My oldest is turning 16 this week. It’s hard to believe. I came into her life when she was 10 months old. Technically she is my step-daughter but I have been raising her since she came into my life so she is my daughter in every sense of the word. It’s hard to believe that the time has gone this fast.
I started asking her two months in advance what she would like to do for her birthday. I wanted to give her the perfect party and make it special. She told me (after hounding her for a month) that she just wanted a sleepover with her friends and then a small family party. I was disappointed. I was so excited to throw her this big party.
Then I stepped back. It’s her birthday not mine. If she doesn’t want to have a big party then she shouldn’t be forced to have one. Maybe a sleepover is her perfect party. Maybe just hanging out and spending time with her friends is the perfect way to spend her time.
As a parent I think I often try to make my kids birthdays and holidays perfect for them but did I ever stop and ask them what they truly wanted. My idea of perfect is very different from theirs. So we don’t have the huge party but she’s happy and that is all that matters.
My goal next year is to stop trying to make the events perfect. I will ask my kids what they want and stop worrying about what other parents will think of me if I don’t have a big birthday party for my kids or it’s a weird theme (like the year my son wanted a Powerpuff Girls birthday party and I told him no).
I could even throw a spectacular party but something could still go wrong. I drop the cake or someone spills something all over. Having a big party doesn’t mean it will be perfect. So I’m going to get a babysitter overnight for my younger two and let my oldest enjoy her sleepover while I’m also getting a little mommy break. So maybe it will be a “perfect” party after all.