My daughter turned 3 last week, which means nearly all of September I had thoughts of her birthday party running in the back of my mind.
Birthday parties have turned into major events. I mean, is it just because I live in the South or is it everywhere?
A southern kid’s birthday party will typically include the following:
- Invitations sent to the kids of your parent friends and kids your child goes to daycare/preschool/church with.
- A themed party complete with themed snacks and themed goody bags.
- Beautiful fondant cakes that feature the theme’s character.
- A special outfit or shirt, often monogrammed, which also matches the theme.
- A bounce house, because all kids love a bounce house.
So what magical party did I put together for Francesca? A masterpiece for sure.
- We decorated with balloons, streamers and Dollar Tree Disney princess decor.
- She had no friends over. It was her second week of preschool; she has no friends. She doesn’t understand what friends are yet.
- Our families live in KY, so it was just the 3 of us.
- She helped me make her birthday cupcakes. (She loved using the mixer and didn’t understand why we needed to cook them. “Let’s eat the batter.”)
- There were no special clothes. There were no bounce houses.
- We took her to the zoo. Her favorite part was the carousel and the playground, so I’m wondering if we should have just went to the park and the mall with the carousel.
And she had a wonderful day. There were lots of happy giggles throughout the day.
So why do I feel a bit guilty? I know I shouldn’t.
Because I’m torn. There’s a part of me who wants to be the Pinterest mom. I’m crafty and there’s nothing I like better than seeing an event come together.
But I’m also practical. Practical enough to ask myself why I should use my energy and money on a fancier party when my child would not get any more enjoyment out of it.
Who is this birthday actually about– me or her?
So my practical side won out.
Looking back on my own childhood, I can’t remember any of my birthdays as a toddler. And as a school-aged kid, my favorite birthdays were those at which my friends and I ate pizza and played board games all night. (Girl Talk, anyone?)
Is it wrong to plan an elaborate party for your child? Of course not.
It’s your family, your child and your right to spend your time and money however you please.
Just don’t make decisions, about birthday parties or anything else, based on what Pinterest shows, the neighbor down the street does, or what your “friends” on social media post.