March 29, 2018

Why We Didn’t Throw Our Daughter a Second Birthday Party

Whoever invented Pinterest is a sheer genius. It can help you pass time while waiting to see the doctor or on your long commute to work, tell you what to make for dinner, provide step-by-step toddler activities when stuck indoors, design your dream house and even has the potential to take a blog post viral (such as this one). It is a visual buffet at your finger tips. 

But, on the flip side, it is also so genius that it is evil. If that at all makes sense. Pinterest has the potential to waste away the hours and money you don’t have and create a sense of envy for the unrealistic “perfect Pinterest life”. It can make you feel utterly “pin-adequate”. 

That last reason is the perfect example of why we did not throw our daughter a second birthday party.

As Morley’s first birthday approached, I knew I had to go big. It had to be the best first birthday ever. So naturally, I turned to Pinterest for some party inspiration for her big day. Being the end of winter and still bitterly cold, I settled on a Hawaiian Luau theme - complete with luau-inspired food and drink, decor and a smash cake. It was, as they call it, a “pin-worthy” party.

But despite how good it looked on the outside, what didn’t show on Pinterest were the hours spent stressing over table decor, how to decorate her high chair, finding the perfect smash cake, worrying about having enough food, and, one exhausted mama. 

Last week we celebrated Morley’s second birthday. “Are you having a party?”, was a common question from friends and family in the weeks leading up to the day. “I haven’t decided,” was always my answer. 

Blame it on being 21 weeks pregnant and exhausted, blame it on being broke as we prepare to move into our first home, or blame it on being someone that no longer cares what others think and just wants to see a smile on her little girl’s face. Whatever the reason (or combination of), I decided to let myself off the hook and not strive for over-the-top birthday party perfection.

As we a result, her birthday celebrations (and yes, there were multiple, as we have three different families to celebrate with) were kept fairly low-key. Instead of a big shebang, we went with experience - she had a paw-tastic day at PAW Patrol Live! with mom and dad and then indulged in her favourite food (and lots of cake) with close family. Nothing crazy, nothing over the top, and definitely nothing “pin-worthy”. Instead, it was simple and it was fun. It was mom and dad and it was Morley. It was just what our two year old ordered. 

I am happy to report, I did not open Pinterest once, even for a small peek at toddler birthday gift inspiration. Did it make me feel like a bad mom? Not for a second. The girl wanted to eat cake, and so, we let the girl eat cake.

I will never completely close the door on Pinterest, after all it is a big driver for readers to this here blog, and therefore a part of my livelihood (thank you readers). But, I have learned to not let it drive my need to create perfection or be a cause for social comparison. I am no Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker, nor will I ever be. I am enough.

So, we may not have had any perfectly-posed photos or pin-worthy table-scapes last week, but you know what we did have? The happiest little two year old on the planet. And that was all that mattered.

What is your idea of the perfect birthday party? Is Pinterest involved? I’d love to hear!

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