Thanks to Pinterest and social media, mums everywhere seem more determined than ever to throw their kids the perfect birthday party (some of those extravagant birthdays occurring before our children can even talk). Only, these parties look more like massive bashes instead of intimate gatherings, not to mention the cost behind it all.
Who are we throwing these parties for anyway? Facebook? For my kids' birthday parties, I only invite family to make it as low-key as possible. And you know what? It's been my best party move since uni.
Kids' birthdays were not meant to be so stressful. Whenever I see those beautiful parties splashed all over my feed, I always ask myself, "Where's all of the gaudy cartoon decorations from Party City? That's what I do."
I let my kids pick out whatever the hell they want, and then we proceed to plaster it all over the house. It's hideous, and my kids love every second of it (this year, it's all about PJ Masks characters).
And for food, I don't spend stressful hours in the kitchen prepping appetisers, main dishes, sides, and desserts. We order pizza. The only major effort I put in is picking up the phone and placing my order. And the guests? The guest list is small for a reason.
I've always made it a priority to limit the guest list to family when it comes to my children's birthday parties. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles are invited, but that's it. Getting together with family is hard enough. I want to give my family the gift of having special and uninterrupted time with my kids.
I don't want Grandma fighting to wish her grandchild a happy birthday when he's off with his friends who have no intention of letting him leave whatever game they're playing. He sees his friends every day at school, but not his close family.
It's always worked out this way — without all the extra work and worries. My kids and their little cousins run amok in and out of the house. Laughter and squeals bounce off the walls and in between the horribly awesome decorations. We munch on the pizza, shove cake into our mouths, and then open gifts.
Oh, which brings me to another perk of a small guest list: fewer gifts. My kids already have enough, so the last thing I need is for them to get a dozen presents they'll either never use or will most definitely drive me crazy.
If you love creating a Pinterest-worthy birthday party, that's awesome. Keep doing it so I can have pretty pictures to look at in my social media feed. But if they stress you out, just stop. It's not worth it. Go to Party City, pick out the obnoxious decorations, and order the pizza.
Trust me, it will be the easiest thing you've ever done for your kids, and they'll love it just as much. You'll be able to enjoy your kid's birthday party as you should — sitting back, relaxing, and watching your family make memories together.