I'll be the first to admit that it can be very very easy to get swept away with party planning. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to entertaining and party ideas. Part of my job for the BOTB series at Centsational Girl is to browse other blogs and websites and find inspiring ideas to share with others. I'm constantly seeing beautiful projects that I would love to replicate. I've found myself eyeing supplies and goodies in stores and thinking, "Oh wouldn't it be just too cool to try this for the party?" and before I know it, I've spent more than I intended.
For a creative person, it's invigorating to see all of the fabulous ideas out there on the 'net. At first. After the 47th party idea you've bookmarked, it can sometimes begin to be a little overwhelming. You begin to wonder if the cupcake tower you planned will be cute enough and will Johnny be crushed because you didn't hire that elephant to give rides at your circus party? It becomes more of an issue of measuring up than creating a fun environment for the kids.
And that's where we have to pause and examine our motivations.
Who am I throwing the birthday party for?
Is it for my child?
Is it for the other moms?
Is it for my blog?
Birthday parties are an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful gift of life. A day to make my child feel special. Ultimately, it's up to me to decide whether she needs a mini roller coaster in the backyard to see how much I love her.
Am I having the mini backyard roller coaster built because I know it will impress the other moms, look better than what I did last year, and guarantee me some high traffic blog days? Or am I having the mini backyard roller coaster built because I know it will blow her mind and I can do it without going into debt or stretching our budget too far?
It's so important for readers (both bloggers and non-bloggers) to remember that many of those gorgeous Pinterest images you see are styled and photographed specifically for a blog post or website. Sometimes a blogger is paid to use specific products, or they receive them from a company hoping for a shout-out. Often, we only see a small part of the picture. You may see a super-cute project in front of a lovely backdrop...but you don't see the mess on the other side of the room.
Case in point, my kitchen sideboard:
Yet it clearly doesn't look like that here:
My point is, we don't always see the full reality online! Don't beat yourself up if you don't have the extra cash to recreate a stylish party set-up you've seen, whether it was on a blog, a party site, or Pinned on Pinterest. If you truly love the idea you spotted, but it doesn't fit your budget as-is, then think of ways you can change it up to fit your needs!
I try to ask myself whether or not I like the idea because I think it will impress the other moms or blog readers, or if it will really add to the enjoyment of the day for my child. That litmus test usually tells me whether or not I'm going overboard.
There's nothing wrong with planning a big party for your child if you can afford to, just like there's nothing wrong with doing a quiet dinner at home with family. It really all comes down to our inner-motivations. Do we hope to outdo ourselves and wow everyone, or do we want to celebrate our children and offer a fun time for guests? Birthday parties should be a time to cherish, not to stress and feel guilt over!
Do you struggle with feeling like you have to measure up come party time? How do you combat those feelings?
I'm still working out some details for the series...a fab blog friend made some great suggestions last week...I may expand it to include some features, a few guest posts, and an end-of-series link party. Hope you'll stop back by to stay updated!
If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.