some don't. Some make organic homemade muffins. Some don't. And that's okay.Girlfriends, I got to get something off my chest.

My house is never clean. Like ever. I have friends (with kids) whose houses are spotless. Are they better mothers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope.

I work out every day. I have mom friends who don’t exercise. (I mean other than running around like crazy people after their kids). Does that make either of us a better mom? Nope.

I have a friend who gave birth in a pool in her living room. I pushed mine out in a hospital bed after receiving a gift from the epidural fairy. Both of us are good moms.

I drink a beer or glass of wine (sometimes in front of my kids!) on occasion. I’m a good mom. My neighbor and good friend doesn’t drink. Also a good mom.

I’m a yeller. I have a good friend who is quiet and extremely patient. I envy her. But we are both good moms.

I have friends who are super organic, chemical free, and dye free. My kids sometimes eat popsicles for breakfast. The Continue Reading

Taking a 8yo and 4yo to Worlds of Fun around Halloween means candy, spooky music, lots of rides, and maybe a zombie-filled parade.You may have read about our adventures this summer at Oceans of Fun—all about how KC Parent Magazine sent us there for the day and how super easy it is to manage three kids of three different heights at an amusement park. Ha! However, it was an awesome day and the kids had a ball. Well, KC Parent again has provided us with a fun day full of memories—this time to Worlds of Fun. Here’s how it went.

Only my boys were in tow for this adventure, as my 6-year-old daughter had a birthday party that was not to be missed. My sons are 8 and 4. The 8-year-old loves roller coasters. The 4-year-old loves roller coasters. But only the 8-year-old is tall Continue Reading

They still hold my hand. They aren't online yet. They play without me and give me space. Ages 4, 6, and 8. The sweet spot.The early days of motherhood are a foggy half-conscious dream, or a nightmare some days. You wonder if you’ll ever leave the house again, or wear real clothes again, or feel like a human who does things other than watch Thomas the Train and wipe up poop.

After a few years, the clouds part and one day you see yourself return. Maybe you had a quiet shower without interruption. Or you slept the whole night through. Or you went on a date with your husband and wore sexy boots. You realize you are conscious again. You made it through the storm. Your body might feel softer, you might see a few gray hairs, but you’re still here.

Years down the line, after years of tiny feet bouncing downstairs at six a.m., the house begins to quiet. Part-time jobs, driver’s licenses, girlfriends and boyfriends usurp the precious mom-time that used to be. You realize several days have passed and you haven’t had a true conversation with your child.

Other than the pile of laundry he left at your feet, you wonder how much he needs you and misses you Continue Reading