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By default, you are the party planner.
And not just for your kid’s parties, but for your husband, your brother, your mom and dad, and sometimes, your neighbor.
Maybe you love parties and get all into party hats and blow horns.
If that’s the case, you can come organize all mine next year while I go read a book by a calm ocean setting somewhere far, far way.
Do we have to celebrate EVERY year?
All four of my babies were born in the spring.
I’m living proof that there is a fertile time of year.
In March, we have two birthdays 6 days apart. (My husband also has a birthday that month.)
In May, we have two birthdays one day apart. (Grandma’s birthday is on one of them.)
(Mother’s Day lands on one of the two days on certain years as well).
(My anniversary is the same week).
By the time June rolls around, I’m ready for a vacation.
Can I get an amen?
When birthdays run close together
Give them each their own celebration
I know. The logical thing would be to get one cake, split it down the middle with a name on each side, invite the masses, and get it over with.
Your kids will resent that.
I never wanted my children to resent each other and I wanted each child to feel special, loved, and celebrated.
Save the combos for when they leave home and you can hardly get the whole group together for a quick weekend.
They’re more forgiving then.
Go simple or go home
Girl, the dollar store is where it’s at. Get the decorations, treat bags, plastic toys, and the candy, and get out. (Oriental Trading is also a great resource – you get a lot for not a lot.)
No use spending scads of money on stuff that the kids are going to lose on the way home anyway.
Get the cakes from Sam’s or Costco, or pay a friend to bake them.
Take as much pressure off yourself as possible.
Ask relatives to help with food. They’ll be happy to oblige and it makes your load a whole lot lighter.
Play a couple of games, and then let the kids run loose in the yard. You don’t have to be the entertainer of the year.
You’re not Lady Gaga.
(Are you? If so, leave a howdy in the comment section.)
Consider a sleepover
Notice I said “consider”. Sleepovers are not for the faint of heart.
But if you’re having two parties, one of them could be a sleepover because everyone has to sleep, right?
Oh, YOU’RE not going to.
You will get zero sleep.
But a sleepover can consist of just one friend, and that’s ok too. (It’s also calmer.)
Birthday party ideas
Head on over to Billy Bob’s
You may not have a Billy Bob’s in your town, but you probably have something like it.
It’s a party place where the kids eat pizza, run around like maniacs, play games, and everyone goes home after two hours.
This was by far my favorite type of celebration.
It’s a little costly, but it may be worth it for your sanity.
Go to a park
It always takes the pressure off if you don’t have to entertain in your home.
Get those kids near some swing sets and let them eat cake under the picnic shelter.
That way, you leave the crumbs outside and everyone comes home tired and happy.
Overnight camping trip
This is for the outdoorsy type mom, I realize that.
Or the mom whose husband might like to take on this adventure.
Little boys love this one (big boys do too)!
Be considerate of family
Sometimes it’s hard to get all the celebrating in with extended family and friends.
You don’t have to have two parties.
But if it’s tradition to celebrate with family, here are a couple of suggestions:
-Celebrate with family early. On the actual birthday, invite a friend over to do something special.
-Have a special party when your child reaches a monumental age.
You can do this with the whole crowd of family and friends, or that can be the year you do two separate celebrations.
We always had a special surprise party for our kids when they each turned 16.
You could throw a special celebration when they’re 5, 10, 13, 16, and 18.
Try to sit down and figure it out now so that you have your plan of action when the questions start spitting your way: “Mom, so and so had their birthday party at such and such, can I have mine there too?!?”
Which brings me to my next point:
Don’t play the comparison game
Just because they have their birthday party at Bob’s Blow-up Play Place doesn’t mean you have to.
Be willing to think outside the box – simplify and celebrate in a unique way!
Our list of celebrations
Here are a few things we did down through the years, spread out among four children’s birthdays.
Hawaiian themed party (at a large facility, complete with toy blow up animal floaties)
Unicorn party on a pontoon boat ( with non-waterproof unicorn piniata and unicorn cake at the park shelter)
Pizza party at Billy Bob’s
Party in our field (simple tables and kiddie chairs, cake, balloons and a few games)
Campfire party in our field (s’mores, songs, find-the-people, and fireworks)
Dozens of sleepovers (ugh)
Park parties (these are the best)
Parties combined with cousins (trading off host homes)
Parties at home with pin-the-tail and bingo (picture lots of kids running up and down the steps inside the house)
Nightmare Before Christmas surprise party (Again, large facility – Christmas tree, Easter eggs, pumpkins, soundtrack to the movie)
Camping party (boy sleepover)
Don’t forget grandma and grandpa
Perhaps the people who pay the most attention to birthdays are grandparents.
That alone is enough reason to return the favor, but besides that, they deserve to be celebrated!
Prepare a special meal and invite them over
A simple thing like sharing conversation around a home cooked meal goes a long way with grandma and grandpa. Click To Tweet
Slow down, sit a spell, and talk a while.
Bake a cake from scratch
It shows them you care enough to spend time on them.
But hey, if they like ice cream cakes, go for it!
Give home-made cards
This was a tradition in my family growing up and it’s still my parent’s favorite thing to receive.
Grab a folder, some old pictures, and a marker and make up a silly rhyme. They’ll love it!
You’re not a loser if you keep it simple
I know it’s the age of all things Pinterest. The themed party with the gorgeous table scape and the party favors and the fondant. Those are fun, and by all means – rock that party hat! But moderation should be a key word in your vocabulary, mama. You don’t have to kill yourself.
You just need to show them you care.
While I have you here, I want to remind you of a fantastic series running right now through the month of October called “30 Days of Raising Boys” hosted by Kaylene Yoder of Kaylene Yoder.com. Today, I am the featured writer and my subject is called, “Four Tips to keeping your son accountable”. If you’re raising a son and you’re nearing the tween and teen years, you’ll want to take the time to give it some thought. (You can also access the link by clicking on the picture to the left.) Thanks for reading and be sure to come back for tomorrow’s hat – the Graduation Cap!