My baby is 2. Can we pause there for a minute?!!?!?!!? It feels insane to me that he could be 2, I do feel a little of holy crap where has the time gone. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I also feel “he’s only 2,” he seems like he’s been here WAY LONGER!
So this past Saturday we had a really small get together for his birthday. That in itself is a shocking turn of events. Chris and I being the youngest of 8 with lots of nieces and nephews makes our gatherings Small in name only 😉 (see what I did there?)
It feels very unnatural and un-party like for me to have only a handful of people around. Here’s the thing for kids – IT’S SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!!!! Kids are so easily overwhelmed (so are us parents but it’s easier to blame the kids.) I decided it would be nice to just have a few families over with kids that John is “friends” with. I put friends in quotes because really at 2, I’ve yet to see too much friendly interaction with others but you get my drift….
The entire time leading up to the party I was anxious because it felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I wasn’t planning enough and we didn’t have enough ready. Oh man enough is enough, right?!?!! How many of you feel that way?!?! Please say I’m not alone. It’s an awful way to feel. Feeling like I’m not enough, what I’m doing isn’t enough, and that I need more is to put it bluntly a totally shitty feeling (excuse the cursing.) It seriously sucks.
So this blog is about just that. Being happy with what you’ve got going on and embracing it as ENOUGH.
Here are my 5 tips for how I feel like I was able to let go of some of that pressure and enjoy the party.
1. Back to basics.
For me it helped to continually remind myself of the basics. It was after all about John’s birthday. While yes there are in fact 95 million pins on Pinterest (that’s just a rough estimate) on animal birthday party, John couldn’t care less about them. So for as much pressure and stress I can add to my life, I decided to curb it at these ADORABLE party hats. I mean why would you not need party hats for the toy animals (that lasted approximately 4 seconds of complete cuteness.)
2. One or two really cute accents.
So the party hats for the animals were my first choice of an adorable accent. I just couldn’t get enough. I originally saw them here on Pinterest and then here. The second link is where I got my template for the hats!
And here was the finished project…which I loved and so did the kids, hence why they didn’t last long (I should’ve used a glue gun!)
The other cute accent were these pretzels in the shape of the #2!!! My friend told me about this when I was talking about feeling like I needed to do more for the party and it was the greatest tip! I got them from Pretzel Boys but if you’re in the Philly area where soft pretzels are a staple I bet you can find them lots of places.
3. Child-like enthusiasm.
Try to look at it all from the point of view of your little one. Chances are they think that everything you do is just fabulous add cake and you bet it’s more than enough for the kids! My kids are super appreciative especially my 4 year-old and this helps me to remember that they think most things are pretty cool so I need to choose to see the world through their eyes sometimes.
4. The spending trap.
I meant to go tally up everything I spend on the party, but I didn’t. And by the time I got to this point I felt like it would take too long. I will say as a rough tally I believe I spend about $200.00 on the party (SIGNIFICANTLY less than any of the other 4 kid’s birthday parties I’ve thrown.) It wasn’t easy to not let myself fall into the spending trap. It was worth it, though. I made boxed cupcakes – which if you add in the cost of an egg cost me about $2.40. I could have bought some for MUCH more. I bought the paper goods at the dollar store and they just said happy birthday. They weren’t the jungle animal ones I saw at Party Land (which would’ve been $10.) I did spend 8.00 on balloons and all the paper products.
This is probably the tip that made me feel most accomplished. I feel like it’s been easy for me to lose all track of money. In turn I’m feeling like a crappy steward of my resources and that’s not something I want in my life. So this made me feel awesome!
5. Be vocal.
For me this is the one that kept me from losing it completely when my inner dialogue was going nutty with the expectations. Sharing with my sister and husband about this inner pressure and how I was feeling helped me a ton. Being open and honest totally helped me. I also had to keep refocusing myself and letting go of the perfectionist, because I don’t want to be like that- it’s too hard and stressful.
And the best part of all of this was that the real focus could be on the little man who we were celebrating!
I’ll leave you with this cute sign I made in Canva to go on a basket with the animal cracker favors 🙂