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Why I said no to kids at my 40th

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#1 Kylie Orr

Posted 12 May 2015 - 11:37 AM

I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday in style. With four children and limited funds, how to achieve that was questionable.

I consulted the Essential Baby forum, hoping for someone else’s fabulous creativity to solve my problem. With children or without? At home or a venue? Catered food or home cooked?

Although some great party ideas were shared, I’m not Kim Kardashian (or any of the Kardashians even though my name starts with K so I should be). I don’t have their cash flow, their style, or their ability to throw excessive parties, (or name my children after a compass point). My house is not big enough to host all my friends, their partners and their children.

In the end, I resorted to unencumbered narcissism and asked myself: What do I love to do? Drink champagne with my friends and dance on the table (or the floor now that I’m older and less agile) was pretty much the crux.  I also like sugar: cakes, sweets, chocolate, anything decadent that the clean-eating freaks would banish me to bad-food-prison for are high on my list of loves.

An afternoon champagne tea with the ladies was decided. No men, no kids. It would mean my husband had to disappear with our children for three hours while I yakked, drank and danced, and then he’d return, along with my extended family (men and kids included) to an evening meal. He was absolutely happy with that arrangement. Anything to avoid watching his wife do one more moonwalk (in a dress).

It also solved the problem of babysitting for most of my friends attending. As it was scheduled in the afternoon, their partners were for the most part, available to have the kids. Many guests were dropped off and picked up which allowed three blissful hours of chitter-chatter, champagne, laughs, sweets and bad white lady dancing (mainly from me).

Only a few men voiced their half-baked offence at being left off the VIP list. A couple even offered to dress up as women. I struggled with the guilt of leaving some of the men and kids in my life out of the celebration but finally reasoned it was just for three hours. I shared a birthday dinner with my family and children so their exclusion was for an afternoon only.

An enormous chunk of our lives is dedicated to our children, which is a completely reasonable expectation when you become a parent. I’ve spent the better part of the past decade attending parties with children’s music, entertainment, food and decorations appropriate to their age. It was my turn to celebrate a milestone doing something adult, wearing a dress that was not covered in any unknown sticky consistency courtesy of a small hand and there was not a single Frozen-themed cupcake in sight.

The party morning arrived and so did the chicken pox for two of my children. Thanks to immunisation, their cases were mild but still infectious so the plan for my husband to take them to the movies was foiled. They watched a DVD at their grandparents’ house instead. I had an allergic reaction to my spray tan, breaking out into large, red welts all over my legs. Luckily my dress was long enough to hide the eye-sore. For a split second, I thought this was payback for excluding the men and kids!

I recognised my limitations when it came to baking and left it up to my ace husband and some dear friends who came to my rescue. Fabulous cakes and sweets were made by people much more skilful than myself, and some savoury nibbles complimented the sugar overdose. Bunting was sewn and hung, again by people much more useful with a needle, and the lounge room was transformed to a festival.

It was nice to have a glass of champagne without having to dash off and pour a drink for a child or tend to an injury or argument. It was blissful to eat specially-made bites of deliciousness that I didn’t have to pry kids’ fingers away from. If the compliments from attendees were anything to go by, the day was a success. A bunch of women dressing up like ladies, eating and drinking like adults and chattering like high school kids seemed to hit the spot.

As my husband arrived home at 6pm with the family in tow, I hugged my gorgeous children and welcomed them in to share some of the sugary delights we’d saved especially for them. Then I embarrassed them by dancing like a 40-year-old!

#2 Fizzwizz

Posted 12 May 2015 - 11:46 AM

What a fabulous idea and lots of fun, go Kyloe and happy 40th!

#3 BetteBoop

Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:45 PM

Happy birthday. You suffered terrible karma.

Be glad you didn't have a wishing well.

#4 Hollycoddle

Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:48 PM

Great idea!  Depending on how old a person has their kids, age 40 can be a time where you want to make that statement of reclaiming your 'self' back!

#5 Kylie Orr

Posted 12 May 2015 - 02:03 PM

Yes, maybe it was karma that caused the pox and allergic reaction, Betteboop.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a fantastic day and evening. So far, being 40 is great :)

#6 Soontobegran

Posted 12 May 2015 - 02:13 PM

Happy Birthday. :)

I never turned 40, I turned 30 10.
I found it difficult, now of course I realise how ridiculous that was and how old I am.

#7 Miss_Missy_Moo

Posted 12 May 2015 - 02:14 PM

That sounds like the best party ever :-) minus the chicken pox and spray tan disaster.

#8 HRH Countrymel

Posted 12 May 2015 - 02:16 PM

As the childless couple in our friendship circle my partner and my birthday celebrations are welcomed and anticipated with delight by our 'parent' friends.

I think they would be furious if we held a 'kids welcome' shindig!

I get calls in the weeks leading up to my birthday asking "Which weekend are you having birthday on? I'm organising babysitters!"
After hearing the tales (especially from my 40th) the kids do ask if they can come. But I am always interrupted sharply before I can answer by a parent saying "No! You see Countrymel all the time!  This is a grown ups only event!"

One year when I was away for birthday week, my most enthusiastic celebratory friends lied to their babysitter and went out for a grown up meal and a night in a hotel anyway!

#9 BetteBoop

Posted 12 May 2015 - 04:21 PM

View PostKylie Orr, on 12 May 2015 - 02:03 PM, said:

Yes, maybe it was karma that caused the pox and allergic reaction, Betteboop.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a fantastic day and evening. So far, being 40 is great :)

Yes, your 40s are pretty awesome. They get an undeserved bad rap.

I think it's the middle aged spread, varicose veins and wrinkles that turn people off.

#10 Kylie Orr

Posted 12 May 2015 - 04:23 PM

I can do without the muffin top and the creaky back each morning but I'm damn thankful to be around at 40. Two of my friends didn't get that privilege so I figure it would be insulting to complain about such an arbitrary number!

40s are when it's all going to happen. I can feel it in "me waters"!

#11 BetteBoop

Posted 12 May 2015 - 04:24 PM

Exactly. Getting older may have downsides but it's better than the alternative.

#12 XieXie

Posted 07 June 2015 - 07:52 PM

I like getting old. 40 in January. Thanks for the idea :)

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