What is it about a child’s birthday party that can cause so much motherhood turmoil? Forget about all the stress over color schemes, themes, balloons, food, to make a cake or just provide cupcakes, frosting colors, candles, games, to give out goodie bags or not, and the worst part of all – the guest list. Serious drama and stress flows out of birthday party planning for me.
Let’s back up a few steps…something you should know about me and my amazing mom. When I was a kid, my birthday parties were something I looked forward to ALL year long. My mom would make birthdays super special and over the top! Plus, she would come up with these amazing themes that she would manage to do on a very tight budget and she always had time to hand make our cakes. I remember some amazing cakes…there was once an adorable Strawberry Shortcake cake that was a thing of fine art (that cake in the picture is my ACTUAL cake my mom made me when I was 3)! I also remember the Barbie skirt cake, you know the one, where you stick Barbie on the top of a cake that looks like her skirt. My mom was doing this 30 years ago, long before this idea was all over Pinterest! She made birthdays a monumental event that made me feel like the most special kid in the whole world – even if not a soul showed up to it!
Fast forward 30 years later and my mom has successfully passed the birthday party baton to me. I LOVE planning their parties, I love making a HUGE mess at them, I love seeing the excitement on their faces when their friends come over and truly enjoy their wacky mom. I love personally hand-making their invitations, and spending hours and hours researching ideas of fun things to do during their parties. I start planning their parties right after Christmas – 6 months in advance, and I’m not kidding one bit – this gives me 6 months to fine tune the chaos and find the best deals on all the supplies. Plus, it takes us a very long time to pick out the cake design – and I’m the luckiest mom in the world because my mom still creates amazing cakes for their parties each year (plus, sometimes I even get to help – but my mom is the true artist for all things cake – I’m better with paper).
As you can see, I’m pretty psychotic about birthdays and I’m learning this year that I care about them so much more than my kids do. While I’m glad to learn this lesson – talk about huge reality check – it’s still really sad at the same time. And it should come as no surprise that I care more about who all can come to their parties than they do. Which is sooooo silly!!!
More experienced moms tell me, “You will hurt so much more than your kids hurt, when they are hurting” – it’s silly, but it’s so true. Classic example – remember that one time when you were younger and all the other kids got picked for the game of dodgeball and you were the last one chosen? Ouch. Or that time you were hoping the really cute boy would ask you to Prom – but he asked your best friend instead? Or that time you didn’t get invited to that one birthday party that all your other friends got invited to? (I was there – more times than I would like to admit – break out the Double Stuffed Oreos right now).
I’ve honestly not experienced this whole idea of ‘hurting more than my kids are hurting’ very much yet. My kids are not that old yet – and my oldest is a boy – he just doesn’t have much drama yet – or maybe he just doesn’t get involved in it, but it’s happened a lot more than I would like lately with my 1st grade daughter. School is hard for girls and the drama starts at a young age. She has had a rough year, she tries to act brave when she’s not included with her friends, but I’ve seen the tears that she wipes away when no one is looking, and it totally kills me!
I’m learning that I really do hurt so much more than they do, which makes me feel like a total wimpy mom. If my daughter can absently brush off not being invited to a birthday party, why can’t I brush off the fact that she was not invited? I mean seriously, who is the adult here? This is my time to admit just how human I am. I’m still that kid who didn’t get invited to the “cool girls’” birthday party because I wasn’t stick thin and didn’t have long hair. My mom likes to tell me that I was “too cool” for all those girls, but it still hurts when you are left out – and it still hurts you as a mom when your child is left out, not picked, bullied, etc. I personally think it hurts us as moms so much because it feels like they are not picking us – even though it really has nothing to do with us!
You would think that as a grown woman I would have this figured out and would know not to take things so personally – especially when it’s usually out of no spite at all that our child was not chosen. It’s just life. Plain and simple.
My mom gave me some great advice and thoughts to ponder when you find yourself in this situation – because I’m sure if you are not in this situation yet, you will be soon!
- Being a mom hurts, but is so joyful too!
- God knows what is going on with each situation your child is in. He is watching and is there for every part of it.
- God uses these hard situations to teach us about life and how to personally treat people. Also how to develop compassion for others that we hurt.
- When you kids are hurt it teaches them what real love is, and ugly sorrow lets us learn the true meaning of joy.
- Our job as moms is to teach our kids from God’s perspective through these types of situations and at the same time God will use it to teach us moms as well.
- God loves you. Before, during and after anything that happens, He loves you and longs for you to be loved by Him.
Isn’t my mom amazing?! Now I need to let her advice and words sink in.
Hugs momma! Praying for you all!