Birthdays: It Takes a Village

My son turned 10 earlier this week. That’s the big time, people. Double digits. We wanted to make this birthday special, not that their other birthdays suck or anything, but still! This is 10. So, we went a little bigger than normal. If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that many hands lighten the load. I’ve written before about how it really takes a village to raise a child. This is especially true when it comes to birthdays. Because, my friends, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m not the Pinterest mom. I don’t do themed birthdays. I don’t make fun prize packs and organize games that enrich their minds while stimulating their interest in underwater basket weaving. I invite kids over. I feed them. They play. Everyone has a good time. There are presents and cake. Sometimes they argue amongst themselves. Sometimes a kid skins a knee. And, for the most part, it’s fun.

But, my kids do value the Pinterest-worthy birthdays. I mean, I would, too, if someone threw one for me! Their grandmother on their dad’s side passed away several years ago. She was the crafting queen. She could turn an old sock into a Broadway puppet. These days, their stepmom fills that role. She made some awesome cupcakes for my 10-year-old to take to class on his birthday. She has the patience and creative spirit to do it. I, on the other hand, yeah… well, here’s what it looked like when I made rum cake in a fancy castle pan. Pinterest fail.


But, I am not alone. I mean, come on, there’s an entire Pinterest Fail website filled with other moms like me. In fact, one of my best friend’s daughter’s birthday is the day before my son’s. She struggled with the same problem I had. Her daughter had high expectations of what she wanted for a birthday banner. My friend, yeah, well, we’re a lot alike. So, she reached out to another friend who does do crafty things – and does them well. And, tada, she got exactly what her daughter wanted.

The thing is, in a world of Pinterest and constant status updates on social media bragging about how great you are and how perfect your kids are and how you managed to bake a cake while in spin class and learning French while volunteering at the homeless shelter for cats and helping your daughter’s girl scout troop all at the same time, there are real moms out there feeling a little less than perfect. I know, I know, people really only like to post the good stuff and everyone struggles with their own things that they don’t care to post about. All I want to say is, own it. I’m owning the fact that I am not a crafter or a Pinterest mom, nor will I ever be. And, I’m owning that I am not afraid to reach out to others who are crafty to make fun things for or with my kids. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses (ahem, feel free to scroll back up to refresh yourself with my cake monstrosity) and that’s okay. Because, it truly does take a village to raise a child – or at least provide awesome birthday decorations for them.



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