Close Enough Birthdays


I recently got a kick
out of the blog post
17 Pinterest Fails.

Go over and check out the hilarious photos
of how things appear on Pinterest
and how they look when other
“close enough” moms attempt them.
So funny.

I believe the “close enough” principle is one thing that helps me to have happiness in this crazy modern world we call motherhood where moms seem to fight til death outdoing one another.

Today we had a birthday party for Bella. It was most definitely a “close enough” party. In fact all the parties that we throw (which are only every four years since I hate it so much) are just “close enough”. Except that one we had for my oldest Abigail when she was 7 – that party with 50 kids was AMAZING!

I used to have shame in the fact that throwing a birthday party was so painful for me, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve stripped myself from the shame. It is what it is. So now instead of cute scrap-booked party tags, the kids have to be happy with anything they can make with computer paper and a sharpie. I checked out of the party competition with other moms and I am working on checking out of all the areas of intense mom competition.

Parties are a lot of unnecessary work for a mom and I am tired. I am obviously capable of a great party: fifty cellophane bags full of beach themed trinkets, a handmade oversized beach scene cake, a firepit, slipnslide, pool, and water games were all involved at Abigail’s award winning shin-dig years ago. One tiny post-party situation is the only thing that keeps me from throwing more parties. After the party when all the kids from all over the world went home, I sat on the couch and couldn’t move for two weeks. I decided that being able to cook my kids dinner was probably more important than party-throwing, and I neatly stashed that fact away in my go-to mom file for future reference.

Maybe all moms should throw a party that colossal just once so that they will know that they can, then they will also know why they will choose not to throw parties anymore? Or maybe they can read this and learn from me? Let it go moms. Have a nice family dinner and sing a song while your kid blows out the candles. When your kid gets invited to the over-the-top party and whines on the way home that his birthday is so lame, kindly remind him that you don’t do that because you figure he needs a mother not in the loony bin more than a bounce house. You might be surprised at how well he will take it. And the bigger surprise is that you will teach your kids that it’s o.k. not to compete.

My kids only get a party every 4 years and they are limited with a budget of $100 towards presents and/or party. (It works really well if you choose certain ages like 4,8,12, and 16…that way when you have multiple children you may luck out and only have to do one party per year.) Yes that $100 is our manipulative effort to forgo the parties all together. It’s amazing how much our kids have learned about their own greediness with this simple rule. When one starts spending birthday money on other people and unnecessary trinkets, it quickly helps one recognize their real friends and needs over wants. Also a good lesson for adults: you don’t have as many close friends as you think AND you really should use most of your gift money to get what you need over what you want.

Or maybe you should just throw one party for their whole childhood and call it close enough? O.k. o.k. that might be cheating.