Pinterest birthdays for your child are all the new rage. The bigger the better. I'm sure there is some ridiculous unsaid measuring stick out there that measures how much you love your child will be directly reflected in how "Pinterest" you get with their birthday party.
I have spent some time on Pinterest. It took me a while to really appreciate its value. I am learning to appreciate it, though. Especially when it comes to crockpot recipes, gift ideas, etc.
However, Pinterest also causes me a lot of anxiety. As an overachiever, I see these pictures and find myself using it to measure my own value, talent, or creativity. And most times, I feel like it is completely not achievable. And it overwhelms me. Yet, as I said, I find value in it. I have gotten some great recipes and ideas from it.
My little princess turned 1 on December 2 this month. And, since this was the last time I would ever throw a one year birthday party, I decided to give it a try. The Pinterest birthday.
I was especially inspired by the cute girl themed ideas, and even more inspired by the winter themed birthdays.
I embraced my inner Pinterest. And I felt a ridiculous sense of accomplishment. And felt I had achieved some modern mother award. Which goes to show how crazy all of it is. They didn't even have these things when Cavin turned a year old. But with each birthday that has occurred since Pinterest became a thing, I have to be honest, I have somewhat felt an inadequacy that - unlike all of those cool, modern, creative moms - I just gave my boys a regular old birthday party. It's silly, I know. Moms battle enough inadequacy and guilt issues naturally that we don't need silly things like Pinterest to add to it. And maybe it's just me, but it does add to it. And I am not too proud to admit it.
The theme I chose was a Winter Onederland Birthday. I thought this was perfect for the season, and the colors and overall "feel" - I felt - fit Havyn perfectly. We had chocolate, chocolate chip cupcakes with pink peppermint icing, a hot cocoa bar with lots of yummy toppings, sugar cookies, pink peppermint punch (I lost the recipe, but found it on Pinterest), 7 layer dip (see recipe here), and honey garlic meatballs (see recipe here).
So, yeah...the Pinterest birthday. Here is my review of it. (Disclaimer: I made some things, bought some things, and had some friends volunteer to make things. And, the beautiful cupcakes were made by an incredibly talented and wonderful lady - Lori Chilcote).
1. I love being creative. I love decorating. I love event planning. And I love doing special things for my babies and for people in general. So, the Pinterest birthday fed all of those things. That's a pro.
2. I regularly felt overwhelmed and unable to achieve what I saw in the pictures. Causing me to way overthink things, and spend too much time obsessing over the perfect theme, decor, food, etc. Being a task oriented, perfectionist, over achieving person-it gave me a constant feeling of failure. A big con.
3. On the flip side-being that I am that type of person-I felt a wonderful sense of achievement, pride, and accomplishment that I was able to pull off something beautiful for my daughter. No, she won't remember, but she I know she felt loved and adored-and she will see pictures. A pro. Can I do that without going all Pinterest for her birthday? Of course. But this was a challenge. Something that I didn't know if I could pull off, and I did. And that feels good. Overall, a pro.
4. It cost way more money. A whole lot of money. And time. Lots and lots of time. Being my first time to do this probably contributed to it, but either way that's a con.
5. I spent more time on Pinterest than ever before which led me to viewing one year photo sessions causing me to feel that there was another "big" thing I would miss out on. So, I attempted to add that to my list of Pinterest accomplishments. It caused more stress, although they turned out beautiful and I am thankful for them. Still a con, because I'm not sure if the stress was worth it.
6. It created a completely unnecessary obsession. Big con.
7. I loved going all out for my baby girl, and knowing that I gave it my all and didn't do anything halfway. The decor was beautiful. So much so, I didn't want to take it down. And, I absolutely will love telling her all about it when she is older - how momma went over the top for her baby girl. She may not remember, but I will always remember how she loved every minute of it. This is a pro.
8. I really did have a lot of fun with the creative aspect of it, and planning something special just for her. And, of course, loved hosting our friends and family and providing - what was hopefully - a fun and enjoyable party. Definitely a pro!
So, with all that said, I may or may not ever do it again. But it was something that I always wanted to attempt. And I did. So, it was worth it all in the end.
For some reason, I want to end with-"don't try this home". Unless, of course, you just really want to...
Does it make me a better mother? No. Other than, I attempted something that, for me, was a challenge. And I am proud of myself. It's important to me that I teach my children to be challenged, and to try what interests them. And to not be intimidated by potential failure from a major challenge.
Is it necessary to the list of what makes you a good mom? Absolutely not. Not necessary at all. Especially if it is not something that interests you.
Did I do it for the right reasons? This is what is most important to me. There are so many things out there now in society and on media that tell us what it means to be a great mom and how to be a Supermom. Was my motivation to try and fulfill that image? If so, I sorely failed as a mom. We should never do things because of societal pressures or pressure from those around us. We should never be somebody we are not to please others. And we should never sacrifice our health or priorities for the sake of an image or to appease guilt caused by missing unrealistic expectations.
I will be honest I battled my motivation. But, in the end, I truly wanted to attempt it one time. And I was truly creatively inspired by the ideas. And I had fun. I also had a lot of stress, so I definitely have no expectations for myself in the future. :)
Isn't it crazy the things we spend our time and energy on? And it is really all about perspective. For me, it was important. For someone else, probably not at all. My greatest lesson: let the motivation of your mom heart always be to please God first, to do things that are life giving for you, and to give everything you have (whatever that looks like for you) to your children.
Don't ever let Pinterest, blogs, Facebook, or other social media outlets determine the standards at which you measure yourself. We are created by God who made us uniquely individual and in His image - and that, my friends, is enough. It must be enough.