Episode 68: What is the Actual Point of All of This?

Memories in Moments

January 15, 2020

“They’re never going to remember” Say hello to my biggest pet peeve! Let’s break it out on today’s shower. Why the heck are we spending time on these moments? These celebrations that we want to be meaningful? I’m going to share my point of view when it comes to this and hopefully give you a new mindset to take on the next time you plan something special for your family!

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“They’re Never Going to Remember”

Welcome to my biggest pet peeve.

My response? They may not. But YOU will.

Right?

What’s the point of all of this is something I think about often, especially when I plan what I think is fun and special and the kids are acting ungrateful or bratty. God, that drives me nuts. Anyone else experienced this? It’s maddening!

So let’s break it out. Why the heck are we spending time on these moments? These celebrations that we want to be meaningful, because when when think about it, they’re little gifts of time we’re giving to our family, and at the heart of it, that’s truly what I believe.

You’ve heard me say, “every occasion big or small deserves to be celebrated” before and I’ll continue saying it.

Our kids are little. Some of them too little to remember the things we are doing for them, yes.

But think about something exciting like Christmas. When you put them to bed and are in that cozy quiet house with the light of the tree setting everything up. That excitement for me is electric. That night gives me one of my most favorite feelings of the year. I love thinking about how happy they’re going to be as they come down the stairs, their squeals of excitement over the cookies being eaten, and what they’ll see first that will make their eyes go all wide.

They may not remember that feeling every single year from their childhood, but I sure as heck will and I wouldn’t sacrifice that for anything.

Now, obviously we’re going to experience Christmas morning with our kids, but I want you to remember that feeling as we talk about the next couple things, but it’s a similar feeling you have when you create these other, more simple moments for them.

These moments of our family’s life are what make up our family’s story. When your kids are grown and you look back at your past memories, what are you going to remember? The year where Evie was obsessed with princesses after her first Disneyland trip and Rapunzel and Snow White surprised her at her birthday talking to her about how they missed her. Magic.

The year Hudson was obsessed with race cars and we surprised him with a Ferrari before his party and he wouldn’t get out of it. Magic.

Flying down the stairs to see where Sparkle our Elf ended up that morning and laughing at how silly she is. Magic.

Friday movie nights with fresh popped popcorn and extra butter snuggled up on the couch under the same blanket. Magic.

Schools Years Eve parties with s’mores and cheeseburgers on the grill dreaming up all the new friends, hopes, and possibilities the new year holds for them. Magic.

These moments are my family’s legacy. What are your moments?

It may sound totally cheesy and dramatic, but it’s sacred to me. I grew up in a house where these simple moments were everything. They weren’t giant, elaborate things – some were for sure- but most weren’t. They were powdered sugar donut holes and strawberries on Valentine’s Day morning before school, or silly notes inside a paper lunch bag that was decorate with pumpkin stamps. Simple. But clearly impactful enough for me to remember, and remember the special feeling I felt during those moments.

They may not remember the exact activity we did, or the exact party theme or gift, but they will remember the feeling.

They remember their mom seeing them and honoring who they are at that stage in their life. And you know what? I will remember that too.

One of my favorite somewhat recent favorite feeling memories was Evie’s 5th birthday. She was very vocal about planning that party with me. She drew her own plan- including a flower crown, a cake covered in flowers and her one big request was flowers falling from the sky. No pressure.

Two things about this that I will always remember. One, that being the first party I got to officially plan with my daughter, a moment I had been looking forward to since she was born. And two, her face as she came out to the backyard to see thousands of flowers hanging from the sky. Her eyes literally had stars in them and she said so quiet, “you did it, mommy”

Dead. 

If I ask her about that party, she remembers that. That was 5. She remembers small details from her parties prior to that, the princesses surprising her being one of the major ones, but for the most part, she will tell you about the parties based on pictures and videos she’s seen of them, which in my opinion is totally valid.

First Birthday…What’s the Point?

So let’s talk about the biggest what’s the point experience I hear about…first birthdays.

First birthdays are a massive deal. Like one of the biggest milestones of your parenting career.

It is devastating to me not to celebrate that. And before you think I’m being dramatic, hear me out!

Celebration does not equal party. I know that I help buys moms like you plan themed parties for a living. I am a party fan because they’re fun and important to me. They are not fun and important for a lot of people and that is 100% okay. But listen, that big day for your family needs to be acknowledged. A dinner, a cupcake, a family outing, inviting some grandparents over for pizza, something. It’s not for them, it’s for YOU. Heck, book a night out and toast over a kid free dinner.

You made it one whole year- everyone may be more tired than they’ve ever been in their life, but they are alive and mostly happy. That’s a big deal.

Many people have challenged me when it comes to parties I’ve hosted for my kids, especially first birthdays. And I always say the same thing- it’s for me because it gives me joy AND I remember it.

The added bonus I had no clue about until recently?

My kids can tell me about their first birthdays. Obviously they don’t remember a thing, but they’ve heard about it, seen pics of it and watched videos and feel like those are their memories. They get to experience it over and over because of that, which is even better! Evie knows she cried mid smash because she basically had a wall of paparazzi staring at her yelling her name and that she was stripped down to her diaper and had a quick sink bath before finishing up the party.

Hudson knows he devoured his cake and that he had a teepee at his birthday. Something I remember from both? That my grandma was able to be at both my kids’ first birthdays before she passed, and the kids get to see that also in the pics they see because they don’t have real memories of her.

They may not remember but you will. And then as they get older, they do start to remember and it gets a heck of a lot more fun because they start to appreciate it. Once they start creating an experience for their Barbies or stuffed animals, you know you’re on to something.

That’s really what it boils down to.

Parenting is Hard.

We all know its one of the hardest jobs in the world, and a lot about parenting isn’t fun. Finding little pockets of time to slow down, be present and spend intentional time with our family is one of those things that make it fun. I always leave those times feeling refreshed. Like okay, we got this, we’re back on track, I’m doing something right!

I want to love parenting and the times where I cut a jack-o-lantern face out of a quesadilla or surprise my kids with a day where I only say yes to things they ask makes it fun. Is this something that happens everyday? Heck no. Is it something I’d like to do more often? Heck yes.

Little moments where I can turn the volume up on something I’m already doing to make us all have more fun? I can do that, and that’s what I’m trying my best to teach you. Sharing the little things I do to make things a bit more special, a bit more magical, and just have some dang fun together!

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Allison Carter breaks down why making memories and celebrating the big and little moments with our family matters and has many emotional benefits.
  1. Amy says:

    I absolutely agree with you Allison. I still, to this day, want each moment for my daughters to be memorable for them! Kyra, almost 19, and I have been through a rough patch with a divorce and never once, lost one another’s love. And to this day, I cherish each moment given and truly appreciate that we have an incredible relationship.
    My youngest, Ashlyn, 10, enjoys the “moments” that come her way as well….. so each one of them, deserve each celebration to the fullest. I am creative and LOVE giving all that I can to them.
    I also love parenting…. but it is not easy and time limits us in so many ways!

    So thank you for sharing and doing what you do!!
    You are amazing!

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