We just wrapped up Z’s 8th birthday party and I want to talk a little about my battle to be balanced when it comes to my party planning obsession.
For some of you the thought of having to tone down party plans sounds ridiculous. It would be like me wanting to ensure I don’t make an idol out of my exercise routine. I don’t have an exercise routine. In other words it is NOT an issue.
However, I know some of you party mamas are out there.
People think we’re crazy or that we are spending too much time on Pinterest, but there are tons of people that had creative party juices brewing and served up long before Pinterest ever existed. The internet just gives everything more of a platform.
Either way, with bigger and more elaborate birthday trends on the rise here are seven ways I keep myself in check when it comes to my children’s birthday parties.
1. I Don’t Have Do a Theme Party Every Year
Last year SJ had a theme party, but my sons didn’t.
The year before that she didn’t, but they did.
The year before that she did, but Z didn’t and Ezie wasn’t born yet…
So I try to keep it at every other year. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a little cake, or hit Chuck E. Cheese on the off years. They are definitely celebrated, but because I know I like to go all in with the DIY birthday parties I try to spread them out a bit to avoid turning into a party momzilla.
2. It’s Our Thing
I touched on this before when I wrote “A Tale of Two Parties“. A lot of people think that cutesy “pinteresty” birthday parties are just adding more fuel to the fire of an already entitled generation.
I can see the danger there for parents that feel like they have to keep up with the Jone’s or satisfy their child’s every whim, but in that case there is a much deeper issue at hand than birthday details. That’s not what birthday parties are about for me. No parent can or should do it all, but if parties are your thing then ignore the haters and party on.
3. I use what I have and borrow as much as I can
I am all about shopping clearance, thrift stores, and online specials. Even then party supplies can add up. So one thing I try to do is ask for help. Instead of renting a place I have the party at a friend’s house. Before I go buy more decorations I ask around to people I know already used toulling at their baby shower, or someone I know had a green table cloth, or princess costumes. You get the idea.
One big tradition I have is homemade pinatas. This is something I remember doing as a child (although it was just a round balloon back then) and I enjoyed it. I also love making crafts like these goody bags that I did for the Super Hero Party and I did something similar for the One Happy Camper party.
I have to start planning quite a bit in advance, but as long as I’ve carved out enough time then these things are fun for me. They are not this taxing demanding projects that leave me cursing in the early morning hours. IF you don’t enjoy it then DON’T do it, but if you do then I say go for it. It’s really that simple.
5. I Keep the guest lists SMALL
I know this one isn’t easy for everybody, because some of you have a hundred relatives and you might end up estranged from the family if you don’t invite every single one and I know that it’s difficult with children that are school age and you have classroom protocol. Sometimes you have to do either one or the other though. If the guest list is small the cost per head can be higher while still keeping the over all cost down.
6. I Communicate With My Family
I love throwing parties, but it’s not all about me. I have to be communicating with my husband to make sure what I’m doing isn’t too much for our family and our schedule. I also have to communicate with the birthday boy/girl. My children have let me pick out all of their themes up to this point, but if they start having more of an opinion that’s totally fine!
7. I TRY not to be a perfectionist (I try)
Things don’t always never go as planned. Read this previous post about “when your pinterest idea flies out the window ” and you’ll see what I mean. Remember it’s just a party, and what really matters is the guest of honor whom you are celebrating.
Those are the seven ways I try not to go too overboard on birthday plans. Are you a big party planner, or does the idea of it make you dread birthday months? Feel free to share your own sanity saving party tips.