Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

For the most part, I’m a rule follower. ( I mean, there’s that whole “you can’t take candy into the movie theater thing.)  So is my husband. Therefore we’ve always expected our girls to do the same. If someone says something is to be a certain way, then that’s the way it will be. Ever heard the saying, “you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit?” Nothing is fair in our house. Just ask them when one gets asked to do a chore, while the other is out of the house, or busy doing something else. It’s just NOT FAIR! It gets done anyway.

Because guess what? LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

But send your kids out into the world these days, and it seems, everything is fair.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m struggling with this whole classroom party thing. I’m certain it’s because I’ve been down this road before with my older girls–and the journey is so much different now for my 8-year-old. I’ve seen the other extreme, if you will. And I’m not saying that’s the way it should be done either, but this latest trend is about to send me over the edge.

When my older two girls (now 14 and 17) were in grade school, the sky was the limit when it came to classroom parties. I dressed up in costume every year to help host my daughter’s Halloween parties. Notice I didn’t say “fall party!” The snacks were over the top too. If someone didn’t want it, they didn’t eat it. If they couldn’t eat it, we didn’t give them one. Even crazier, the classroom next door had entirely different snacks and played games that their creative mamas came up with. It was fun to see and hear about what my girls’ friends did at their parties. I don’t recall anyone complaining about it being unfair that Tommy or Susie got to play a game that was more fun. I recall kids who, because of their religious beliefs, did not participate in the party. Most of the time their parents took them home for the afternoon. They were fine. The other kids were fine. The next day, everyone met back up for some good old fashioned learning, and life went on. I don’t recall my girls getting behind in their studies because a classroom party happened.

It’s different now.

Yesterday, I spent the better part of my afternoon trying to track down erasers that could be sent home with my youngest daughter’s classmates. I was doing my part to help, and agreed to find 24 items that were alike, so you know, everyone got the same thing.

Because that’s important. I didn’t find any.

Instead I got those cool plastic maze games—in coordinated patterns,  but not exactly the same. I personally think they’re way cooler than erasers. But I digress. The longer I looked, the more frustrated I got, because who cares? Why can’t they all get something different and just be happy that they got something in the first place? Why did I need to have heart palpitations over the fact that I might crush a little kiddo’s Valentine dreams, because they got a pink eraser, instead of a red one? I’m exaggerating obviously… but truly? I wanted to do my part to make this party a great experience for my daughter, but I doubt it will hold much clout in the whole “grade school memory bank.” It will come and go, with no particular impact.


There will be a party in her class today. It will last about 20 minutes. She will play games similar to the kids in the other classes, and they will all be served the same cookie and juice. She will pass out Valentines with no candy attached.


There will be no “Pinteresty” looking homemade boxes. (Not that I’m complaining too much about this one.)  Those were made in class, so everyone will have a similar looking “sack” to gather their valentines. That’s fine. I guess. But there will be a day when that all changes.


I realize, my comparing a classroom holiday party to the trials my girls will one day face in life, is not quite FAIR. But let’s be honest–it has to start somewhere. I tell my girls all the time that when they’re big kids in this great big world, they won’t always get the same promotion that someone else gets, or have any of the same successes their peers will have. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, sometimes the “same” is easier. Sometimes, it works. But it also needs to be OK, to be different. To accept what did or didn’t happen.

Like me, needing to accept my daughter’s Valentine party the way it will be—-whether I like it or not!

Fair enough!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Amy Sharpe

Amy Sharpe is a former television news anchor from Kansas who migrated north with her family 8 years ago, when her husband was named Voice of the Huskers! (good thing she LOVES Red!) Since arriving in Lincoln, and adding a third daughter to the family, she now works at St. Mark's church as the Director of Event Management and Video Specialist. She also enjoys the flexibility of freelance on-air and voice work. When she's not busy toting her girls back and forth, from soccer games to dance to theatre rehearsals, she finds happiness in sharing the stage with them and watching local productions. And yes, there's always time to sport their RED and support the Huskers!! With each passing year, she's realizing more and more, that she really is living the "Good Life" here in Nebraska.

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading