Recently I have seen a number of blog posts written by mothers of young children, documenting their child’s birthday celebration. And after I finish, I am just over.whelmed.
From elaborate decorations to party favors that I would kill to have myself to cakes that look like they came straight from Carlo’s Bakery, over.whelmed.
(If you haven’t seen it, watch this story that aired on ABC.)
When I was little, my Grandma made my cake or commissioned it from the lady down the street. We maybe had ice cream, games in the yard, and who even heard of party favors back then? Now there are pony rides and specified dress and better invitations and decor than I had for my wedding.
Oh please don’t misunderstand. If one has the means and will to go all out for their two year old, more power to ‘em. I think it’s great. High five. But if you are one of those mommies who lack one or both of the above, let me encourage you.
For Estella Dru’s party back in August, I had plastic tablecloths, a cake from Harp’s, and my invitations consisted of emails (not cutesy evites, EMAILS!). By the time we paid for the cake, her gift, and balloons, I had very little left for party favors. I ended up printing little stickers that said, “Thank you for coming to my party!” and sticking them onto red lollipops. As the kids left, I untied a balloon that had been acting as decor and tied it onto the lollipop stick. Party favor complete.
And you know what? My child had an amazing night and was as happy as I had ever seen her.
If I’m honest, yes, I felt a little tinge of “I wish I could have done as much for her as Lulu Belle’s mom did for Lulu Belle,” but there is no doubt in my mind that while Lulu Belle’s mom put in way more time and money than me, it just isn’t possible that she put in more care or love.
Trying to keep pace with others is exhausting and a worthless use of time.
So oooh and aaah all you want over the fabulous pics of Lulu Belle’s first birthday party, complete with personalized sippy cups and monogrammed Rice Krispie treats. (By the way, Lulu Belle is TOTALLY a figment of my imagination. along with her mother.) But if you can’t hang, don’t fret. Get creative on your own budget. I have no memory of birthday parties I wanted as a child but never had. Instead, my heart is full of those non-fanciful, very modest celebrations Grandma took the time to throw for me.
You don’t have to break the bank to ensure your child knows they mean the world to you. Don’t get caught up in what you see others doing. Be authentic. Be real. Your child will remember that long after the confetti is swept away.