Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who Are You Trying To Impress?

The last week at our house has been focused on celebrating our baby girl's 8th birthday. After the party, special snacks at school, and her restaurant-of-choice for dinner (including dessert!), I think I have been absolved for the birthday injustice I heaped upon her last year.

Last year on Corban's birthday, we were out of town at her sister's cheer competition. We tried to make it special, but it's kinda hard to make sitting in an arena for 8 hours seem like something fantastic. After that, I kept promising we would have a party for her. And we did...

in April. (if you're keeping count, that's five whole months after her birthday)

Last year, I was stressed.

Last year, we were too busy.

Last year, the thought of having to do one more thing, much less plan and execute one more thing, made me want to eat cookies and sleep for days on end.

But this year, as I thought about celebrating Corban's birthday, I felt God whisper a significant question to me.

Who are you trying to impress?

Who are you trying to impress with the fancy themed birthday party? With the over-the-top goodie bags? With the super crafty decorations? Who are you trying to impress by implementing all the amazing party ideas you find on Pinterest? (and they are really amazing) With the adorable bakery-bought cake?

I avoided the question for a while, but after some deep digging, I finally came to terms with the fact that all this time I've been trying to impress myself. I've wanted my kids' birthday parties to reflect how wonderful and crafty and creative I am as a mom. I've wanted all the guests to be jealous. I've wanted all the moms to "ooh" and "aah" over the cuteness of the party they have just beheld. I've wanted my kids to think I'm the greatest mom in the whole world. Because of a birthday party? Really?!

It sounds ridiculous when you put it like that. So now, I'm doing things differently.

As I planned this year's party, I kept that question in mind. Once I got over myself, I realized the only one I should be trying to impress is Corban. It's her birthday and what she thinks about it is all that matters. I want her to feel loved and celebrated. I want her to enjoy the day.

So she got to make every decision about her party. She picked the place, the invitations, designed and helped decorate the cake, and even placed the candles wherever she wanted them. It turned out to be zero-stress for me, and she loved every minute of it.

My sweet birthday girl.

As it turns out, she's much easier to impress than I am. And I'm so glad.

What about you? Do you stress over making parties perfect?

P.S. I have a sneaking suspicion that I've been treating Christmas at our house the same way I've treated birthday parties, so this question will be staying with me through the holiday season.