Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

Ever Crash a Kid’s Birthday Party?

excited young children smiling and laughing in front of a birthday cake. Feature image for Ever Crash a Kid's Birthday Party? I Did and I’m Still a Good Mom

Not too long ago, my kids were invited to a birthday party at a local jump and play place on a weekday. Those are win-win parties because the birthday kid, the guests, and their family just show up and play. Everything is paid for, and the venue provides the food, plates, treat bags and entertainment, and the kids get worn out!

I had a meeting scheduled for the same time the party started, so I double-checked the time, date, location and confirmed that my husband was available to take the kids. When I called to let him know my meeting was over and I was on my way, he said, “OK, the kids are having a great time and already jumping and playing with the other guests. But we are still waiting for the birthday girl to arrive.”

That was confusing because the party started 30 minutes ago. Did I get the time wrong? Were we early? And then it hit me. I had told them the wrong jump-and-play place! I quickly called my friend, the host, and she confirmed that the party was across town at another jump-and-play place. I had to call my husband and say, “Get out as quickly as possible. You all have crashed a kid’s birthday party!”

My kids had no idea, of course, and I think they even left this stranger’s party with gift bags. They were just along for the ride and ready to party wherever we dropped them off. (Everyone eventually made it to the correct party!)

Just a Mistake; Not a Failure

That night as I was crawling in bed, almost literally, I began to laugh and cringe about this mishap. I started to beat myself up for making such a dumb mistake, but then I remembered that none of my kids were laying their heads down thinking of what a failure I was. They were laying down extra tired because they got to go to not one but TWO parties!

They weren’t mad or disappointed that I had “messed” things up. None of my other mom friends were even giving my oversight a second thought. They probably had their own oversights that day and were just happy to not feel alone!

And most importantly, I really think God might have been laughing too as He watched us drive all over the county trying to get to this party. I think He looked and said, “What a fun memory they’ve just made,” and, “I’ve given her an opportunity to handle a mistake with grace”! I was, most likely, the only one overthinking this.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to mess up. I hate making mistakes because I’m supposed to be a superwoman who can do it all and do it perfectly. I feel like mistakes make me look bad but really, they just give God even more room to show off.

Give Yourself Grace; You’re Still a Good Mom!

The older I get and the more mixups I make, I’ve learned to have grace with myself and kind of brush it off with a thankfulness to try again over and over. A good friend told me once that when I mess up and leave a bunch of holes throughout the day, He’s already began covering my bases and filling the holes. I can confidently start each new day knowing that I can’t do it all and be everything and everywhere for everyone at the same time. If I could, then there’d be no need for God to show his strength, power, and grace.

So, from one messer-upper momma to another, whatever happened today can’t be changed. Crawl into bed, laugh, cry if you need to, remember that you’re still a good mom—and a clean slate awaits tomorrow!

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

Moms, here’s some encouragement when you feel like your mistakes outweigh your wins:

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