Bring on the Birthday Party!
I’m probably not like a lot of moms. I don’t believe in big lavish birthday parties. Maybe it’s because I never got them as a kid or because I just don’t see the need… probably a bit of both. Either way, no matter how I feel, whenever Bebe’s birthday approaches, I feel the pressure pile on.
This year is no exception. Ask me what we did last year and I’ll tell you; family, a few friends, some cake and ice cream and games in the back yard. Unfortunately as Bebe gets older and approaches becoming a teenager (we’re an official “tween” now), she wants bigger, better. Not presents, just the party part. In some ways, I always feel compelled to give it to her because she’s the only girl. Is that fair to my boys? No, but boys are easier somehow (at least for me).
Because it’s summertime, I think we luck out because we can hold our party outside. In the past we’ve held tea parties and water fun parties. We’ve also had scavenger hunts with lists of things you might find outside (plus a few extra things you might not find outside!). This year Bebe has asked for a campout in the back yard, which I think is a great idea and can’t wait to do for her. We will roast marshmallows, make S’mores, and put up our big (family of 6 size) tent! Right now I’m in the process of coming up with some camping games but I’m sure that flashlight hide and seek or flashlight tag will be part of it. I’m stocking up on batteries as we speak and I will be purchasing flashlights from the Dollar Store that the girls can each keep after the party.
When it comes to shopping and planning the party I like to make things as easy as possible. I know our budget and so I try to stay within it. I set a birthday budget every year based on party supplies and presents. I don’t buy everything on the birthday list. I try to save some of those items for Christmas.
The guest list can get pretty crazy if I let it so I usually tell my daughter (and my sons) how many kids they can invite. We decide on a number based on their age and then I also figure in family. We have a big family so I encourage the kids to invite their bestest of best friends to the party. Since most of our parties are at home, I don’t mind that the kids are dropped off and then picked up later by their parents.
Like I said, I keep things pretty simple. I think that when we put too many expectations on parties there is the chance for kids to be let down. I sit down with each one of the kids when it’s time to start planning and ask them, “What would you like?” We cover the cake, the friends and games. I’m a firm believer that when you have an open discussion with your kids and you work together, you can make the party fun for both of you!