Lessons Learned from Birthday Parties

As promised, I cut the baby farm animal post short to spare any potential readers from an opinion post.  There are so many blogs brimming with opinions on everything that occurs under the sun, and I know that the world is not waiting for my opinion on anything.  However, I had some thoughts about the pressures that parents (or I alone) feel to provide our children with the perfect everything, including birthday parties.  I realized when I was posting about the bunny cake, that if I'm keeping a blog, and writing or talking about our thoughts and feelings are considered to be cathartic exercises, I should probably write about my thoughts on my mommy blog, duh!  (The light bulb can be a little slow to come on sometimes.)  It makes sense, because if anyone out there thinks similarly and also wants to share, this could be a place to do it.  Anyway, this is what was on my mind when I posted that one:

So, I guess the reason for posting the pics and details for this party, and any of the others that I may blog about from now on for that matter, is not to suggest that this is how you throw a party.  You can't scroll through a series of pictures of what to make, or list of where to shop and what to buy to create the perfect backyard party.  It wasn't a perfectly planned and executed event, with all of the creative Pinterest inspired, super mommy made decorations, activities, and matching candy/dessert buffet tables, etc.

If you followed a link here to see this post, you may have already seen pictures of other parties with all of those things, and find that there are no cutesy ideas to steal here.  I know.   I had a multitude of pins saved that show exactly what this party should've looked like, and would have looked like in pictures, if I was that super mommy.  I'm definitely not knocking the super mommies out there who pull those things off.  In fact, I tip my hat to them.  That, however, is not me.

I was literally shoving dirty dishes into the oven out of sight as guests were arriving and I greeted them completely saturated with sweat.  The cake melted, and everyone in attendance nearly melted.  There are no adorable, semi-professional quality photos of the birthday girl (or any of my girls) in the perfect birthday hand smocked dress cradling a live bunny in her arms, because they had dressed themselves in mismatched clothes, their hair had become tangled sweaty messes, and I pretty much just stink at taking pictures. In fact, nothing that I spent my time and energy thinking about and stressing over had anything to do with the fact that in all of these less than perfectly taken photos, everyone is having the best time!   That's why I think they're great (and why I posted so many)!  I had fun. My kids and their friends had fun, and I even think the adults and team from Cockrill's enjoyed the party too!

The reason I decided to return to this blog after five years, and why I wrote in detail about this one, is that this day served as a learning experience for me. My daughter will always remember this day and so will I, not because everything was perfect, at least in terms of this seemingly unattainable standard for birthday parties that the rise of party blogs and Pinterest has apparently set for us.  It ended up being perfect; because it was almost as if God stripped away all of those things that I thought were important and left me with only what really mattered: family, friends, and quality time.  I learned that I will never live up to the standard that is set for us now as parents.  I learned to relax and forget about all of the little details.

 When my kids are grown, they won't remember what the cakes I made looked like, or whether or not their parties (if they even had one) were perfect.  They will simply know that I always did what I could, because I love them.  That's my job. Period.  Being super mom is not.  She's a fictional character, who doesn't actually exist.  Many of you may have already come to that conclusion, and might even be comfortable with yourself as a parent.  Many of my friends struggle with inadequacy and it is still a huge stumbling block for me.

That day, however, at least got me moving in the right direction.  I know now that I'd be better off worrying less about appearing inadequate in front of party guests, cake decorators, mommy bloggers, and the Pinterest fanatics, and instead fear being inadequate in my God given role of care taker, and lover of my children because I spent my time being distracted by all of the other things I thought would make me great.  I'm just mommy, and that's not fancy, or perfect, or anything else.  It's just a simple truth.  That's why I decided to share... in case someone else needs to hear it as much as I need to remind myself of it.

If somehow, some way you entered my blog through this post, you can see the pics of the bunny/baby farm animals party here:  Baby Farm Animals Party and Bunny Birthday Cake

Oh, and FYI, with all of that said, I am still a Pinterest junkie.  Follow me!

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