Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thoughts on birthday parties....and why less is more for me.

I am not a party planner.
I have friends who love it, and are really super good at it, and I envy that.
But I actually am not good at it.
And I also kind of hate it.
I don't enjoy the planning or the setting up or hosting it or anything.
It's so stressful for me that it morphs into something that has nothing to do with celebrating my children at all, which kind of defeats the point.  

I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm an introvert,
but I also think it just isn't my thing, you know?
I'm good at some things,
but no one is good at all of the things,
and party planning ain't my thing, friends.

My good friend Laura has really helped free me up.
Recently, she invited us to her son's birthday party.
On a weekday morning, at a splash pad.  
It was very small and simple and sweet and she was so relaxed the whole time
and I was envious
and she said, "Rachael, you can keep it simple.  It's ok if your kids don't have a huge party."
Well, the conversation had a lot more words than that, but basically it was that.

And so I decided to embrace who I am
and what works for our family
and quit comparing myself to other moms
and go with the things I'm good at and let go of the things I'm not.

When my kids don't have themed parties where every single child they know is invited - 
it doesn't mean I'm letting them down or don't care about them.
When those other moms plan huge, elaborate, beautiful parties - 
it doesn't mean that they are showing off.  It just means it's just their good thing.
They're not judging me and I'm not judging them -
we're just all partying in our own way,
and that's really kind of cool.

(If you've read my blog at all, you've heard me say this before, but:
WOW.  Parenting is super refining.  In sometimes really strange ways.
Who KNEW that God would reveal my own dumb sinful pride through birthday parties?!)

All of this revelation
combined with a hectic September
(my mom hospitalized for two weeks, me going back to teaching a few days a week, the Mom2Mom sale, Dan getting a stomach virus, etc.)
put me in this great place to practice having a low key party.

So we did it playdate-style today.
The fountains at Palafox Pier and some cupcakes and Capri Suns and bubbles.
We let Tucker decide who to invite, and he named a handful of his closest buddies, and so we just invited them.  It was small.
We played with bubbles and the kids ran around in the fountains and we sang and had cupcakes.
And that was it.
And I loved it.

And then we changed clothes and had dinner at the food trucks with friends,
which was just the perfect way to end this day.

 This boy is happy.
So this mama is happy.

Oh, and P.S.
I never dreamed that the Game of the Millenium would kickoff at 2:30 p.m. - I just knew it would be a primetime game!!  No such luck.  So this guy had to watch the Alabama/ Texas A&M game like this:
There goes my Wife of the Year award, right out the window.

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