I hope that all of you had a wonderful Fourth of July yesterday and enjoyed all of the F’s; family, friends, food, fireworks and fun! I had an amazing day filled with all of those things and partook in so much of them that the day ended in exhaustion. It was an exhaustion that was worth it for sure but as I put my head to my pillow last night, I thought about all of the things that I did yesterday and wondered why so much?
I feel like once I became a mother, I also became a circus side show act. I had to quickly learn how to juggle hundreds of things at once and as time went on juggling was no longer enough. I couldn’t just toss some balls into the air anymore, the bigger the better… more, more, more.
Even the smallest of holidays get me juggling just a little bit more. Food, decorations, games and events are all on my list of things to do. I want it all to be perfect and I want to create lasting memories for my children. I run around like a nut trying to create some perfect day and at the end of it I am pooped!
Three years ago, we decided to decorate shirts for the fourth of July. Just on a whim but it was a big hit. Cassidy loved it, Jacob was a little too young to get it but everyone loved our shirts. The following year we had to step it up a bit. We did tie dye shirts for myself, Cassidy, Jacob, my sister in law and my mother in law. Everyone that was with us on the fourth wanted a shirt too! We had a lot of jealous family and friends.
This year we kicked it up another notch, and invited all of our friends and family that were going to the parade with us. We had a tie dye party last weekend and everyone made their own shirt. I have to say that I am nervous about what will be in store for next year. I’m going to be planning a pre-fourth of July party, just to decorate shirts! Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome fun but the internal need to keep making it better, greater, bigger ect. is going to drive me bonkers.
The funny thing is that our cook out yesterday, was one of my least planned, and least organized gathering ever. It was probably my most enjoyable also. I didn’t spend the entire day running around trying to make everything perfect. I just let it all be.
Let it all be is just not the case for a birthday party. This is where I really start honing in on my talents as a circus act. Everything about a birthday has to involve a ton of time, effort and work on my part. I put a million things on my plate and feel determined to make each birthday a little bit better than the last.
Cassidy will be turning six in just a couple of weeks and as we get closer to the day, my mind begins to go crazy with details and things to do. Growing up, my family did not have birthday parties that involved much more than a special dinner with our immediate family. This was something that as a child, I always wished for more. I wished for the amazing party with all of my family and friends. As a parent now, I see why mine kept it simple.
Each year I feel compelled to top the last. Even my kids have now started to realize that birthdays are big business in our house. From the moment that they wake up till the time they go to bed it is a birthday extravaganza that takes pretty much everything out of me.
It started with the best of intentions when I invited the Birthday Fairy to leave Cassidy’s room filled with balloons while she slept. The morning of her first birthday she awoke to a room full of colorful balloons everywhere. The Birthday Fairy continues to do the same each year for both of my kids.
Each year the birthdays are also themed. The kids are old enough to choose their themes now but prior to, I would come up with something. Everything about the party will have to relate to the theme. The night before, I will spend hours of time decorating a cake to fit as well. I won’t sleep much and then I will get up way too early to finish up all of the details. I don’t get a caterer, I make most of the food myself with the exception of what family members bring. With the help of some family, we do everything ourselves in an effort to make everything perfect.
Saying that I over do and over stress about a birthday party is an understatement. The question is, why do I do it? I feel like their are so many moms out there doing the same thing. We are killing ourselves trying to make some amazing memories for our kids and it is just exhausting. I could honestly loose sleep each night from now until Cassidy’s birthday over the things that need to be done.
It’s not even like I just started thinking about this. I’ve had plans in place and lists of things to do for her party since the last one ended. It is almost immediately that I start imagining how to top the last one. The hours of planning and doing that I put into this is simply crazy and when I stop to think about it all I feel more than overwhelmed.
My parents were good parents. I do have fond memories of growing up but it is almost like I feel the need to top what I knew as a child. Like I have to be better in some way. It really is ridiculous but I know that I am not the only mom out there doing the same thing.
We put all of this pressure on ourselves to top something that doesn’t need to be topped. I can write this post and know that all of my words are true. I can realize that I go a little overboard at times and I don’t have to. I can see that sometimes I put too much time into the details instead of just having fun, but all of that said, I will probably continue to top even myself.
There is just this competitive wire in my brain that makes me do a little more each year. It pushes me a little harder to be the most amazing mom. Sadly, there is no award that will be won for pushing myself to the point of crazy. There is no reason to push at all. My children will grow up great so long as I love them and try my best. They will have amazing memories as long as I am a part of them and we share special moments together.
I am pretty positive that even still, Cassidy’s birthday party will be nothing short of too much all around. It will be a great time and a lot of work that I just won’t be able to help myself from doing. At very least I am going to attempt to take some time to stop and enjoy the moment. I will try my best to be present in the day instead of worrying about how things turned out and I am not going to think about topping the day for at least a few months after.
Sadly, if I put this much effort into all areas of my life instead of just being #1 Mom, I’d probably be a millionaire… or in a nut house!