On Planning a Child’s Birthday Party

M’s birthday is coming up soon. I’m finding an intense amount of stress in planning it; she’s old enough now to anticipate and remember.  I want it to be wonderful for her, yet it’s a daunting task.  When did children’s parties get so detailed?

Most of the parties I remember as a child were at my house.  My mom did an amazing job of assembling them, finding a perfect cake, etc.  Now, when I take M to parties, they’re always at some rented facility, with elaborate treat bags and fancy cakes.  And all the parents standing around say, “What happened to cake int he backyard, like when I was a kid?”  And I want to say, but never do, “Well, you know, if you all weren’t trying to outdo each other, maybe we could go back to that!”  But there’s such pressure to make your kid’s party as good as the last kid’s party that they just get fancier and wilder.  I don’t know why it matters, but it does.

Unfortunately for M, we can’t afford a party at the pool or to hire an entertainer.  I can afford cake in the backyard, which is what she’s getting. She seems okay with it, though she was sorry not to go to the pool.

She wanted a Justice League party, but we couldn’t find any party supplies that included Wonder Woman.  “What,” M cried, “Don’t they care about girls who like superheroes?”  No, unfortunately, they don’t.  We couldn’t find the Flash either. So, after digging through many websites, she settled on a Frozen themed party.  It’s not ideal but you can at least get the stuff for it.

I’ve designed the cake, blue glitter with candy snowflakes and the miniature Elsa and Anna dolls on top.  I now need to figure out some games or crafts and how to make cheap treat bags.  I could have ordered treat bags, but for nine children it was well over $50.  I’m not spending that much on bracelets and stickers.  I’m hoping “snowflake-themed” will fly, or maybe we could just make snowflake candy lollipops or cookies and call it good.

I know what M really wants is to see her friends and run around and scream in the backyard, so hopefully this party lives up to her expectations.  I know it may not be as fancy as some of the others, but I hope she loves it and has good memories.


4 responses to “On Planning a Child’s Birthday Party

  1. If the weather is nice enough, you could do water-balloon type games. I was always sad because my birthday was in November so I couldn’t do outdoor parties.

  2. I prefer not to have the parties at home just because it stresses me out like whoa. We’ve had a few of them at John’s parents’ house, because they just handle this stuff better than I do. But I’m also not great at coming up with games and entertainment. We did a pinata (with pull strings) at Charlotte’s last birthday party, and that was a hit. She’s been saying now that she wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese for her next one. But last week she wanted Texas Roadhouse (and we are NOT paying for twenty or so people to eat steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse). Chuck E. Cheese may be doable, because I find that it doesn’t cost much more to go there than to have the party at home, and then I don’t have to clean up or figure out entertainment. But then I worry if I rely on them too much, because most other options aside from there are ridiculous. Have you seen the prices for Monkey Business? Who in the world can afford that?

    You know, I don’t think I had a point. Just want to ramble and commiserate because I find these really stressful too. But we’re looking forward to Mina’s party. 🙂

    • If we had a Chuck E Cheese up here, I totally would have done that. Unfortunately our only rentable option was a pool, and that was $300. Not happening.

      We’re looking forward to seeing you too!

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