We only throw parties for milestone years — 5, 10, 13, etc. — because we have four kids, three of which have birthdays in September, October and November. I can’t do that many birthday parties that close together.
Also, I really don’t like throwing birthday parties.
In fact, I dread it.
I feel a huge amount of pressure to make sure the kids who attend aren’t bored, not for one second. I take issue with having to distribute extravagant goody bags (I don’t remember leaving birthday parties as a kid with huge bags of candy and plastic baubles, and don’t even get me started on the number of times my kids have come home from parties with whistles!). Admittedly, having 12 young kids running through my house stresses me out a little bit, but having a party at another location can add up quickly.
With all that in mind, my daughter’s party turned out pretty well.
The weather on Saturday was beautiful, so we had the entire party in the front yard. Our neighbor’s have a party planning business and they supplied a jumpy house. Word. Had they not been so generous and let us use it for free, I would have paid for it. The thing was a hit!
I scheduled the party for 10 – noon so I could do snacks, drinks and cake, but not have to worry about a full meal (I’m pretty sure that right about now I seem like the cheapest, laziest mom on the planet).
Finally, we tie-dyed shirts. Ta da! No really, this is such a great idea. I’m not going to lie — and my kids’ friends can attest to this — I’ve done it at four parties now. You can pick up white T-shirts at any craft store and they’re pretty inexpensive, and the dye is about $2/color (we did pink and purple). The kids twist their shirts themselves and the adults can help with the rubber bands. I learned three parties ago to 1. not let the kids dip their shirts in the dye buckets, and 2. wear gloves.
The activity takes about 20 minutes and by the time the party is over, they’re nearly dry. I send the kids home with their T-shirts and skip the goody bags all together.
There are also a lot of great ideas on Pinterest. (Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m going to suggest this site. I should start every post, “Because, Pinterest”)
I’m sure there are a lot of parents who love throwing birthday parties for their kids. I love seeing my kids happy and creating fun memories, and that’s why I do occasional parties, but if I could avoid them, I would. I know, “Mother of the Year” recipient right here.
My daughter had a blast. She and her little friends ran around and jumped and giggled in the sunshine. And I don’t have to worry about another birthday party until the next time one of them turns 10.