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Authenticity – Let’s keep it real for our kids…and for ourselves.

This morning I woke up – had some brain action going on being authentic – and then got in to work just to find that this is a seriously popular topic today. Chris Conzen wrote a piece mostly Social Media based. Speaker7 wrote a hilarious piece on lowering the bar.

Here’s where my thoughts started:

The other night I was on Pinterest looking for “Disney Trip Countdown”. I saw lots of seriously cute ideas. Here are some:

Seriously though? These are cute, but there’s money and a lot of effort that has gone into these. I started to think about what was realistic and gets the point across without having to spend tons o’ money and put more effort into something that is just a symbol of the fun trip to come.

So I Googled “Mickey Mouse ears template” and found the perfect picture for my girl. Pink mouse ears with a beautiful crown on it. I just copy/pasted several of these on a sheet, printed out 7 copies and bam – that was mostly it. Cutting them out took 8 minutes. Wrote the days with a marker…that’s it.

Part of the fun was taking home the cut outs and having my little one help me put them on a wall. We chose the wall together and had a great time talking about how the countdown works and looking at the numbers etc.

Here’s my point. Look at these cut outs:

Choppy cuts. Handwritten numbers. Taped on the wall. This is not beautiful (although Instagram and Studio help make anything look artsy).  But it works for our family. Now when B wakes up every morning, the first thing she does is rip one of the days off the wall. She LOVES this. She never forgets and it gives her something to look forward to every morning. It’s a task that she can do herself. It’s something she can do even when my husband or I aren’t right there with her. I know for a fact she doesn’t see choppy cuts and bad handwriting.

This is a moment where our family is being “authentic” and doing what made sense for us.

au·then·tic

adjective \ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\

: real or genuine

: true and accurate

I also branched off into thinking about our wedding and how it was for us and even though we took into consideration the needs and interest of our attendees (Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day? Yes Sir!) We also did what was authentic for us. (No line dances were requested, we didn’t do the garter ceremony, etc.)

I believe in this age of trying to always put our “best selves” forward online, we need to find those moments where we were truly authentic and managed to keep it real. I loved Speaker7’s article so much because he hit on another area of self-doubt for me – Birthday Parties. I am an event planner by trade. Putting together a Birthday party for my girl is a true pleasure. HOWEVER – I refuse to spend too much money and go over board. I am constantly telling myself to scale down, that my little one won’t know the difference. Make choices as to what needs to happen and what could happen. When I read his bit about

Does your three-year-old really need a Marie Antoinette-themed party complete with a one-of-a-kind Palace of Versailles bouncy house and cardboard cutouts of disgruntled peasants? No. I’ve seen my son be entertained for over an hour by the simple act of throwing a tennis ball over our garbage can enclosure. Add a cake and that just became the best birthday party in his short life.

I was like, “Oh my God, can you imagine? What an amazing theme…for me. B wouldn’t care two hoots.” I sometimes think we’re doing these crazy non-authentic things because they are for us not our kids or etc. Do something that makes sense for you. Give yourself that permission.

So I’d thought I’d share today. I made something less than perfect and it WAS FABULOUS. 

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