Today was my daughter’s first birthday. We had a wonderful small and intimate party here at our house with my husband and his brother, and one close friend of ours. I also called home and did a videochat with the family and it was wonderful to see everyone’s faces on the screen at once while singing happy birthday and enjoying whatever S did.
My friend, V, made a beautiful healthy Czech birthday cake made from biscuits (toddler edible), yak yogurt, bananas and strawberries. It turned out fantastic and was a huge hit with everybody including Soby who went to town with it while tossing all the strawberries onto the floor. Luckily, I caught most of them.
So where does this anxiety stem from? I didn’t particularly feel super anxious prior to her birthday until last night around 9 p.m. which was when I was finishing up baking her healthy banana bread. The bread looked like shit and oddly depressing as it was a darker brown due to the unsweetened cacao powder I added in. The banana bread tasted fine, and S ate some of it, but in terms of visual spendor it fell flat and I felt a sense of defeat and anger with myself.
I should have practiced a recipe prior to this day. I should have made something more beautiful with frosting. A visually appealing dessert decorated ornately to show off the fact my daughter was now one. But I opted for something I knew how to make healthily since I didn’t have time to experiment and make a more beautiful dessert.
I should have done more for decorations or whatever instead of a last minute DIY birthday garland. But I live in a foreign country, my husband’s culture doesn’t put importance on birthday’s and we are in a worldwide pandemic. Celebrating S’s 1st year on Earth could only be small and remotely connected via video. These are just the circumstances that appeared for us.
I know part of my anxiety is rooted in what others may think of me, or what I perceive they might think of me. Even though, I know it doesn’t matter and no one cares it still bothered me. The mom comparison game is strong with social media for my generation. I constantly feel like I don’t live up to what other’s have and can do for their kids. A large part of me doesn’t care about what they do or if I’m doing it the same. But social media plants a seed that sometimes grows in our mind when anxiety is running high. ‘ Am I doing enough?’
With my anxiety as high as it was the night before her birthday I realized I was anxious that I was to apathetic to the whole situation. Eventually it passed, but maybe I need to write more about my journey into motherhood as a preemie mom so that I can release some of my emotions and anxiety.
In the end she had a great party, many family members and friends who saw photos said I did a great job. It sounds stupid, but it was what I really needed to hear. Although for next year S will definitely get a better looking dessert from mommy, so I need to start planning what that might look like.