It's about birthday parties and the crazy that is what birthday parties have become. I am guilty. I haven't hired miniature ponies or the entire Disney cast to entertain, but I have fallen into the trap of Pinterest + I love my kids + I love to decorate for parties. The combination can definitely take a party from normal kid party to, "What the crap have I gotten myself into, and where in the frig is my double sided tape, and I am tired, and help me what have I done???" #thatescalatedquickly
Seriously, I use to think that store bought cakes and evites were totally cool and acceptable for everyone else, but for me...um, not so much. I can do better. I can make cool stuff. I must handcraft an amazing cake from scratch, covered in marshmallow fondant. I must make 3D invitations spit out confetti. I must have a spread that looks like it is from the pages of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Seriously, what was I thinking? My kids don't remember. They definitely don't appreciate it. I was stressed. I didn't even enjoy their birthdays because I was fuzzy-eyed with exhaustion from making it all happen. I threw up my white flag a couple of years ago. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pretty/cool parties. I love everything about them: the decorations, the food, the cake, the food..oh wait, I already said that. Seriously, I love putting parties together. That is why I do what I do. It might seem a little selfish, but how is a busy mom supposed to unleash her pent up creativity? I get to use my kids' parties to get it all out of my system. It's really a win-win, right? Say "yes, you are right". Thankyouverymuch.
I did finally come to my senses and realize that decorating a plain Jane cake from Costco is going to be just dandy. (You didn't think I was going to keep my hands completely off the cake, did you? You don't know me. You don't know me at all.) Store bought decorations... yup. Evites (gulp), yep, I totally went there. I am throwing a shared party for my 2 littles (turning 7 & 8) on July 4th. It's in the middle of their birthdays, and on the 4th. I know. I am a genius. Totally kidding, but I definitely did plan it that way on purpose. #winning
As moms, and back me up here, we feel overwhelmed by all of the creativity we see out there in Pinterestland and Blogville. We see these amazing birthday parties with their perfect kids, and perfect decorations, and perfect gluten free, soy free, cakes with green tea buttercream and sugared flowers. It is enough to make us "regular moms" feel like failures. But you know what? We are awesome. We love our kids just as much. We work just as hard. We are equally as thrilled that those little munchkins were born, and we are just as capable of making our kid's birthday memorable. We have to ask ourselves: What are they going to remember? Is it the handmade cake and coordinating decorations, or the water balloon fight in the back yard. The petit fours with their monogram out of free trade chocolate, or the balloons that are as big as the kitchen table? The amazing tablescape with a full catered meal, or the PB&Js cut out like airplanes?
Please understand, I am NOT bashing those super creative, amazing, picture perfect moms. I am far from that, but I do appreciate the eye-candy that their parties are. I just decided that it wasn't worth the gray hair that I was sprouting from pulling all nighters (I'm too old for that mess).
Moms (and Dads), don't stress. Buy the cake from the market down the street, or even better, make them with your kids! Let them decorate them (the control freak in me just died a little bit) if you want! Get a gazillion balloons...kids LOVE balloons. Seriously, hours of fun here. Oh, and FYI, party favors are optional. Let me repeat: PARTY FAVORS ARE OPTIONAL. Why do we think that we need to feed and entertain our little guests, then send them home with more stuff? I have just now embraced this and it is totally freeing.
So, just remember y'all, kids grow up fast. Spend your time, energy, and attention on the things that do matter. No need for a laser show, or a petting zoo, or (fill-in-the blank entertainer). Your kids just love cake and their friends and family. Oh, and presents...don't forget the presents. ;)
Happy 4th y'all. I'll be partying...but not to hard.