Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Remember When?

I don't know what I did without Pinterest. I mean Pinterest truly makes me a much better wife and mother. There used to be a point in our marriage when my husband would utter the words, "Chicken for dinner, again?" Now I can easily meal plan for up to a month using recipes I found on Pinterest. And although I am not crafty, I am a good copier so I can easily copy a arts and crafts project off Pinterest and sit down and do it with the kids. Instant wall art. And the same goes for decorating. It's as easy as 1-2-3. I just log onto Pinterest, search kid's rooms and pin ideas I like. Then I make my husband get to work

However as much as I love Pinterest and this whole culture of DIY and crafts sometimes I wander if we get carried away.

Remember when birthday parties consisted of nothing more than paper plates, cake, ice cream and family. Or maybe a trip to Chuck E Cheese or a sleep over with your closest friends? Not a party with some elaborate theme, hand crafted decorations that took hours to make, dozens of cupcakes that go along with the theme and loads of money spent on bounce houses or activiites for the kids to do.Not to mention food to feed everyone on the invite list. Which is probably huge because if you spend hours planning and preparing for a Bubble Guppies birthday party and you made all the decorations yourself you better believe you will be inviting everyone you know so that they can bear witness to your awesomeness. I mean so they can celebrate your daughter turning 2

Remember when Valentines Day meant going to the store and picking out valentines with your favorite Disney Princess or heartthrob that take to school and  deliver to your classmates. And you were even luckier if you had a new shoe box to decorate instead of one that was found underneath your parent's bed smashed in on the side? Now Valentines are all handmade, with some catchy saying attached to a snack. And don't even get me started on the boxes, I am going to have to start researching Valentines boxes right now in order to get ready for Valentines Day next year. Seriously

And remember when the only Holiday you were guaranteed gifts was on Christmas. (If you celebrate Christmas that is) Now  for every holiday out there I see countless blog posts about the best gifts to get your kids for such and such! In my house Easter was another holiday where we got gifts but it was always something simple. A movie, or a new beach towel and swimsuit to celebrate the start of spring. Things like that. Now it seems that not only do you have to get pajamas and an outfit to coordinate with the holiday but the these other holiday's have become almost as big as Christmas

Now don't get me wrong. I do all of these things. I love buying the kids outfits and pajamas for each holiday or season and I do tend to get them a little something. I also love doing crafts pertaining to the holiday or engaging the kids in holiday related activities. But sometimes I wander if we take things too far. I  mean I didn't know people really did anything on St Patricks day until I reached college and participated in pub crawls. Ugh I shudder at the memories. (I also am Polish and German so that could be another reason St Patricks Day wasn't big on our family's radar) But I don't feel deprived that I never had a house full of green footprints

Now don't go thinking that I am bashing all the holiday gift giving, themed birthday parties or fun seasonal activities. I am not

But the older my kids get the more and more my priorities shift. When my kids were first bornI felt all this pressure to have a huge first birthday party, to buy them anything and everything, to make holiday's and celebrations a big deal and all that fun stuff. But as they get older I realize that all of that isn't necessary. Don't get me wrong, I love planning their birthday's and finding crafts to engage them in and you better believe that for every holiday I buy every holiday related book on the market, use them as decorations all around the house and read them to the kids constantly. But in doing those things I realize that it is not what I buy the kids, or the Yoda shaped cupcakes or handmade valentines that matter, It is the time spent with them, one on one, actively participating in their lives. Not just sitting on the side lines watching life pass us by. Some years there will be handmade birthday decorations and a theme, other years there will be a store bought cake and our closest family and friends. Some nights we will have spaghetti for dinner and others we will have black bean pumpkin enchiladeas.The point is that no matter what, there is no standard to conform to or live up to. All that matters is that in all you do your family goes first.Some mom's crafty valentines box may appear better than your smashed in shoe box but both were made for your child out of love. And at the end of the day that is all that matters.

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