Mom of the Year, I am Not!
Evie’s 2nd birthday is next week on the 4th of July and this momma has been SLACKING big time. With us still being “homeless” and living out of suitcases, coupled with me having a 6 week old, I dropped the ball and here I am scrambling to get a party together for my little girl.
A mom with her stuff together would totally say, “yes were moving and I just had a baby, but I knew my daughter’s birthday was approaching and I planned every detail well before things got hectic!”
A mom like me, who perfected the art of procrastination in elementary school, is running around like a mad woman and reminding herself that things will come together just fine! Hey, I may be consistent in coming through in clutch situations, but that doesn’t mean I don’t sweat!
Pinterest Mom, I am Not!
For her first birthday, I decided on an “anchors away” navy and pink theme. I sent out invitations to have people celebrate with us ON the 4th of July. I spent hours cutting designs from the CRICUT and gluing them together with precision. The night before the party, I set up the table with clever sea themed name cards, wrapped color coordinated silverware and nautical striped napkins with twine, and double checked the guest list to make sure we had enough food and party favors for everyone. Was this a wedding or a 1 year olds birthday?
The next morning, I had texts from friends saying they couldn’t make it. I dressed Evie in her special birthday outfit to match the theme. It was dirty before the party began so she ended up wearing something entirely different. It was over 100 degrees, so the outdoor activities I had planned were not going to happen. The AC wasn’t cooling the house fast enough to keep up with the guests. Nobody cared or commented on the decor. We had even more no show’s who didn’t give a heads up, so we had tons of leftovers. Evie was over “unwrapping” gifts after she got her first toy, so I awkwardly unwrapped the rest and showed them to her with kindergarten teacher enthusiasm! There were 3 children at this birthday. All of whom had no clue what was going on and none of them took their party favors.
Was all of this planning for my daughter or for me? The stress of trying to create a picture perfect day was unnecessary, but still, I allowed myself to feel as if I’d failed my child if I didn’t try. I quickly realized that I was trying to be a Pinterest Mom and that’s not who I am! I’d love to be friends with this super Pinterest Mom so she can help me with my shortcomings, but I don’t want to become one myself! Been there, tried that: so this year, I have a short list of Do’s and Don’ts for birthday planning.
A few things I wont do:
1- Meticulously plan every piece of decor and set an expectation of having a picture perfect birthday party. Maybe when you’re 16 honey!
2-Stress out about my child’s birthday. As long as she has a good time, I’m happy. The moment I lose sleep over the logistics of a birthday party, we’re going to Chuck-E-Cheese’s. Remember: kids are easy to please.
3- Allow myself to believe that the adults are expecting to be wowed! Talk about pressure. They don’t even care: they just hope it isn’t painful being around a bunch of toddlers. They’re thoughts, “where are the beers and margaritas?”
4-Schedule her party to be ON the 4th. Unfortunately, most friends have family plans for the holiday weekend, so it seems to work better to plan for the following weekend.
What I will do:
1-Let her pick the theme, even if that means it’s a Moana/Brontosaurus/Paw Patrol party, which is what she has requested so far. It may not be the pretty unicorn birthday party all the cool toddlers are doing this year, but it’s Evie’s birthday theme! I also won’t be “doing the most” with said theme.
2- Surround Evie with those who love her! I can’t invite every kid we have ever played with. We have a small group of friends and that’s a-ok!
3- Send out invitations via Hobnob. Easy-peasy!
4-Tradition: my mom is an incredible cake artist. I grew up watching her make wedding cakes, retirement cakes, baby shower cakes, and lucky for me, birthday cakes! I always looked forward to a one-of-a-kind homemade birthday cake from my mom. It’s a bummer Oma doesn’t live closer to make these beautiful and meaningful cakes for Evie and Lukas, but I decided to keep the tradition alive and make my children’s birthday cakes! This means they will never have a super cool fondant character on a perfectly baked b-day masterpiece, but they WILL have a cake made with love. I promise to practice until it’s perfect (read: decent).
Bad Mom, I am Not!
Being a great mom does not mean you have to be an excellent event planner. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care because you didn’t go above and beyond to make your child’s birthday the most special day of the year. Being present with your child throughout the year is the best gift your kids could ask for. Making the day special in your own way is good enough. I don’t even remember my first four birthdays, so if you ask me, I’ve got four years to figure out how to plan a birthday with minimal stress and lots of love!
Evie is my little firecracker! Her birth date will always be a celebration. She doesn’t yet realize that people are celebrating their patriotism and not her, so I have a little bit of a safety net if all else fails… of course I got you fireworks for your birthday sweetie!
An Average Mom with a Big Heart,