Birthday Party Comparison Trap
Throwing a birthday party for our kiddos is a hard task these days. Not that it's not easy to pick up a cake, invite some family over and throw a few streamers up, but we feel like that's not really enough. We're starting to measure how "mom enough" we are by the level of details we put into the party we throw.
I recently did a podcast episode sharing my opinion on the birthday comparison trap we mom guilt ourselves into, why we shouldn't care and some tips on making a birthday for our kids special without spending hours in pinterest which you can listen to HERE.
But lets get on with it.
My first question to you and myself would be to start with...
Who is the party for?
If we keep that at the forefront the minute we start planning our kids birthdays we might not feel like we need to go balls to the wall in Pinterest decor and stress. Do we feel obligated to put on a big ordeal because our friends do? Do we feel like we aren't "mom enough" if we settle for a park party with leftover mixed matched paper plates and plastic cutlery and a cake from costco? Or are we asking ourselves what our kids want (obviously not fulfilling ALL their requests because, I'm not paying for a horse drawn carriage) and taking into account what is really important about this celebration and what's not.
Kids could care less about the intricately decorated tables.
I don't know how many times my kids would run right past all the decorations and themed tables and straight to their friends. Now I get it, some of you might have the next Joanna Gaines in miniature form in your family and he/she might actually care about the details. Good, let them be part of the making process and ideas for their party. But if your kiddo could care less and your the one up until midnight dealing with hot glue and a jumbo sized number 4 that took you hours to make our of cardboard you had to dumpster dive for....maybe take a step back and ask yourself why you are putting in all this work.
Go big on the stuff only they enjoy.
Every year I fill the kids rooms up with balloons and on them I write words that I think describe that kid. This is honestly the thing they remind me of the most when their birthdays come around and something that takes up time but I feel is worth it.
I am eight birthdays in with one child and 5 birthdays in with the other and I can honestly say, the things that matter most to them are the traditions we have come up with and the special things we do as a family vs at their party. Here are some ideas on how you can go "big" at home where it matters.
- Balloons covering their floor (you can add notes on them for a little extra love)
- Letter under their pillow from mom/dad or both to wake up to, about how proud you are, how much you love them etc.
- Special Birthday morning breakfast
- Have family and friends mail your child a card or note with encouraging words - kids love getting mail!
We want our kids to have everything, but everything doesn't have to be living up to some picture ready ideal you saw on instagram.
Make sure that their part is fun, they feel loved, and celebrated
If you spend have of the week yelling at your child not to touch those party favors, don't knock over those toppers, or saying "mommy can't play right now I'm working on your party"...ask yourself, did they ask you to do those things? Did they express to you it was important to them to have matching cupcake toppers, water bottle wrappers, goodie bags, and center pieces? If they did do you think maybe they should be included in helping to make these things (get over the imperfection momma) and spend time with you vs being shooed away from you?
Our kid's birthday party's are about our kids. It's not a time to help stroke our mom ego or for us to heal some mom guilt. It's about love and celebrating how grateful we are to spend another year watching them grow.
So I know this post sounds harsh, but I write it with love because if you are looking for acceptance from other parents, healing from mom guilt or confirmation that you're a good mom by throwing over the top parties, one it's not healing for you and two it's not fair to your child.
On the flip side! If you find true absolute joy in planning parties, the details give you life and you love creating then by all means! It's when we are doing it for the wrong reasons that we end up becoming momzilla party planners.