Themes, games that matched said theme, food galore and goodie bags all compliments of Oriental Trading were present at every party I can remember. Trust me when I say my mom didn't go to all this effort just to impress other moms! She did it because she loved seeing how excited us kids were and it was a way to remind us just how much she cared, not only for her own children but every child who attended the party.
It's for this reason that I view planning birthday parties as a BIG deal because I am my mother's daughter! I show love by acts of service and thoughtful gift giving, which doesn't always mean the biggest or most expensive gift but one that has meaning and thought behind it.
I've had the opportunity to plan two birthday parties already for my oldest son, a mustache bash and a construction party zone which I've been sharing the pictures of throughout this post. I know I'm an entire year late on posting this but I just had to share because the other day I got asked from a friend, "so what's the party theme this year?"
This is a post I wrote on Facebook back in September 2014 and God has been putting it on my heart to share it again so please enjoy! There is no denying that in the past year Kellen and I have transformed physically. I not only lost the 50 pounds I gained when pregnant but another 12 on top of it! Kellen continues to grow like a weed and Chase well, he stayed the same good looking guy all throughout the process! This post wasn’t inspired by our physical transformation though it’s about the emotional, mental and heart transformation that I have gone through as a new mother the past year and it isn’t an easy story to tell.
After being awake for 48 hours straight and pushing through 18 hours of labor I can still remember sitting in my hospital bed looking at Kellen thinking “what have I done, do I really love this baby?” The moment those thoughts came into my mind I instantly felt like a bad mother. What was wrong with me? What kind of mom isn’t 100%, head over heels in love with her baby? So I pushed those feelings down and dove into my new title telling myself that “it just takes time to adjust.” Between diaper changes, breastfeeding, a baby who would only sleep in my arms and trying to heal from the birth of a 9 pounder, I was physically exhausted and so was Chase. I remember the night before my milk came in we were awake at 4 in the morning, crying because Kellen was screaming and we didn’t know what to do. Then those feelings snuck up on me again. Why isn’t my milk coming in, what’s wrong with me? How does so and so have a brand new baby who she manages to put in cute outfits everyday and take a million pictures of to post on Facebook? I’m not meant to be a mother.
I was tired, terrified, lonely and definitely had the baby blues. Which obviously I didn’t tell the doctor about or anybody else in fear that they too would think I was a bad mother or try to take Kellen away from me. Hmmm maybe I was a good mother after all? Over time all those feelings faded but I still couldn’t help but feel inadequate. Why? I’m not quite sure. Was it because I was still carrying around those last 10 lbs of baby weight or maybe because I wasn’t as “crunchy” as the mom next door? Regardless I knew I had to do something for me because clearly a part of myself had gotten lost along the journey of being a new mom. So I decided to become a coach. I lost all the baby weight, formed new friendships, dove into reading my bible more and started to realize I was perfect just the way God made me. The day I stopped comparing myself to others and accepted that I’m a perfectly, imperfect mother was the day God set me free. Free from the pressures that this world puts on new moms. You know the pressure to breastfeed or not, lose all the baby weight, feed your child organic foods, remove all toxic chemicals from your home, read to your child every night even though he’s kicking and screaming because he can’t sit still, be a working mom or a stay at home mom and the list goes on and on and on.
So mothers and fathers please listen. God made you and only you to parent your children! I can promise you that it won’t be easy, you’re going to mess up and you will be tired because what parent isn’t tired? The important thing is that you don’t doubt yourself, don’t compare yourself to others and most certainly don’t give up. Instead love your child unconditionally, be the best you can be, ask for your child’s forgiveness when you mess up and pray that God gives you the strength and guidance to do it all perfectly, imperfect!
For the record, Kellen is now 16 months and I love him more than life itself. He is making a mother out of me! A mother who is still breastfeeding, uses Clorox wipes, feeds him nonorganic goldfish crackers, quit cloth diapering for the ease of disposables and probably makes a million other parenting “mistakes” daily. But remember just like there is no perfect parent there is no perfect way to parent, so just be real!