If you have kids, you have or will be in this situation one day. One day you will have the “bright” idea of throwing your dear child a birthday party. First of all, DO NOT GO ON PINTEREST! Let me repeat that, DO NOT GO ON PINTEREST! Long gone are the days of picking up a few Mickey Mouse plates at Walmart and calling it good. Thanks to Pinterest, parents feel the need to throw these lavish parties with a theme complete with coordinating food and decorations that the kids could care less about. I fell into the trap. I did.
A quick Pinterest search for ‘boys 4th birthday party’ left me in a whirlwind of dinosaurs, pirates, hors d’oeuvres and cakes galore. So… I did what any mom would do and created a special board and started pinning my life away. Theme: Under water. Complete with DIY octopus decorations, ocean themed snacks and an ocean bouncy castle. ***Side note: if you are debating if a jumpy castle is worth the money, it totally is. Unless you want a bunch of kids destroying your house, invest in the jumpy castle***
For weeks I planned this party; I got the ocean invitations, made decorations, coordinated all my ocean themed snacks I was going to serve. I made my husband make a giant octopus to hang from the ceiling while I glued googly eyes on toothpicks for my “crabby” sandwiches. Yes, you read that right… I glued googly eyes on toothpicks for my child’s birthday party.
The day of the party came and I was totally stressed out wanting everything to be perfect for this party. I was having a mini breakdown over the fact I could not find green grapes to skewer for my “seaweed”. I accepted the fact that I would have to have purple grape “seaweed” and my dear friend reassured me “it’s totally tropical and if people have never seen purple seaweed then they are really stupid. If someone says something about it, then I will tell them something. We don’t need that kind of mom shaming here”. Bless her heart, because she was totally right. No one was going to care if my grapes were purple, and most importantly my child was not going to care either. And if someone did say something, then they were assholes and probably didn’t need to be invited to my house again anyway.
I’m convinced that a large part of being a parent is wanting to impress other parents. I feel on a subconscious level we are constantly trying prove we are good mothers and good wives. Mom shaming is a very real thing and it’s disgusting. Being a mom and especially a stay at home mom is hard enough without bringing each other down.
Moral of the story is: The party was a success and my kiddo was happy. I have great friends who reminded me of what was important (I didn’t hear any complaints about the purple seaweed), and I learned to NEVER EVER go on Pinterest before planning a birthday party.