Friends, I am exhausted... but not by anything I'm doing. Nope, it's not me. It's you. Yes, you, my beautiful fellow moms. Seeing how hard you're working and the towering standards your holding yourselves up to has me overwrought. And these impossible expectations are never more apparent than when I see pictures of your kids' birthday parties. They're stunning. They're inspirational. But they need to be replaced with children's birthday party themes for moms who have given up.
Now, when I say "given up" I know that has bad connotations, but in this case giving up is a good thing! Encouraged even! Because I'm not saying to give up on parties or fun or engaging with your children. I'm not advocating for you to ditch the entirety of your parenting responsibilities.
I am saying, however, that you should give up on the idea that if your kid's party doesn't appear to be professionally designed and tremendously expensive that it can't be fun or engaging... or even a party. I gave up and it's the best party-related decision I've made since I mastered the art of "pacing myself" sometime in my mid-20s. It's by far the best children's party-related decision I've made since I figured out that if you scrunch up your face when they put the blindfold on it'll slip down just enough for you to see the piñata when you un-scrunch after they spin you around.
Because, for a lot of people, the work and stress of creating a party that looks picture perfect eats into the joy of the party itself. Give up on the idea of perfection so you can give into the fun that can only come along with knowing that, sure, the party is a hot mess, but it's your hot mess and look at how happy it's making your kid.
Look, if you enjoy doing over the top, gorgeously appointed parties, I would never tell you that you should give it up. You have fun planning your party and celebrating with your family and friends and power to you, girl. I'm happy for you and I hope I get an invitation to share in your happiness. But if planning a theme months in advance and finding the perfect ballerina themed decor that needs to be special ordered from France isn't your idea of a good time, then take a deep breath, look lovingly at your child, and say "F*ck it." Those so-called "must-haves" aren't the aspects of the party your child will remember. They'll remember the joy of their friends coming together to play and eat cake and give them presents.
Children are simple creatures, bless them, so a simple theme will do it. Here are just a few ideas to serve as inspiration (if not actual, practical themes) to get you in the spirit of giving up completely.