Hi, my name is Erin and I am guilty of being a “Pinterest mom”.
Whew. That took a lot to say out loud.
The truth is it started when I was pregnant with my first, carefully hand making 437 bows and headbands and she wore maybe 11% of them.
It really kicked into high gear for her first birthday. It was complete with a play on words theme (are you rolling your eyes yet?) Bubbles & Brunch! Champagne for the adults and bubbles for the kiddos. Guests were even greeted by a bubble machine, I know, I know.
I stressed for WEEKS over every detail, including hand painting a gigantic sign announcing it was “Bubbles & Brunch, McKinley’s 1st Birthday!” As if our close friends and family weren’t already aware of the function they were attending.
Was it beautiful? Yes. Did it cause more stress for my family than joy? Absolutely yes.
I’d love to say this was one of those “learned my lesson” things. That I awoke the next day and suddenly realized it was time to focus more on what mattered, but that would be bullshit. I went on for another 2+ years of over stressing every single detail of things like that. Making myself sick with anxiousness and driving a wedge of misunderstanding and overspending between my husband and I. And for what? Inevitably after every event, photo shoot, etc like this I wouldn’t leave feeling satisfied. Quite the opposite actually.
This past weekend we celebrated our youngest daughter, Ainsley, turning 3. I have to admit when we started discussing the birthday party I started having visions of the perfect decorations, cute signs, fun take home gifts for every guest, you know.. the Pinterest usual.
Thankfully my sweet girl did not set me up for an easy win here by requesting the theme of WEATHER. Yes, weather. She was going to make this tough on me! Unless.. just maybe, just this once I didn’t try to throw the perfect birthday party and instead focused on how I wanted everyone to FEEL at and after the party.
So I said “F it!!” and took a brand new approach.
We went shopping and I let that sweet toddler pick the most random stuff you have ever seen. She picked even picked her own cake! (God would later test me with how “chill” I really had decided to be with this one later)
For the first time ever I wasn’t completely freaking out about every single detail, and you know what? It was the most fun any of us have ever had at a birthday party! The kids played, the adults talked, we ate food, and no one cared that there was no perfect take home bag. I stopped and noticed the JOY in my daughter’s eyes multiple times (sadly something I’ve never taken the time to do during one of their parties).
I like beautiful things, probably more than the average mom. And I don’t think there is any shame in showing occasions the respect they deserve with proper planning and effort, but for us I wasn’t giving my family the best of me to celebrate with, they just got the rest of me (which wasn’t much) after I had put together everything “perfectly”.
Next time you’re feeling that familiar pull to make things PERFECT for your kiddos birthday party, or something similar.. just ask yourself mama: how do I want everyone to FEEL? (and remember- YOU are part of that “everyone”)
((Check out this sweet cake.. I feel like it’s one of those “You had ONE job!!!!!” moments! It was just supposed to say “Ainsley” in pink frosting))