Saturday, September 01, 2012

Mommy Confession: How to throw a really lame birthday party...

I could live the rest of my life and never put on a kid's birthday party again. I know, a lot of you awesome moms out there love hosting your kids' birthday parties, and go all out, and I think that's so great. I love GOING to those parties. And even those who aren't as passionate about it, can throw something amazing together for your kids. Not me. I suck at it, and I don't even care. I love my kids, and I love to make them feel special on their birthday, but I have never been able to spend weeks planning games and activities, cutsy snacks, all the decorations, goody bags, etc. It's just not me.

My favorite kind of party is where the entertainment is provided - a pool party, a roller skating party, maybe bowling or Chuck E. Cheese's. But those aren't always doable, and can sometimes be quite expensive. My girls all have summer birthdays, so I've been saved by "water games." Have the kids bring their swimsuits, blow up some water balloons, turn on the hose, and let the kids go to town. They love it, and it keeps them occupied for a while. Throw in some pizza and a cake, and pretty soon time is up and they all go home.

Regardless of the fact that my kids' parties are always lame, I always spend the ENTIRE day preparing for it - cleaning the house (the best I possibly can with 5 kids running around, which isn't that great), preparing food (which is usually nothing more than some fruit, cheese and crackers, and maybe some popcorn), and preparing the cake. Oh, and I hardly ever pre-order cakes. I either make it, or we go to Kroger in the morning and pick out a day-old cake that's on clearance, and then at home I write a Happy Birthday message. By the time the party starts I'm already pooped, but the excitement of the party keeps me going. Then there's the after-party-clean-up (not to be confused with an after party - that would be so much more fun!) And I always end up completely spent at the end of the day. I seriously don't know how you awesome-party-mom's do it.

There's also the frugalista in me - it's mostly a blessing, but it can also be a curse. I'm so darn cheap, I can't stand the thought of spending all kinds of money on crap that's going to get thrown away at the end of the day. I also hate junky plastic toys and I hate loading my kids up on candy. I know I should think of the expense as "the experience" and the wonder and joy of my kid's birthday party, but I just can't. I'm at the party store, looking at all the fun decorations, the plates and napkins, and I think to myself "I can use my own plates. I have a dishwasher, so I don't have to worry about cleaning dishes. And all the is other stuff is fun, but it's junk. It'll get broken in 3 seconds." I just can't bring myself to spend the money, especially after I've already bought presents and food and cake (albeit, cheap cake!)

Every time one of my kids has a birthday party I end up feeling guilty for how piddly and lame it is. They always have fun though, and it's one of those things I try to tell myself, "I don't have to be amazing at everything. I don't have to live up to some high birthday party standard just to impress people. This is one thing I suck at, and that's ok." One day my kids will look back and roll their eyes at the memory of their mother who was so cheap she wouldn't even buy party decorations.

Tonight is my 6-year-old's birthday party, and I really went all out and bought her a pinata (gasp)! And even candy to put into it! Shocking, I know, but it was the one thing she kept asking for over and over. And while were were buying that, I splurged and bought a $1.50 bag of pink princess balloons. But I'll blow them up myself, cuz I'm not paying for helium!

1 comment:

  1. My kids had a ball. "One of the best parties I have ever been to!"