I’ve always had a tendency to make things harder than they need to be (it’s the perfectionist in me that secretly thinks I’m still being graded on life). My very wise life coach once pointed out that not everything has to be done to the level of 10 – lots of things (folding towels or even answering emails, for example) work just fine at a level 7 or 8 or even, occasionally – gasp! – a 6. It was one of those life changing moments where I could feel years of anxiety lift as I let myself off the hook.
Now, I will always be someone who stresses out about details and worries about doing the best job I can, and that’s not a bad thing. It means I give my best and will (hopefully) keep improving and can be depended on to come through with work and a life that is meaningful and thoughtful. But, applying that level of perfection to my entire life is IMPOSSIBLE and draining and makes me depressed so I work (very hard, ironically) to figure out where I can let things slide and then I do.
Yes, I am a little crazy around the holidays and events because I want everything to be nice and in my family that means showing everyone how much you love them by over-preparing, over-baking, and stressing out (it’s a family thing). But, for the most part, I’ve practiced letting go until I can have friends over and order Chinese in and not feel like I’m a failure (before I would have taken the day off work to get ready) or I let people in our house even though it’s messy and I DON’T EVEN APOLOGIZE. Heck, I hardly even make dinner anymore (some may say I’ve taken it too far).
The whole point of this (there is a point!) is fun with your kids should be like a 4. It should be messy and thrown together and imperfect. You shouldn’t spend a lot of time putting it together because that is time better spent reading, having coffee with your friends, or figuring out why your car smells so bad (It’s milk. It’s always spilled milk.). And, you really shouldn’t worry about how it looks unless you’re a blogger and that’s part of your job.
And, even then…I guess I just want to tell all of you that I KNOW you’re doing a terrific job. That the fact you’re even thinking about how you can have fun with your kids means you’re exactly the kind of parent they’re lucky to have. And taking the time to be with your kids and laughing with them is life-enhancing in ways we can’t always see when we’re in the thick of it.
So, let a few 5s into your life (or 6s or whatever number makes you start to sweat). Buy cupcakes instead of making them. Or let the kids make them and don’t worry too much when half the ingredients end up on the floor. Skip brushing your kid’s hair today if it’s the epic battle of the century and it’s making you nuts. Let them wear whatever they want, even if it means that shirt you can’t stand and want to secretly throw out. Go on a walk instead of a run. Sit down and have a read-a-thon with your kids even if it means you eat grilled cheese for dinner instead of a balanced meal. And if all this feels like too much, no worries, ignore it all completely.
I know what you’re thinking, GOOD LORD, WOMAN, GIVE US THE DIY ALREADY. All right, as long as you don’t go crazy and make the brownies because “it’s just as easy as buying them” because it’s not and those Safeway brownies are friggin’ delicious.
Ahem. The world’s easiest Monster Cupcakes!
Supply List (I bought everything at the grocery store, but have also included Amazon links because having someone bring you things is always a good idea):
-one container of brownies
–a set of googly eyes (I bought different sizes for fun)
–a set of candy lips
–small squeezy frosting tubes
-frosting (I made my own version, because the kids love to use the mixer and it’s hard to take your own advice, but the canned version would work great too)
We had a rather lengthy discussion regarding color choices. Ultimately, we went with blue and pink so we could have boy monsters and girl monsters, although it was also determined that boys could be pink and girls blue so I just kind of went along and mixed up what they told me.
I can’t recommend those little tubes of frosting enough. Originally, I was going to make a bunch of different colors of frosting and use my frosting bag, but I’m so glad I didn’t – the tubes were the perfect size for the kids and it meant they really could do everything on their own and IT WAS EASY. 🙂
This is a good, long DIY. The kids worked on it all for at least 30 minutes and I was wishing I’d bought more brownies because they were so into making them. We could have taken a bunch to the neighbors as a “Glad to Be Your Neighbor” present. Or is that weird? I can’t decide if it’d be cute or creepy. Probably creepy to open your door to cupcakes with faces on them?
All in all, this is going to be one of those projects I’m going to pull out all the time – at birthdays, around the holidays, when I need a sugar fix. It hits all the right notes – the kids love it, it tastes good, and it ranks at about a 5 on the scale of making my life difficult. Which means it’s a 10 in my book. Or a 5, but in a good way where a 5 makes us really happy. You get what I mean.
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