Planning birthday parties

My babies will be two in October and already, I’m feeling pressure about their birthday party. I’m not very creative so it’s hard for me to imagine what a bunch of two-year olds might find entertaining. Last year, we had planned a family get-together at a local park where Wheeler was going to grill hot dogs, and everyone could enjoy homemade cupcakes and ice cream. Since the babies were turning one and didn’t know the difference between a birthday party and a bubble bath, the party was more for us adults than the kids anyway. Plus last year, I didn’t know anyone in Shreveport except for family. However, after spending a year here and meeting several other moms with children close to Mac and Omi’s age, it appears that the pressure is on for this year. Two of their closest “friends” (is it possible for a two year old to have friends? I guess I should say, “two of my closest friends who just happen to have children Mac and Omi’s age”) both have their birthdays within a month of Mac and Omi’s. At a play-date earlier in the week, one of the moms asked me where we were having our birthday party. Apparently, she and the other mom are having their parties at the same place – some kind of kiddie gymnastics place – and was curious as to where ours would be. I avoided the question the best I could, because to be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it that much except to decide that it would at our house.

So – and here’s where I get to admit to what a completely materialistic person I am – my gut reaction to these comments was, “OMG, I can’t have the party at home with homemade cake and party favors! They’ll think we’re cheap and no one will want to play with my babies anymore! How is my party going to compare to theirs?” Sad, isn’t it? Immediately, I started mentally preparing an elaborate birthday party where I was considered to be the perfect mom, my children the envy of all their friends, and my house – well, my house wouldn’t be seen because the party would be at a children’s palace. Nice dreams.

The reality (and several of the reasons why Wheeler and I agree that our children will probably hate us as they grow up): (1) this party, and most of their upcoming parties, will be at home. (2) I will serve homemade cake – not so much because I’m cheap but because (and how to say this without sounding conceited??) I like mine better. (3) I am cheap. (4) I don’t want my babies growing up thinking that they can only have fun if mom and dad drop a buttload of money. (5) I know the competition game will start soon enough for my babies, and I don’t see why it should start this early.

As a mom, I’ve discovered that there are enough things about which I can obsess and worry (Did I feed them enough? Did they sleep enough? Are they happy? Are they smart? Why are they crying? Why are they not crying? The list could, conceivably, go on into infinity.) I really and truly do not need to add the pressures of something that my babies will never even remember. Besides, if it’s a flop, I can always blame it on Wheeler. 🙂

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2 Comments on “Planning birthday parties”

  1. Mom Says:

    Wheeler’s parties were always at home with homemade cake. Kids love parties – I don’t think they much care where it happens as long as there are presents, cake and maybe icecream!

  2. Jackie Says:

    Don’t even think about giving in to the pressure. The best thing you can give your children is yourself. No amount of fancy toys, clothes or birthday parties can replace
    what they already know in their heart – Their Mommy and Daddy love them more than
    anything else.

    Don’t worry, you will build up quite a thick skin to all that ridiculous peer pressure. Stick
    to your guns.

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