Pinterest Parties and Other Tales of Woe

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Saturday afternoon; I have 2 hours to make puff ball sea turtles for my daughters pink sea turtle themed birthday party while she naps. I am carefully tracing circles on the expensive card stock I bought just for the eyes and feet and muttering under my breath. As I glue everything together and get a head start on rolling the 45 sets of lime green silverware into the pink napkins and tying them with matching green ribbon I curse myself for adding this on to my already jam-packed schedule. I’ve already completed the “Happy Birthday” banner with varying pink designs of scrap book paper glued onto the same lime green card stock and tied with yards of pink ribbon. That doesn’t even include the matching gift bags with Thank You tags, and doorway streamers/balloon set-up for her birthday morning!

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Why am I doing this? I didn’t spend this much time prepping for my wedding! When did a toddler’s birthday become an “event?” I’ll tell you when and why this happened. Pinterest. It happened the first day I discovered this wonderfully creative site and got excited by the possibilities. It was too early to know it would turn into the bane of my existence. The project manager in me went into overdrive and so did my daughter’s birthday parties, photo shoots, play dates and room decorations. My love/hate relationship with the site has reached new heights since having a child. Now I feel energized and excited and inadequate about my home, my clothes AND raising my kid.

Shirt 2It’s not Pinterest’s fault. It is me, it is us. It’s our insane notion that we have to be perfect. We have to present this perfect vision of a family and home and career. I’ve seen the other moms at work are racing out at 4:30 so they can stop at the party supply store to get the perfect colored gum balls for their sweets table before they run home to make dinner. I know that my friends who work in the home are racing just as exhaustedly to 4 different stores to find just the right supplies to make hand crafted, color coordinated decorations they saw online.

 

We are struggling to find the perfect venue to house this shindig, careful not to make the same kids do the same activity twice; bowling, bouncing, swimming, and climbing. My own birthday party at this age consisted of a cake, a few friends and if we were lucky, maybe some hats and kazoos. Some lucky ducks even had parties at McDonalds but mostly it was basements and back yards, and IT. WAS. GREAT. 

1511056_10152593509186793_5712833892949891645_nThere is nothing wrong with a delightfully planned and executed party. I applaud the moms who can pull it off. Who doesn’t love matching gift bags and exquisitely displayed veggie trays? It’s priceless to see the look on my daughters face when she sees the pink sea turtles and cake. But somewhere deep inside me, after the running around to multiple stores, hours of planning and crafting and paying; I long for the days with a homemade cake, pin the tail on the donkey and 8 little kids running through the house sweaty from playing. Couldn’t that be our perfect?

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: My house is usually messy with toys and dishes and the day’s mail strewn across the table not organized into colorful bins and beautifully lined baskets. My clothes are ordinary and not super trendy and amazingly well coordinated. My kid is not perfect and sometimes I opt for watching Frozen rather than homemade puffy paint and shower curtain canvases. Still, there is no need to feel inadequate in my blessed life. Also, I have started pinning for her 3rd birthday….

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