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Mom who packs her child a meal when going out to restaurants has parents fired up

Does she have a good point?

karlie smith, kids and eating out, unbreakablemomma

Karlie Smith shows the meal she's bringing to the restaurant for her son.

A mom who admitted she packs her 2-year-old a meal when they go out to dinner has started an interesting debate on TikTok about restaurant etiquette and how it applies to young children.

The video posted by Ohio mom, Karlie Smith (unbreakablemomma on TikTok), has received nearly 600,000 views and has over 1,850 comments.

“Call me cheap, call me whatever, but if we’re going out to a restaurant, I’m packing my kid a meal," Smith, 21, said in her post. "I do this for many reasons. On Friday nights, my family and I get together, and tonight, we’re getting food out. My son is not getting food out.”


"For one, you want me to pay $6.99 for chicken tenders and fries that my son is going to throw half of it on the floor? You’re crazy," she continued. "Also, whatever I pack is probably going to be healthier than what the restaurant has anyways."

Smith’s example of a $6.99 kids’ meal is generous. In some parts of the country, a kids’ meal will set you back a lot more than that.

@unbreakablemomma

Visit TikTok to discover videos!

In the video, Smith demonstrated what she prepared for her son's meal that day: a sandwich filled with peanut butter and jelly, banana slices, cubed cheddar cheese and a chocolate-flavored Lara bar, all neatly organized in a plastic container.

Smith added that when they get to the restaurant, her child can begin to eat immediately without having to wait for a server to take their order and the kitchen to prepare the food.

"I can just hand him this and let him go to town,” she said. “Also, my child is not opinionated. He does not care what he eats; he just wants to eat."

The mother of two created quite a stir on TikTok after posting the video, with some people shaming her for bringing outside food into a restaurant. Many felt she wasn’t being fair by taking a seat without buying a meal, while others thought the restaurant was a good place for a child to learn patience. Others felt she wasn’t being fair by eating a restaurant-cooked meal while her child ate food from home.

"$6.99 is not a outrageous price. Eating out is definitely a experience a child deserves while everyone eats out," Suki commented.

"It is sooo important that they learn patience at that age. The same two-year-old who doesn’t learn that becomes a screaming five-year-old," Heth added.

"Someone once told me if u can't afford to let your kid get whatever meal they want at a restaurant, u shouldn’t be eating out," Kiana stated.

"You are paying for the seat at the table, not just the food. The price of the food to the restaurant is a tiny part of it," LiverpoolLilac wrote.

However, many people felt for Smith and thought she was doing the right thing for her child and finances.

"This is a great idea and I will be using it! Why would I buy a 2-year-old a meal they won’t eat? People need to stop harassing you," Katy Brown wrote.

"This is great cause restaurant food is rarely healthy for kids. Always chicken tenders and grilled cheese or corn dogs etc, and fries fries fries," Luna added.

"This is so smart, my kids always waste out food & always eat what I make so thanks for this tip!" Ceryna said.

After the video was bombarded with comments, Smith told Today.com that, as a former server, she always leaves a tip that compensates for the food brought from home and cleans up the table.

Smith put out a follow-up video where she had some fun with the negative comments she received on the video.

@unbreakablemomma

Visit TikTok to discover videos!

This article originally appeared on 5.26.23

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If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

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Courtesy of Joshua Williard

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Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

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In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

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With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

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