Before I start, I just want to say, this is by no means meant to hurt feelings, etc. There are just a few things I’d like us all to consider before we roll our eyes, write a blog post, share a blog post or applaud a blog post that is dealing with this “over celebrating” issue. –Even saying that, I know I’m not going to make any friends with this post…
I wrote about this issue over a month ago, but it is sitting in my “draft” section because I know what a touchy subject it is. But after I started seeing yet again sweet friends of mine applauding and hailing a recent rant by a Mom about “over celebrating,” alas, I cannot wait any longer. As with any post, I hope to convey my two cents in honest love. If you are on any type of social media, I am sure you at least saw this latest blog post. Basically, it is yet another Mom ranting about the over celebrating of holidays–especially made up ones or minor ones, like “100 days of school”, “Dr. Seuss’s birthday” and the latest, St. Patrick’s Day. I hope to add just a little perspective here and maybe a little self reflection to follow.
As your children grow, you change as a Mom. You may not think that you will, but I assure you, you will. Many of you young Moms won’t understand this now, but in a few years, you will. I know, because I was just like you. Not condemning or belittling here, because again, I was the same way. I have changed over the years as a Mom–hopefully a bit wiser. And, now having 5 children–even things that I thought when I had 3 kids has changed. Recent example: I SWORE I would never use a pull-up to potty train a child and I would potty train them on MY TIME–not when they were ready. Well, guess what? I was VERY pregnant with my fifth child AND moving to another state when I “should’ve been potty training Lucy.” Then the onslaught of our family’s fall birthdays happened–along with everything else that happens in the fall, and then we had our sweet Sarah Noelle on December 8th.
Our Lucy turned 2 on October 2. And with our life right now, I knew it would make me a stressful lunatic to try and train her in big girl panties like I did with my other girls. So, she was trained in pull-ups. She’s still wearing them. She has not had an accident in over 2 weeks, AND she has kept her diaper dry through the night for the past week. We are about ready to ditch all diaper related things for her, as she’s clearly got this. But, had this been a former child, there is NO WAY I would have done it this way. Yay for me–I am growing wiser. Because really, who cares? I mean really. I have a potty trained 2+ year old. You do it your way if it works for you, I’ll do it mine. And, so far, I’ve potty trained each child differently. And all are thriving, happy kids who can all “wipe their own…” If you’ve seen Big Daddy, insert proper ending.
All that to say, stop it. Seriously Moms, stop it! Good grief. I am going out on a limb here–but to me, these Moms who are ranting about other Moms “over celebrating” holidays (made up or real) have some self evaluating to do. They talk about pressure, expectations, being overwhelmed, and competition. Um, who’s competing? May I submit this is perhaps your own insecurity? Listen, I have 5 children ages 7 and under–it is physically impossible for me to do everything all out. So, guess what? I DON’T!! And, when I see other Moms going all out, I think “Aww that is super fun and cute! Yay for you!!” I don’t roll my eyes and make comments to discourage their efforts.
I have a few friends who are these Moms–they go all out for birthdays, etc. And, sure, there are probably Moms out there who go all out to “show off,” but not the girls I know. They are creative beauties at heart, and to them, big, all out parties are fun and it helps them express their creativity while celebrating their children. And, may I be so bold to ask this pointed question? Would you judge a Mom who went all out if their child was sick, like really sick? Or, if their child was sick and was miraculously healed? Somehow, I don’t think you would. So, why can’t a Mom go all out in celebration over the precious child God has blessed them with and celebrate that they are healthy?
Our family suffered a devastating loss last year. We lost our baby nephew Dalton to Mitochondrial disease. If by some miracle he had survived, um, can I tell you, I myself would have called Mac Powell from Third Day to come sing at his next birthday party and if my sister-in-law would have allowed me–it would’ve been the biggest bash EVER! One more pointed question–would you roll your eyes or judge someone’s efforts if it was a party for YOU? “How dare you make this party so darling for ME!! You just went too far–you crossed the line. This baby shower is ridiculous, too much, you should not have made such a fuss.” Yes, I am being extremely sarcastic, but I really want us to stop and think for a minute about this. Who doesn’t want to feel like they are worth being fussed over? Heaven knows there is enough darkness in this world, can’t a Mom or a teacher shine a little light or spread a little joy? And, if you are a teacher and you don’t want to fuss–don’t! My kid will be just fine.
Why do we go to birthday parties? To celebrate life. Think it is wasteful? Look in the Old Testament. Talk about festivals!! Our God is OK with celebrating! If you don’t have time to go all out–or simply don’t want to, it is OK!! Your child will love whatever you do. You know your child the best, do what they want. Sometimes I go all out–because I LOVE it. But remember, I am a girl who loves to scrapbook (never does anymore, because I have no time to) and I love hosting parties. So, for me, it is win win. I get to spoil and celebrate my precious child and make them feel super special AND love on and serve my family and friends. Do I do this for every birthday? NO. As with every season in life, sometimes I can do it, other times, it is just too much and we go store bought. Thank you Party City. Either way, my kids feel special and the friends I have don’t care. Hopefully, they are there to celebrate with me the joy of children, just like when I attend their kids’ party. I am there for them, not judging their party décor. Sheesh, how did we get so judgmental and self absorbed as Moms?
Moving on. School stuff. Again, you might not get this until your children are in school and are old enough to get excited about these little celebrations. But, mine are–some of them. I have a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener. We just recently celebrated the 100th day of school, Dr. Seuss’s birthday and yes, St. Patrick’s Day. They came home telling me silly stories of what their leprechaun did in their classroom with such giggles, it melted my heart. What did I do for St. Patrick’s Day? Um, nothing. I didn’t even wear green. *gasp* Thankfully Petersen remembered the morning of to have them change their shirts to have something green on. But that’s it. No leprechaun trap, no Lucky Charms–shoot, we had to drop off our car to be fixed and eat at Moe’s for dinner. No corned beef and cabbage here–happy early Cinco de Mayo! Ha! Did I stress out and feel like an awful Mom because I didn’t do all that stuff? NO. Not. Even. A Little. Grow up people, seriously. Sorry, I am really not trying to offend or be mean, but seriously, grow up.
The only competition is self inflicted. Nobody cares what you do or don’t do with your kid–so back off the Moms who want to go all out. Our kids are little for a short time, and if seeing them giggle in delight over green eggs and ham, a little green glitter on the floor from their naughty leprechaun fills them with joy–let them! Applaud them. Doing stuff like this for your kids should not be overwhelming or a burden; if it is, don’t do it. If I feel like doing fun extra “over-achieving” stuff, I do. If I don’t, I don’t. If my kids whine that I didn’t “do something” (which they have not), I will tell them oh so sweetly, “Oh wow Honey! Your friend’s Mom did what? That is super fun.” And, we move on.
Having some fun at school is great–even welcomed by me! I did not have homework in Kindergarten, mine son does. These kids work hard at school. I HATE, yes HATE that they have homework. I want them outside playing when they get home from school, not doing more school work! Didn’t they do enough in the 6+ hours that they were there? So again, for me, I appreciate my kids’ teachers and the little bits of fun they sneak in every month.
Whew, sorry…but this whole Moms judging Moms thing REALLY BUGS ME! Can we just stop it? Accept who we are or who we are not? Build each other up and encourage each other in what we are gifted or talented in? Bottom line…LOVE one another.
*In case you are looking to go all out or just some simple, custom things, check out two of my friends’ Holly and Marcy’s Etsy sites: