With the constant pressure to throw the our children the best parties, shower our kids with the most awesome of gifts, and literally try to “make each moment count,” are we missing the point?
In all the frenzy to create wonderful memories for our kids, are we just breaking our backs, and the bank?
Of course this doesn’t mean we should not give our kids nice things or take them to nice places. But it should be from a standard we set for ourselves.
What matters is setting a proper example for our children. We are the adults. Our job is to help our kids navigate the world. What good are we if we just show them that throwing money is the best way to enjoy anything?
It doesn’t mean I love my kid less if I don’t hire a clown or rent a bouncy house. It also doesn’t mean you love your kid more if you do.
It also doesn’t mean you can’t rent one. But if the bouncy house is used for a whole 5 minutes, then I’m sorry, it was a waste.
I think all parents (in some ways) live vicariously through their children. We want them to have the best, because they’ll be happy. And we love our kids.
But this definition of happiness should not be based on simply the best material things. We all know material things come and go. Money comes and goes. But the memories are what remain. The emotions. The feelings.
So when my child just wants pizza for their party, I shouldn’t want to throw money on a gourmet pie that he won’t touch. He just likes a simple cheese pizza.
I have found my kids love certain things about celebrating – the dessert and the goody bags. So I try to make those things extra special. They don’t care about their outfits or decor, so I keep it simple. I don’t spend an arm or a leg on cake plates or napkins.
Just recently we celebrated my second child’s baligha party. She is turning 9 soon, and Islamically it is the age of assuming responsibilities for Muslim girls. We were talking about ordering a special cake for her party, when she insisted I make my chocolate cupcakes.
I was a little petrified. About 60 cupcakes? Myself? Where would I put them? How would I decorate them? What all would I need?
But that’s what she wanted. So with the help of my awesome neighbor, we planned it out. She baked three trays. I baked three trays. And we had a beautiful turnout.
And my daughter enjoyed the homemade cupcakes. I’m so grateful that my kids love what I bake for them.
I hope they always remember their special days, with memories of things they love and being surrounded by family and friends who love them.