My daughter is turning three and I have a confession: I’ve been thinking about her birthday party for months. I’ve mailed the invitations, favorited items on Etsy, pinned a giraffe cake on Pinterest, tentatively planned the menu, and ordered supplies for games and favors.
Yes, I’m THAT birthday party mom.
And I feel like I should be embarrassed. It’s not cool to be a “Pinterest mom.” We’ve all heard the snarky comments, seen the eye rolls, and read the memes about those moms. You know, the annoying ones whose toddlers have handmade, homemade, over-the-top parties they’ll never remember. If social media posts and gossip whispers are to be believed, those moms are (a) in a competition to one-up their
enemies mom friends; (b) have the singular purpose in life of trying to make the rest of us look bad; (c) have way too much time on their hands; or (d) all of the above.
We’re supposed to hate-follow those moms so we can collectively mock their balloon arches and banners. Pinterest moms are out. Hot mess moms are where it’s at and where hot mess moms are not is hosting a dinosaur themed 2nd birthday party with Brontosaurus Burgers, Cretaceous Chili, Meteorite Mac-n-Cheese, Herbivore Station Veggie Tray, Frui-T-Rex Salad, and Dino-s’mores. [Yes, that was last year’s theme and menu.]
The funny thing is I would never call myself a Pinterest Mom (even though I don’t view it as the pejorative term everyone else does). I don’t decorate or do anything particularly special for any holidays other than Christmas. I once forgot it was Red Fish, Blue Fish Day at daycare and, in pure coincidence, sent my daughter in a sushi shirt (red fish, dead fish anyone?). I’ve never, in my life, made a sensory bin. I regularly forget to wash my daughter’s nap mat over the weekend but always pretend like it’s clean when I drop her off on Monday. Because of the mess they create, I don’t enjoy most crafts, especially if they involve glitter. My daughter’s snacks are never cut into fun shapes (unless they come out of a package that way).
I just so happen to absolutely love, and frankly am really good at, planning parties. And this isn’t something that came in with my milk after my daughter was born. I have always loved to host. Add in a theme? Icing on the proverbial birthday cake. My husband’s 30th surprise birthday party was “The Mustache Bash” and everyone wore fake mustaches while playing beer pong out of mustache-covered cups. My mom’s 60th birthday was animal print themed with all the pink, gold, and sparkles I could find. For my dad’s 70th birthday, everything was classic cars, including replicas of some of his favorite cars from the 50s and 60s.
And my love for a good party isn’t limited to birthdays. Baby showers, charity galas, or just a random Saturday night. If it’s a party, I’m all in down to the last detail. My wedding? Don’t even get me started about how much fun I had planning, the joy I get looking at pictures, and the warmth in my heart when people still tell me it’s their favorite wedding they’ve ever attended.
Do I do all of this to show anyone up? To compete with others? To be annoying and over the top? No, no, and no. I do it because hosting my friends and family for a gathering of good food and fun is my love language. I work all week in a process-oriented, analytical job and we live in a world that is too often filled with anger and hate. Planning a party sparks my creativity and lets me escape to a world of frivolity. It sounds cheesy, but it truly does fill my (red solo party) cup.
So the next time you’re getting ready to snicker at one of those Pinterest moms, just take a deep breath and relax. Birthday parties aren’t your thing? Totally cool and no judgment here. Parties are my thing, and I would love it if you could support me in all of my THAT birthday party mom glory.