My daughter turns seven…in SIX months, yet thanks to the birthday party circuit we’ve been on lately, it’s all she can talk about. Where will her party be? Who will come? What activity will we do? What will be the theme? We’ve been fortunate to escape the big birthday bash for the previous six celebrations. We’ve either had small, at home parties with a homemade cake and a few friends, or we’ve taken a trip to the beach, or New York (which I will admit, was totally over the top but more fun than a day at Pump it Up!).
I find myself wanting to be one of those “opt out” moms when it comes to kid’s birthday parties. I want to keep it simple, at home, with close friends and family. No need for $12 goodie bags and entertainment that costs more than my car payment. No need to herd 25 kids into an inflatable playspace and feed them overpriced pizza. Why rent out part of a museum for the day when you could just enjoy Betty Crocker at home and make a sweet craft as a take home gift?
Somehow, this year, the big party seems inescapable. My daughter now has a nice collection of friends from preschool, kindergarten and first grade, and church. I can’t imagine having them all here, with questionable weather in March, inside our home, jumping off the furniture and wiping icing on the sofas. And I don’t want to say you can only pick 3 friends to have over, because that can lead to hurt feelings and makes me feel like a total cheap-skate. Where’s the middle ground that feels fair, appropriate and fun?
I did come across this fun list of activites on Kiwi that are all eco, healthy or socially responsible. But how do you convince your seven year old who has given away cool gifts to all her buddies that this year, mommy thought it would be a great idea to collect animal toys and food for the local SPCA instead of getting gifts for your birthday?
When did birthday parties get so big? And, even when you’re not trying to compete, how do you keep your kids from feeling like losers when their own big day arrives? Share your ideas…and do it quick! I only have six months to plan this party, and the clock is ticking!!