On Celebrations and Stress

by Chelsea on April 4, 2016 in Grace, Holidays, Home Culture


Birds chirping, grass turning green, flowers emerging from the ground and birthday season in the Allen family.

It all starts with my father-in-laws birthday and then there is an endless slew of aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and a couple friends thrown in for good measure turning another year older including two of my own children and ending with my birthday two weeks later.

Oh yes, and Easter usually falls in that two week span as well. By the time my birthday rolls around everyone is so partied out that the mere thought of another slice of birthday cake makes everyone turn green.


April RH post


This year there is even more celebrating to do. My youngest son is turning one. He spent the first 11 days of his life in the NICU and thanks to God and medical technology he has a first birthday. I want to shout that from the rooftops and celebrate with great joy the sweet little boy he is.

But in all the celebration of life, both in my family and in the resurrection of our savior, I feel so much pressure. Pressure to make each and every person feel special and loved. Is their gift what they want? Did I make a card? Did I call or text so and so on their special day? What about decorations? Did I get everything for dying eggs? How many are going to be at Easter dinner so there is enough treats for everyone? And the worst one of all – did I forget someone?

This year the stress has been worse than ever, I’m not sure why. I spent my middle son’s birthday scurrying around and snapping at him and the other boys trying to get everything done before the guests arrived. We had to go pick up his ice cream cake from Freddy’s that day too and since I try to take each boy out to lunch for their birthday for some one-on-one time (a fun idea started by my mother-in-law with her three boys) and I knew we wouldn’t get another chance for several more weeks, I loaded up the two youngest for a trip to Freddy’s.

I spent that meal in sorrowful silence. This was supposed to be a fun treat between him and me, something special we do every year to celebrate him. Instead both of us were tired and grumpy. My stressed out attitude had ruined the day, his day. We should have been having fun, doing things he wanted to do, letting him know how happy we are that God made him part of our family.

My desire is to make people feel loved, remembered. But did my own son feel loved that day? Probably not. He’s four so articulating things isn’t easy for him but by his attitude I’m guessing he was feeling like he wasn’t loved. He had to spend the whole day working and getting yelled at. I bet he would have been much happier if I had just taken him to the park that day and played with him.

I have repented of my stressed out attitude and have been praying for a solution. The only thing I’ve come up with so far is planning ahead better. I’m going to be using my blog more to keep myself accountable for using my planner and planning ahead.

What do you do to keep ahead and not be stressed out? Please share your ideas in the comments and lets encourage each other to plan our celebrations without stress!


Chelsea is wife to Jon, a fireman, and Mama to three energetic little boys. After both having been homeschooled, Chelsea and Jon are now embarking on homeschooling their children as well as starting their family homestead. She also is owner of Chelsea Michal Designs and a custom longarm quilting service. You can see her work and follow along with all her crafting and homesteading adventures at her blog on Facebook and Instagram.

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Amy April 5, 2016

I loved this and can totally relate.
What do we do to plan ahead you ask? We don’t have birthday parties anymore. For any of them or us. They each get to pick their favorite place to go to eat (or favorite dinner if they’d rather) we decorate the living room (only), and have dessert and presents at home. They are homeschooled so we give them off school too. To play and have lots more free time. Super easy, relaxing and fun. Even our 17 year old loves it. Home is where the heart is 🙂 ❤

Chelsea October 21, 2016

It sounds like you have developed a family tradition that everyone loves, Amy!

marney April 5, 2016

Hi Chelsea,
Mine are ( almost) all grown now, but my advice for less stress is simplify! Also, something I heard many years ago and took to heart is : you don’t need to do everything every year. Really! Some seasons are busier than others, so try to be flexible and give yourself permission to adjust your expectations as needed. Easier said than done, but I’ve tried to follow this advice and am much happier and relaxed as a result.

Chelsea October 21, 2016

Great thoughts, Marney!

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