I’m sure by now you have read a post or two written by moms asking, “Am I the only one that doesn’t need to go over the top for EVERY holiday?” I see it in nearly every one of my Facebook mom groups during the week of some calendar holiday. I get it because I was that mom too. Only now I realize I was saying it because I was feeling inadequate. I was second guessing what kind of mom I am because I didn’t take the time to invest in a craft with my kid, or spend time planning a surprise for the morning. Of course this completely minimizes all my hard work planning kid activities through the year, simply because I didn’t do it close to a holiday. We do a lot for our kids every single day and it doesn’t always come with glitter and balloons.

So with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter right around the corner, let me share what I’ve learned since making that same statement.

  1. People are who they are. Some moms are hard wired to express their joy openly and with big colorful decorations. To them this is fun. Maybe their mom did the same, or maybe their mom never did anything to celebrate and now celebrating with their kids feels special. Whatever their reason for celebrating, how they celebrate is part of their story and their business.
  2. Social media is meant to be social. Just like in real life, some people are way more social than others. Many folks use their social media accounts to keep their long distance family members included in their daily lives. It is no longer the norm for families to live on the same block any more. So sharing photos on Facebook is the modern equivalent to how our parents used to send pictures in the mail to grandma. Except now instead of just grandma getting to see it and gush over it all 347,000 friends on our list get to see it too.
  3. “No one is parenting at you.” That’s a direct quote from a mom friend. No parent is up through the night plotting to out do you as a parent. There is no trophy we are all vying for and certainly no one is going to recognize you or me as THE ONE, THE ONLY, THE PERFECT MOM!  If other moms are up sacrificing sleep to make magic happen for their kids inside their own homes let them have it. They aren’t looking for you to validate them (or criticize them).
  4. I know who I am. I am not going to be able to recreate someone else’s magical moments in my house. I am not crafty and I don’t have a ton of money. I like things simple and I like to have fun. I am also a last minute mama who can barely handle putting out a nice table cloth and throwing a few coins on the table. Keeping a week long, or even a month long running gag of leprechaun tricks, or elf shenanigans is too much work for me. But I am not judging any other mom who has that kind of stamina. I also know it doesn’t mean she loves her kids more than I love mine. I am willing walk to the ends of the earth for my kids. I’m just not willing to fire up the glue gun for them.
  5. I can enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor. Since I already know the amount of work that goes into motherhood, I can totally appreciate any mom who can find the time to finish a craft, organize all her closets and design a command center. I can barely finish the dishes most days, so I consider all of those projects to be extracurricular. It’s really fun to see how creative my friends are without it being a competition. And since we are friends why would I want to spend my time showing them up, or complaining about their hard work. You go mamas! I’ll give your pic a like from the comfort of my couch. Oh and thanks for filling my news feed with your happy photos of smiling children.

Essentially, don’t go judging other moms for making a day bigger than you are willing to. Everyone is different and expresses their excitement in different ways. If you are a low key mama embrace it! Celebrate your minimal ways by not posting about it on Facebook. Or post your efforts on Facebook anyway without stacking them up against someone else’s. Our kids are watching how we do things and if they hear us tearing down the way others live in their homes we can expect that will be their views when they become parents too. If you are like me and just want the holidays to hurry up and be over with so you can pack everything away, your kids’ lives will not be ruined. I assure you there are a million other things you can do to land them in therapy.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

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31 Comments on Moms, You Won’t Ruin Your Kids If You Don’t Celebrate Every Holiday

  1. I honestly don’t know how St. Patrick’s Day became the big deal it is today. Well, I suppose it’s because of Pinterest, but I feel pressure to celebrate because all the other kids at school have moms who have it much more together than I do & I don’t want my boys to feel left out.

  2. I’m definitely a low key mama. I think that is why so many other moms always envy how calm and put together I seem in life. I did all the fun and crazy things for the first few years of my kids lives but now I just roll with the flow.

  3. I’m not a mom, but I am an only child to a single mother. We celebrated some holidays just our own way and I loved that. I remember getting to school and thinking it was so silly that all these kids had “easter presents”. I went to a friend’s house for some obscure holiday, I can’t even remember what it was now, but her mom had decorated the entire house, done themed lunch and desserts, and it was just absurd to me, even at such a young age. Sometimes I think it’s more to impress other moms than it is for the kids. The kids won’t mind either way.

    • I was raised by a single mom too. Every year was different, but something fun. I don’t always get doing the same thing at the same time every year because it’s “tradition.” You’re right kids don’t care. 🙂

  4. I try to celebrate all holidays with my son so he is culturally aware but I don;t go over the top. I’ll probably make him his favorite green juice on St. Patrick’s day and rather talk to him about the holiday and it’s importance.

  5. I love it when my Mom friends set up play dates that involve holiday crafts that THEY lead. My kids reap the benefits and my friends LOVE crafts!

  6. I agree, celebrating for the holidays is very fun when you have kids! It’s a good way to teach them about the reason people celebrate them.

  7. This is such a good post. You are right, we need to mom in the best way for our own kids. Ash would not have liked all the fuss each month. Our big holidays were Christmas, Thanksgiving and her birthday. Easter and the Fourth of July were our medium holidays. That worked for us!

  8. I don’t think it’s fair for others to judge parents who don’t celebrate certain holidays. It’s their choice and that doesn’t mean they’re bad parents either.

  9. What lovely thoughtful words! Totally agree – and it goes not just for mums but for everyone (especially bloggers around me!). Why’s everyone getting cross with people for already eating easter eggs, or for not eating easter eggs yet for that matter. Priorities people! x

  10. This is such wonderful words for moms to hear and remember that we are not perfect. No need to judge others. Live your life as it works for you, and be happy.

  11. Yes! How did we get to this point of having to over do everything!!!!! Often times my kids don’t even look for a gift!

  12. I don’t really celebrate all the little holidays beyond mentioning them to my son and seeing if we can think of something that fits in with it that doesn’t require a lot of effort. As for the bigger holidays, we celebrate the ones I grew up with. I was raised with Christmas and Easter being big events. Even though I’m not religious, I still celebrate those in a relatively grand way.

  13. This is such a great post! I agree; let’s not go judging around other moms. Let’s just start appreciating what they can do and how great of a job they actually do at it. We don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but celebrate Easter.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  14. Last year I put the big stop sign up for Easter. I have never given my kid’s stuff for Valentine’s or St Patrick’s either. I’m sticking with that, they have too much crap already! ☺

  15. My mother definitely didn’t do something for every holiday. Heck we were lucky if we got something for the big ones haha!

  16. I think respect is the key, either we celebrate a certain holiday or not. That goes to other things. We’re all unique and have a special something that should not compare to others. The message on this post is beautiful, and I love how you deliver it in a fair perspective.

  17. Im not a mom yet but I totally understand exactly what you are talking about. Especially in the blogger world I see moms go over the top on each and every holiday. Dont get me wrong sometimes its really cute but I really feel like some are keeping up with the mommy blogger aesthetics and feel like THEY HAVE to celebrate each holiday and showcase their grandiose party planning and activities to prove what kind of festive mom they are. Its a little too much at times.

  18. This is a unique topic. Most people assume everyone celebrates holidays. Having children and teaching them at home gives one a hunger for understanding. When we understand where some of these traditional days come from it gives us a better perspective on where we should go with them, the rubbish bin…maybe?

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