Last weekend was my youngest child's birthday.
She very excitedly turned 5 years old & taught me a valuable lesson at the same time!
We don't have any family nearby anymore to celebrate birthdays and other holidays with. It always makes me a little sad when my kids don't have their grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins around to celebrate with them. Especially for Peyton and Cooper, our two youngest. They get so excited for their birthdays, and I always wish we could make a bigger deal of their special day for them.
So on Peyton's birthday she happily opened her gifts from us and from family that had shipped things to her, with the help of two of her brothers. She was so gitty and excited about each thing that she received. Her new Easy Bake Oven, a baby doll stroller, a new doll, some socks and things.
As she is very happily going about her birthday day, I was taking pictures of her and feeling like a big failure of a mom for not making her birthday celebration more special for her. I was thinking to myself that I was grateful that she wasn't even born and doesn't know anything about the big, fun parties we use to put on for her older brothers when they were little.
All the family and friends they got to celebrate with.
All the fun treats and goodie bags for all the kids. The cute cakes that I made for them every year.
Lots of balloons and decorations. Treasure hunts and obstacle courses.
The cute scrapbooks I had made for the boys with pictures from their parties.
You get the idea.
And literally, the icing on the cake of me feeling like a failure, was the icing on the cake.
The disgusting icing on the cake that I BOUGHT. Not the cake I made for her. But the cake that I stopped at the grocery store and bought for her. When I was cutting that cake and licked some icing off my finger, it tasted so disgusting, and it set me over the edge. I sat on the sofa while she happily ate her cake with her brothers, and I cried. Feeling so guilty for not doing all of the things for her that we as mothers expect ourselves to do.
And do you know what happened next? She came bouncing into the family room where I was sitting and said "THANK YOU soooo much Mommy! This was the best birthday EVER!!!!!" I looked at her with tears in my eyes and said "Really? What makes it the best birthday ever Peyton?"
She simple said "Because I got to spend it with all of you."
I tell this story as a reminder to all of the other moms out there, that it's not about all the STUFF.
It truly is about spending time with family that makes our celebrations special. For us, we can't always be with our extended family for our celebrations, but we can definitely still make our birthdays & holidays special with just the 6 of us.
So keep this lesson that my 5 yr old taught me, in the back of your mind as we go into the busy Christmas season. Don't feel guilty for keeping things simple so that you can truly enjoy and appreciate spending time with your family over the holidays. Instead, feel contentment with simple, and start noticing the beauty in the small things.