By MeOhMy Editor Siobhan (@meohmymum)
Harry turned two a few weeks ago, and we celebrated last weekend with a party. It was also a little celebration for my 30-something-let’s-not-go-there birthday and a very belated house warming. It was the first time we’d seen many of our friends in a while due to various reasons. So it was going to be a big one, to say the least.
We were all pretty excited – most of all me for actually being able to wear something other than my standard mum uniform and actually socialise with other human beings haha.
On the morning of the party I got a great sleep in. My husband took Harry and Aoife out while I had a hair and makeup artist do my face and loose curls in my hair. I got to enjoy a coffee while it was actually warm, with no interuptions, and was even sipping champagne at one point.
Then the caterers and event planner arrived to set up the house, decorate and prep. It was amazing watching them swing into action. I supervised the styling to make sure my vision was coming to life properly. I then got time to do my nails, get dressed in my new designer dress and spend a bit of time with my husband before our guests started to arrive.
That’s the entire story of how my morning went down on the day of Harry’s 2nd birthday party.
Except it’s not. HELL NO. It didn’t go anything like that.
The real story? Given we’d been away for work the whole month leading up to the party, I was scrambling around all week trying to get on top of the washing, the extra work that had piled up while we were away with no daycare, and the usual 2 children under 2 routine and mess…I cleaned the whole house the day before the party and we did a huge shop.
On the day I was woken up by Harry at 5.30am (fairly standard!) and spend all morning doing the usual things – grabbing a few things from the shops with Harry in tow, feeding both babes, changing them etc, while my husband prepped the meat for the party and organised the alcohol. When the kids went down for naps at lunchtime I got to wash my hair, blow dry it and actually put a full face of makeup on. Ahhhhhhh, the luxury. We then popped up a few decorations and set up our outdoor area.
Because you know what? I refuse to follow the fancy birthday party trend. Bollocks to creating a social media worthy party. There seems to be this thing amongst mums where we all compete with each other to see who can put on the prettiest and most on-trend party. Some spend a fortune on these parties. Entertainment, catering, event staff, styling...you name it, and they do it.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that. To each her own, and all that. I don't judge other mums. If that's what makes you happy, you go for it. That's amazing.
But the further I get in this motherhood journey, the more I'm realising that less is more. With the busy-ness of two babes comes a lot of extra work and stress. I'm learning to lower my expectations about what I can achieve, outside of 'mumming', in one day. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist and tried to do way too much. I'm trying to work on that, and the first step is not putting as much pressure on myself to make everything perfect.
We had bought salads (gasp!). Ikea decorations (sorry all my shop small friends, I just didn’t have the time and/or energy to go there), sausages in bread, old school ‘Loot’ bags, beers floating in Harry’s paddle pool and 30+ people and kids running around our house, taking trips down the drive in various kids' toys.
Yes, we made sure Harry’s first birthday last year was pretty. We had a monochrome theme going on, I ordered shop small products way in advance and planned all the styling, he had a special outfit that matched with Daddy, and I Instagrammed it all.
This time, this was probably the most un-Instagram-able party ever. It was chaos. It was so fun. It was amazingly special. It was memorable.
Harry had a ball. We all did. It was about having an amazing time with our family and friends. Not posing for photos or fussing that the styling wasn’t right. Not spending a fortune. Not posting on social media.
You know a party is good when you literally take just a few pictures. In hindsight, I wish I’d taken more. But it just goes to show how much of a good time we were having.
It took us a week to recover. Yes, we had a bit of a hangover the next day. Harry was exhausted all week.
It was the best.