Keep calm and party on

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A real-life conversation from 2014 in regards to Isla’s birthday.

At the end of this month Isla will be turning 5, and my days of simple “Mostly Family and a Few Friends” birthday parties are over. With Isla being in preschool and dance for the past nine months she has developed a wide circle of friends and of course, she wants to invite ALLLLLL of her classmates to her party.

And then of course, there’s friends outside of school and dance who she’d like to invite, and at that point, do you even bother inviting family to a child-dominated screeching fest? Oh, and how on earth do you even decide on how many kids to let her invite?! AND HOW DO YOU HAND OUT INVITATIONS WITHOUT HAVING SOME OTHER KID FEEL LEFT OUT?!

Of course, I have answers to those questions. Or at least answers that work for us and our situation.

Backstory: Isla decided that she’d like to have a bowling birthday party after attending one back in February. After looking into the cost Kyle and I thought it was totally doable, plus it takes the chaos and mess out of our house. Win!

When it came time for Isla to decide who she’d like to invite to her party I simply asked her. She had her go-to friends (the ones who she’s been friends with pre-preschool and dance), and then she went on to list nearly every kid in her preschool and dance classes. Ruh-roh. Cue one of what will be many sit-down serious discussions with Isla: We told her how she unfortunately couldn’t invite everyone she knows, and to think about who she likes spending the most time with, and we’d go from there.

Eventually we had her par down her list to a few kids from both preschool and dance. I scrutinized her list a little, asking if she was certain on who she wanted to invite, but she seemed certain so we let that be that.

How to hand out the invitations was the biggest stress factor for me. As much as I didn’t want to hurt any tiny human’s feelings, Isla knew who she wanted to invite and while I did my best to sway her decisions, I wasn’t going to make her invite anyone she didn’t want to. I managed to hand them out on the DL with relative ease and so far, there hasn’t been any backlash. Whew! <wood knocking>

Of course, there’s always going to be some second guessing, mostly on my part. Should we have invited one child instead of another? What if no one can come? What if she suddenly becomes “not friends” with someone she invites? (Which may have already happened …) Should we let her invite someone else? What do we tell parents who ask why their child wasn’t invited? What do I tell Isla if someone can’t make it?

The mom-guilt is real and I just have to keep reminding myself that this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to birthday parties and that things are only going to get more complicated as she gets older, especially if her social circle grows.

I know I’m most definitely over thinking all of this and Isla probably won’t even notice if only two out of the however many kids she invited show up. She gets cake? Yay! Bowling? Yay! I just need to remind myself to keep calm and let her party on.

Happy Mother’s Day

I thought abut writing a deep and meaningful post for today, talking about how much it means to be a mom and how Hashtag: Blessed I am to have an amazing mom in my life and how my daughters make me strive to be the best mom I can be to them. Then I thought, that has all been done time and time before and if you’ve been tuned into my blog for a while you’ll already know how appreciative I am to have to have my mom in my life.

So, today in honour of Mother’s Day I decided that I’d just share a few photos of a little mini photoshoot I gifted to my mom for her birthday last month.

Shelly Cantelo Photography captured these pictures of my mom, myself, Isla and Norah a few weeks ago and I’m so glad we got them done. As a mom we’re always the ones behind the camera capturing the moments of our children’s lives, rarely getting in front of the lens ourselves. A good photo a selfie does not make, no matter how many filters you slap on it.

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Anyway, having these photos taken was a wonderful way to capture the four of us just being, well, us. I’m so glad to have such an amazing mom in my life, and to have her be such a loving, giving, and caring grandma to Isla and Norah.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

Pushed

Ever have days when your kids are awesome, like they’re pictures of beauty and grace and even Mary Poppins would be jealous of how good you’ve got it? So do I! There are days where I’m just amazed by how grown up either of them are – Isla showing so much care and compassion and Norah taking great strides in her independency and personality. It makes my heart burst and my ovaries weak and then I want 1,000 more babies. (Much to my husband’s terror.) I post the crap out of those moments on social media because who doesn’t want to read about or see how amazing my little darlings are? No one! Everyone thinks that life going so wonderfully and life is roses and then?

Then they turn into Ivan Drago and I’m Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa is nowhere to be found to avenge my death.

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It just goes to show that parenthood, no matter how shiny and magical it appears online, there’s always those moments that we don’t always speak of. Those moments where we feel like we’ve been pushed to our mental breaking points and we just want to give up.

I’ve had a lot of these moments lately and it has turned me into a hot mess of a mom. Forgetting what time school starts? Check. Completely forgetting details about something I was told less than a hour before? Absolutely. I can feel myself slowly breaking; The whining. The sleep strikes. The attitude. Little by little, it all slowly adds up and suddenly it’s 3 a.m. and I’m sitting on the floor outside of the bedroom doors in tears because I’ve finally been pushed to my breaking point.

Moments like these certainly have shut my ovaries up more than once and while I know that it’s absolutely a phase and “this too shall pass,” it’s sometimes hard to look past it all. Thankfully, I have a great support system that’s been there more than once to pick up the pieces and glue my sanity together. (I’m looking at you, my dear husband/Rocky stand-in!) I’m reminded that sometimes when things are the hardest it’s okay to shove my own parenting rules aside if it means my mental wellbeing stays intact.

Find peace in knowing that your kids aren’t the only ones with inner Ivan Dragos, and it’s okay to let the world know that. Together we’re stronger and if we support one another we’ll always have someone to help push us back into sanity.