Monday, April 21, 2014

I'm NOT done making my kid's childhood magical

There was a recent Huffington Post blog titled "I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical" that has been making the rounds on social media. You may want to click on the link and read it before I mount my soapbox. I thought it was rather funny and agreed with the author on many points, but it unsettled me at the same time. Clearly, with over 700K likes on Facebook, it resonates with mothers everywhere, but I wonder if anyone else feels the same as I do about it. It turns out, I am happy being the wizard behind the curtain in my children's magical lives, and am far from ready for that to change.

These last two weeks have made me think a lot about this article as it was Finn's 4th Birthday, Easter, and we had our first visit from the tooth fairy. Let's start with Finn's 4th Birthday. The author has a good rant over the perfect birthday parties planned to perfection and shared on social media. OK, hands up, this is us. We are a stationery company and rather like themed stationery to match our customers "perfect" birthday celebrations and then like to brag about it on our blog. Maybe I have some genetic defect, but I don't see the parental pressure there. Finn didn't want a party this year, so we took our birthday party savings and went to Legoland for his big day (apparently theme parks are another no no so I have still managed to commit a faux pas). If he is too young to remember as the author suggests, I don't really care. I was there, I have photos, and I also know he (and we all) had an amazing birthday.

Finn pointing to the Lego Big Bad Wolf in the Story book boat ride

Whether your parents played with you or not, whether you had a lot of presents or not, Santa still came, the tooth fairy still came and the Easter Bunny still came. You don't need to spend a fortune on anything over the top, in fact, this year, we spent all of 1 pound each on an Easter Egg for Rebecca and Finn. They had a lot of chocolate gifts and cards from family and friends, so we just gathered all that up and left their usual trail to their Easter baskets and voila, "The Easter Bunny's been!"

Say Chocolate!

We have friends who host an annual Easter party, and I marvel at her gorgeous party bags and favors and enjoy taking part in the elaborate games and competitions. Guess what? It's fun. Before you ask what it's all about, I blogged about it last year. Do I feel pressured to do the same at my parties? No, but I will probably steal one of her ideas for our future parties. (They had photos from the previous 4 years parties playing on the television.)

And lastly, one first tooth jar £3…a coin for the first tooth £2...the tooth fairy's visit…priceless:
Tooth Fairy Jar bought almost a year ago by Rebecca in anticipation

You can't see said tooth in this picture, but check out the excitement!

As for playing with my kids, to be honest, I wish I did more of it. I tend to dip in and out when they are playing to cook dinner or load the laundry. But now that Spring is here, I do take great pleasure in opening the door and kicking the kids out in the backyard which is pretty much where all my childhood memories live.

Just as every child is different, so is every parent. I celebrate my friends strengths, whether it be the time they spend doing crafts, or baking, or playing with their kids, or taking them to all their activities. I am in awe everyday and proud to call them my friends. And if they share it on social media, I am glad to see how and what they are filling their busy lives with…and you never know, it may just rub off on me.

What about you? Feeling the pressure or perfectly happy to do your own thing? We'd love to hear your view!


  1. Ditto! Ditto! Ditto!! I felt the same way after reading that article! I am by no means perfect (wow, actually farther from it than I would like to even admit), but I try. Sometimes it is magical, sometimes it is just a piece of paper and crayons. But it doesn't mean you don't try. It isn't about money, but time, patience and will power. Just get out there and try new things and see new places!
    Love you Chucks!!

  2. I do see where the author of the Huffington Post article is coming from—don't over schedule, let kids go outside to play and make their own fun. I find that my oldest really needs me to help her find things to do where my second can play for hours on her own. Some of this is just personality traits, but I do think that the need for direction is fairly common with oldest children. In talking with moms from previous generations, it seems it has been this way for a while. I wonder if sometimes we look at the past through selective lenses and I can't help but wonder if parenting is really that different today than it was 30 years ago. For now I think I'll just struggle, as we all do, to find the right balance between playing with my children and letting them go off on their own, between letting them try all the activities they want to be a part of and not over scheduling their days, between keeping it real and keeping a little of the magic of childhood a part of their lives. This might include a themed birthday party with ideas straight from Pinterest and matching cards from Love and Life... but hey... that is fun for me too!