My daughter is turning 10 soon and a month ago I started to worry about her birthday party. Do you do that? Worry about the actual party more than anything else for the day? The appearance of the whole thing? I have! In the past I was a "party central" mom and would plan months in advance for my kids birthdays and admittedly, I went way overboard. But honestly in those days I somehow managed it all.
Recent years have been harder to cope through a big party. And last year was my first year doing a very minor prep party. We had picked a theme of the Trolls movie as my daughter loved it at the time, but I stayed minimal. Trolls cups, plates and figures on the cake. But I was able to use just rainbow as all the other decor stuff and honestly I was able to use up a bunch of party stuff from past years as they were all different colors haha!
The party was so fun, we had it at a park and brought in hotdogs, veggie trays and cake. It was the perfect relaxed party. Exactly what we all needed and more importantly, what our girl needed as she was not yet seizure free and still not doing well at all. (Hard to believe a month later she was seizure free!) So, for this years 10th birthday we decided that it would be a great idea to do it again at the same park. Instead of trying to muster up desire to make a cake this year, I am giving myself another year off and have ordered her a basic cake, but this time she picked it out. We are doing helium balloons from the dollar store, and staying really basic with food. Hotdogs, veggies, chips, bottled water and juice boxes. The major point will be for everyone to come together, have a good time and celebrate our girl turning double digits!
I am so excited to see her this year at this party. To see her be able to actually be involved and have fun. Last year she spent most of the time alone in the sand box and to get her to switch tasks meant a huge melt down. She wasn't even able to make it through her gift opening, as it was so overwhelming. I am very interested to see how it all goes this year with all the growth and changes we have seen in the past year.
Does anyone out there have a history like this? Where birthday parties were such a huge stressor? Or perhaps still are? Can I recommend if you are struggling in your mommy-hood right now, to simplify and go back to basics for birthdays? Steer clear of Pinterest and just do you? Do what's best for your family and for your child. I have learned that people don't care as much as we have been led to believe they do. That if there are snacks and drinks and people to chat to, parents are generally happy. And the kids, give them a playground and some sidewalk chalk. Maybe some bubbles and they are happy happy kids. I am so thrilled to give up the planning and be able to come away from these occasions feeling happy myself, instead of completely bagged! I actually get to be involved instead of running the show like a ringmaster.
To be able to chat, catch up with friends and let the kids go nuts playing together-people that is exactly what childhood is supposed to be like! We don't have to control their every move and activity. They can play on their own. Somewhere along the line parenthood and childhood have gone so awry. We seem to think that things need to be larger than life for every occasion! But the reality is that it's actually destroying the way our kids grow up.
You can agree or disagree with me. That's your choice. But I have come to realize for my kids, they respond so much better when we simplify and let them have time to be kids. To be bored. And I am learning that setting boundaries with them and saying," No, I am doing this right now and you need to sort out your own entertainment (that isn't t.v.)" is okay to do.
So my friends, I hope that you may consider taking a simpler road this year. It may blow some parent's minds and heck they may even judge you. But ultimately the big day is supposed to be about your kid. So if simple is better for you, trust me it's better for them too! A less stressed mommy makes a way better party!