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  • Writer's pictureErin Engelke

Don't Give In, Let Go

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

The pressure to give in to what other moms are doing is overwhelming.

It’s so easy to compare.

It’s even easier to give in.

To do whatever it takes to be just as good of a mom as the one I see on social media or like the one who lives in my neighborhood.

I hosted my daughter’s 14th birthday party recently. I love celebrating birthdays and feel like there’s nothing more special than honoring the birth of my children, especially since I struggled for 4 long years with infertility, and lost four precious babies, before ever having my firstborn.

I was so excited and proud of myself for pulling off a fun and cutely 80's themed birthday party for my daughter until I saw what another Mom had done for her daughter's birthday on Instagram...and I instantly felt like a failure.

Man, kids’ birthday parties have reached an all new level and I feel the pull to do the same. Moms are spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on their children’s elaborate parties.

Party planners.


Pop up tents.

Custom cakes and balloon arches.


Party buses.

Catered dinners.

Food trucks.

Goodie bags that equate to what I spend on my children for Christmas.

Holy cow, friends.

When I was growing up, my Mom made my big day feel so special by inviting a few friends over to hang out.

She whipped up a homemade Duncan Hines cake with powdered sugar frosting and decorated with a few streamers and balloons. And I always thought it was crazy fun and wonderful.

Even though I have all the warm fuzzies remembering my birthday parties growing up, I feel an insane amount of pressure to make my kids’ lives more elaborate than is even necessary. And it’s not because they have to have those things.

It’s because I feel the compulsion to stack up to everyone around me.

It is exhausting. Mentally draining. Financially crippling. And not at all necessary.

What can we do as moms to resist the pull to give in?

1. Remember you are not alone. You and I are not the only moms struggling to keep up and we need to support each other, give ourselves and others permission to not do all the things all the time. It's really ok.

2. Prioritize what really matters to your family and your kids. Do your kids need time with you or do they really need an all-expense paid out of town trip with their 8 year old friends? We don't have to "one up" each other. It is not a competition. Throwing the world's most incredible party doesn't make you a better mom than someone else. You already are an amazing mama.

3. Turn off social media…if even for a period of time…so you don’t feel the anxiety of other people’s highlight reels. Believe it or not, not everyone is doing what you see on Facebook or Instagram. In fact, most are NOT. They’re living life, soaking up time with family and being present. You can do that too!

As I crashed on the couch with my daughter and talked about her party afterwards, what she really loved best about the day was not the decorations or the games or the "extra" stuff I did, it was the fact that she got to be with her friends...and that the Duncan Hines cake I made for her was absolutely delicious. Pretty simple, if you ask me. And yet so perfect.

Turns out, I don't have to give in to the pressure because I'm already a pretty great mom just as I am. And so are you.

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