We recently celebrated my youngest's 4th birthday. And I'm not sure if it's the fact that this time of year, there are already 501 million harvest fests, parties and Halloween carnivals on the calendar, but I just didn't have it in me to throw another kid birthday party.
Part of me feels terrible about this.
How much counseling is she going to need if we don't give her a grand party like all of her friends? What if she resents us? What if she feels left out?
These are all of the things (and more) that circulate through my brain usually as I'm trying to close my eyes when my head hits the pillow each night.
If I'm being honest though, there's another part of me that does not feel bad at all.
The reality is that I literally CAN NOT stand kid birthday parties. Enough with the over the top-ness of them already! I'm attempting to raise grateful kids in an entitled world, and having the pressure to throw them a birthday party every year, FOR EACH CHILD, that is more involved than my WEDDING, is just absurd.
So even though there is a part of me that feels bad about saying no to these on the regular, there is an even bigger part of me that knows that the right choice for us is to celebrate in a much more modest way, without all of the fancy fanfare and hype. I don't need the pressure to out-do myself year after year - there are enough pressures that we as moms deal with!
My kids can rest fully assured that they are loved, and that we completely celebrate the day of their birth, but we are going to do it without all of the hoopla surrounding a kid birthday party. No party favors, no cupcakes on top of cupcakes, no themed party games - nope, I'm just not doing it.
So the next time that you're feeling overwhelmed with the pressure to party-plan for your kid's birthday, remember that it's MORE THAN okay to just let it go this year. Celebrate the milestones, build your child up on their special day, remind them that they are loved more than anything, but let them know that we don't always have to show our love through over-the-top extravagant (NOT TO MENTION COSTLY) kid birthday parties. And if you're still feeling bad because of the reptile wrangler the Jones' just hosted at their house, I've put together a few ideas to help you still celebrate your child's birthday, without the added hoopla of a kid party.
Alternatives to Kid Birthday Parties:
1. Cook their favorite meal.
Even if they ask for pizza for breakfast and pancakes for dinner - it's an easy and fun way to let them be in the spotlight for a minute.
2. Let them indulge in a popcorn, pajama and candy movie marathon
Hi, this sounds amazing for everyone involved! No cooking and no showers required!
3. Invite one of their friends to be a part of your day's festivities
Acknowledge their desire to share their special day with their people and ask them to hone in on one or two of the most important. After all, life is better with friends!