In my late 20′s, I picked up a little mantra that has remained embedded in my head:
“Don’t have expectations and you won’t be disappointed”
It has kept me on the straight and narrow in all sorts of sticky, undesireable situations.
Breaking up with douchebags, arguing with bosses, misunderstandings with friends.
As the twinlets’ 3rd birthday was approaching, I made the difficult decision that this year’s celebrations was going to have to be low-key.
I say that it was difficult because, well, as any mother, I wanted to create a special day of celebration for my children. To bake a decadent Rainbow Cake, make intricately animal shaped sandwiches and have colourful, bold, imaginative decorations.
But facing the facts and dealing with reality, I can barely get a pre-mix banana bread loaf out of an oven. Making origami paper cranes is as crafty as I get.
We had a pretty big gathering for the monumental 1st birthday. A beautiful park with fabulous friends. It was a wonderful and memorable day. But the entire time, a stressed out time bomb was ticking away inside me, constantly fretting that something was going to go wrong.
Will people find the park easily? Was it going to rain? Will the boys have a meltdown from missing out on their morning nap?
Of course the entire day went smoothly. And I was worrying over nothing. It was just the anxiety talking. But how could I control that?
Anyway, whether it was stress-related or just bad luck, the family all got a terrible bout of gastro straight after the festivities.
This year, I was adviced by my third party confidant that, perhaps, the same pressure on myself was unnecessary.
While fighting the self-disappointment, I knew my advisor was right.
I desperately wanted to show my boys how much they mean to me with all the fancy displays of an extravagant party but I had to be completely truthful with myself and face the fact that, frankly, I really wasn’t up for it.
And that’s okay.
The truth was tough to swallow but it was time to own it.
So, yesterday, in welcoming their 3rd year in this crazy yet amazing world of ours, we spent it with my folks.
There was a shopping trip to Toys R Us in the morning. And even there, there opulence was uncomfortable. The twinlets already had every Thomas the Tank Engine train in the shop, what else did they need?
And that’s when they both picked up a massive Buzz Light Year with the bells and whistles instead.
Some lateral thinking avoided the dilemma of finding and ordering the perfect cake. (K-Bear still suffers from egg allergies and so our choices are always limited).
Luckily, my mum had already made an Indonesian jelly dessert. A childhood favourite. Adding some candles, it turned out to be the perfect option.
The boys didn’t know any different and we had to reenact the candle blowing at least 5 times because, let’s face it. That’s the best, most fun part for most 3 year olds.
Mr Surfer and I have agreed to have a small gathering in a few weeks and invite friends from daycare. But it definitely won’t be to the same extreme as that first party.
Those days of self-pressure are gone. But what we will lack in birthday brouhaha, the twins will gain in a happier, more present mama.
Joining in the gorgeous Essentially Jess for another fabulous round of IBOT