As a mother of 3, I find myself constant if immersed in the “children’s birthday party” scene. And while I would like to say that what you hear about kids parties now is false, IT IS ALL TRUE!
Once upon a time, it was totally fine to hand out a few little knickknacks as a parting gift for a bday party, and hand out one regularly iced cupcake per kid, but such is no longer the case. If you don’t make a huge deal out of your kids party in every possible aspect, it reflects poorly on your child. WTF! When did it become normal and acceptable to spend as much on the guests of a party as the gifts your child just received? I’m not gonna lie, I do it (our kids bday parties run an average of $300-$350 – that’s insane!) but it does borderline on silly. Why not just skip the party and spend all the money on stuff for your kid? The experience – I KNOW! But it still seems absurd to me. (again, don’t throw anything at me, I HAVE DONE IT TOO!)
But once this insanity started trickling into other events (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, last day of school, any average Tuesday…) it is getting to be a bit much!!!! Good for you, Susie craftymom, I applaud you for your cute little gifts and the googly eyes on your pudding cups and mandarin oranges.. But that’s not me. I fall into the “I feel an insane amount of stress over my kids impending birthday/Valentine’s Day/class party/etc” mom, and it’s unpleasant.
A survey of 7,000 women shows that their average stress level is 8.5 out of 10. Nearly 50 percent report suffering from “Pinterest Stress” – also known as “not feeling crafty enough”. And three out of four of these poor women say “the pressure they place on themselves is worse than any pressure or judgment they get from other moms.” WHAT!?
DID YOU READ THAT!? We are not only stressing out about our kid enjoying themselves and having a good birthday/party/etc, we are now stressed out about how other moms/kids parties stacked up against other kids and their mothers efforts. Sweet Jesus Murphy.. it’s a never-ending spiral of streamer and balloon induced insanity.
I know when Pinterest first became super popular, I would sit at my computer for hours and pin my dream house, dream life, dream wardrobe, dream kitchen, dream cupcakes, dream bla bla bla.. My husband and I jumped right in and even tried some of the recipes that we both swooned over (one of which immediately became a family favorite and we still make it to this day.. so I guess Pinterest won on that one) but the novelty soon wore off, as lots of the recipes require you to acquire long lost ingredients that they used when the Round Table was still being used – ya okay, not really, but have you ever tried to find Root Beer extract? Not as simple as vanilla, I assure you! My middle-little still bugs me to this day to make him those root beer cookies.. and while I admit, they were delicious, so are Dads cookies.. so BAM! Take that, Pinterest Moms! I am what they call a Costco Mom 😉
I type this on the eve of my middle-little’s 10th birthday party. When my biggest-little turned 10, my husband and I were in the midst of our aforementioned Pinterest-love-bubble, and went insane (yes, insane). We made icecream cone cupcakes (must admit, those are another staple in our house.. guess pinterest stuck in a few more areas than I first realized.. moving on..) And we topped those little icecream cone cupcakes with homemade fondant lego pieces (holy shit, that was time consuming!) and we made our own cake pops – and not in the easy way.. we made cake, broke it up, mixed it with cream cheese, chilled it, balled it, stuck sticks in them, chilled again, iced them, chilled again… it took DAYS to make these damned things, and they ended up being so heavy, the stick went right through them as soon as we handed them to the kids. And speaking of which! I went all out and bought each kid their own little terracotta pot, filled with chocolates and the put the cake pop in like a little flower.. What the hell was I thinking.. haha! For my sons birthday party tomorrow, I used my brain (haha!) ordered his cupcakes from a bakery, and we are going to laser tag, so there is minimal work for me. I did, however, opt for the cake-push-pops, so it is still a bit more fun for them. More fun for them, still no work for mommy. I don’t care who you are, that feels like a win to me!
So, there may be pinterest moms and regular moms, and moms who dabble in both worlds. I suppose I fit in the latter, as some days I don’t mind busting out the cookie stuff and spoiling my kids, and I will always do what I can to make their parties and whatnot as fun and special as possible, but I will always draw the line at taping eyes and moustaches onto food, and blowing every single event in my kids life way out of proportion. Does that make me a bad mom? No it does not. It just makes me my kids mom… and that is just how it’s gonna be! I am just trying to not let myself freak out too badly about parties and whatnot now.. Because there will always a mommier-mom who outdoes the rest of us and puts our cookies and cupcakes and pantries and closets and vehicular organization to shame. And all I can say is, GOOD ON THEM! My kids are clean and fed and growing like weeds – WIN! hahaha…..