The Birthday Party Guilt Trip


I am an idiot.  I have a ton of stuff to do, the SEA Convention is just around the corner, and instead …. I’m sewing unicorn horns.  What is wrong with me?

This is why: one little almost 5-year-old girl.  I love her to pieces, and I have a super hard time saying no to “mommy, please?” for this kind of stuff.  Note: I have absolutely NO trouble saying “no” to “I want another Pikmi Pop mommy!

Here’s the thing: kiddo has never had a “real” birthday party.  Her brother has – she has not.  And to be honest, she didn’t really have enough friends to make it a big deal about it anyway.  This year she does.  This year, we invited her whole ballet class.  And the art class.  Some of whom will think pony wings are silly, but that’s ok!


The true reason I’m killing myself and working late hours crafting My Little Pony wings and horns is simple: I’m feeling guilty.  My middle child isn’t exactly easy, but she’s easier to deal with than the other two.  Sometimes she gets less attention by the simple fact of behaving.  I hate that.  I hate that I feel like she’s missing out on emotional and physical needs because her brothers need so much more than she does.


So I’m sewing unicorn horns.  I know this party is going to make her happy.  I saw the look on her face when I had her try on the set and go look in the mirror.  Unicorn horns and wings mean “mommy loves me” to her right now, and that’s huge.   She probably won’t remember the amount of work it took to pull this off, and she probably won’t care when she’s older.  Right now, she cares.  Right now, she knows I love her enough to spend time on her party.


I’m running the risk of making other parents feel like I’m showing off or overdoing it.  I don’t care.  I certainly won’t be able to do this every year, and I never have before.  I’m not doing this for her guests or to show off – I’m doing it for her.   Someday when she’s older and looks back at the pictures, she’ll know how much time this took.  She’ll know how much effort I went to for a birthday party for “just” a 5-year-old.


Sure, I could just plunk down money and buy the things she wants.  There are a ton of Pinterest parties for My Little Pony that make my jaw drop.  People blow a lot of money on these things!  There are Etsy crafters, Hasbro toys and ideas, and enough rainbow jello to make any child happy, but it’s not the same.  It’s not special, personal, or chosen by her.

This way is the hard way.  And it’s falling directly on my shoulders because my husband broke his arm, and he doesn’t know how to sew anyway.  I’m ok with that.  This is my gift to her – not the wrapped presents, not the sparkling party decorations – this is it.  Because time means love – not money.


Kids are smart enough to know that.

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