I sat there at midnight and wondered if the dollar tree streamer, the handwritten banner and crayola marker wrapping paper would be enough.
I wondered if he knew some of the toys I bought were on clearance or if the banner is the same one we used last year.
I worried because Pinterest is the devil.
Pinterest-perfect parents live behind computer screens on social media and show up daily on my news feed. They make me doubt if what I have to give on special occasions is really good enough.
I admit, I always go straight to Pinterest for birthday party ideas, decorations, cakes and party games. I turn into this three-headed monster weeks, even months, before the party is scheduled. “He turned two months yesterday – better start my new Pinterest board for his first birthday ideas now!”
I have to start hand-making everything from the decorations to the cake, otherwise it’s not good enough. Those store-bought decorations and cake from the bakery will not compare to “Cindy’s” son’s birthday. She never has a Pinterest fail.
I’ve found myself in tears at birthdays of the past. My “fire” decorations were falling from the ceiling. My first attempt at a fire truck cake looked more like a red box on wheels. My handmade piñata busted open while I was hanging it, and I didn’t have time to set up a photo booth. Not to mention, he didn’t have fifty or more friends in attendance – only family – AND I forgot to get matching candles. Do you think he noticed? No. I was so worried about the Pinterest-perfect details I became consumed by the idea of the party.
It's easy to forget to simply just be there. I mean let's be honest, our parents lived without Pinterest and I bet we can all talk about an amazing birthday we had when we were younger.
Pinterest has this way of making me a bad mom. It makes me forget to enjoy the moment. It makes me feel as though I don't match up to other moms. It makes me feel like I will never be a good enough mom when it comes to birthday parties and special events.
So here's to the mom’s that aren't Pinterest-perfect. The mom's with the homemade birthday cakes that came out burnt, second hand decorations that don't match and presents bought on the swap shops or from the clearance rack.
I don’t want to be the Pinterest-perfect mom. I want to be the mom that was present instead of being so busy getting everything just right for some highlight reel I forget is not real life.