Earlier today I came across this post on Scary Mommy that really got me thinking about kid’s birthdays. So I took to my Facebook page for a bit of a rant, which I am now posting to my blog with a few more thoughts that came to me after my original post.
When did kids birthday parties get so complicated? Specific themes complete with balloons, banners, plates, cups, napkins, decorations and an entire table covered with the themed cake, cupcakes, cookies and other edible treats. There are hired entertainment, loot bags/party gifts that can cost up to $20 per child, not to mention inviting everyone in your child’s class, resulting in the necessity to rent a party space large enough to fit the bigger group. Is it just me, or were birthday parties much simpler when we were kids? Perhaps I’m wrong, but it almost feels like there’s this unwritten rule now that parents must throw an elaborate party for their kids, each year is better than the last. It’s a lot of pressure, and in my opinion, I feel like this is done more so for the adults than the kids like there’s some kind of competition among us parents.
For me, both of my kids’ birthdays are about celebrating them and the joy they bring to my family. If my son or daughter want something specific for their party (for example, if my son wants to invite all of the kids in his class or keep it to a few friends, or perhaps one of my kids wants to have a certain theme) I will be happy to oblige as long as it’s financially doable (since my husband and I have a budget to be mindful of).
I think it’s unfortunate that any parent should feel any form of guilt for throwing a smaller, simpler party just because there’s this societal expectation put upon us.
Don’t get me wrong here…if you are a parent who throws one of those Pinterest-worthy birthday parties for your kids, that’s great. I am by no means trying to insult you. I just personally don’t want to compete with that. Creating a perfectly unique party every year (times two, since I have two kids) is something I just don’t strive for. All that matters to me is that my kids are happy with their parties and their birthdays be filled with fun, wonderful memories, no matter how big or small the party might be.
To put it simply (after my long rant!!) like any other parenting decision, you do what works for your family. In my case, it’s the little things that seem to bring the most joy to my kids. And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?