Post # 1
WARNING: THIS IS RANTY
My little one will be turning two at the end of the month. I never really had birthday parties as a kid, so I knew that I really wanted to make each of her birthday’s a big deal.
Last year her birthday fell on the weekend of Easter so we had a huge family blow out with a big easter egg hunt and a ham dinner. I should have enjoyed it more than I did. I was too busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off making sure everything was perfect though :/
This year i’m feeling so overwhelmed and i’ve barely started planning a party. We’ve had a lot of family illness and surprises that has kind of consumed our lives. I wanted to have a bouncy house and a big party but I all the details are running together and I can’t get organized. SO says that I shouldn’t do a party because she won’t even remember it.
It’s true that she probably won’t remember it, but I don’t want to give up just because things aren’t the norm. Any advice for a flustered mom?
Post # 3
@Peaceoutboyscout: The best thing you can give your children on their birthday is your time, love and attention. It doesn’t have to be some big event for it to be special…plus, your setting yourself up every year to try and top the year before…not good. If you were so flustered and focused on the party and not your birthday girl, that’s not working.
I’d either set up something easy at home, cake and presents, after all, she’s two…so she’s a little limited on what is going to be awesome for her or go to one of the bouncy house places and buy the Birthday BlowOut #4 package and let them freak out it all.
Post # 4
@Peaceoutboyscout: I would just have a simple party with family, friends and maybe order pizza and have some cake. She is 2. She will not remember.
Save up for the big parties when she is 7-8-9 and will remember/have school friends to invite!
Post # 5
I’m not a mom, but plenty of my friends are. Take it easy! Do something low-key. It’s quite ridiculous how out of control children’s birthday parties have become. Two year olds are too young for a bounce house anywya!
Have a few of your close family / friends over for pizza or a cookout, have a cake and call it good! Your husband is right — she won’t remember this. Take a deep breath and take it easy! (And avoid letting Pinterest make you feel bad, as I feel it does to so many mamas!)
Post # 6
I would really scale it down. At one, a big party is fine becuase they can be pretty calm and have a small idea of what is going on. They can be kind of chill about it, as they don’t understand being the center of attention yet. At 2, a big party is going to be pretty overwhelming for your child. Even at 3, my nephew got pretty upset at his birthday because there were so many other children around and they started crowding him when he was opening presents. There weren’t that many other kids there, as Future Sister-In-Law keeps that small.
The best rule of tumb I have heard for children’s birthday parties is to double the age of the child for other children that should be in attendence. So, for a two year old, this would be 4.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
My parents had parties for us every other year. On the years we didn’t have parties, we still got to pick dinner & feel special the whole day! I would like to do something similar in the future if I have children & something like this could work for you given your circumstances.
Post # 8
@Peaceoutboyscout: Don’t burn yourself out for things that she won’t even remember. You can have a party that you will enjoy, a nice relaxed mostly-adult party, and give her the attention and love from family that a 2 year old is going to care about, and get the pics that she’ll love to see some day, without a bouncy house or everything being perfect.
When she’s a little older if you want to have a blowout, you can, but if you’re running yourself ragged, your husband doesn’t care for it to be a huge party, and your child is still at the age where the box is more exciting than the toy inside… relax and do something at a scale that isn’t overwhelming that you can all enjoy.
Post # 9
I know you guys are all right. I should keep it small. It’s just that small part of me that still wants to be super mom. GRR.
@KMoon5314: GAWD. How did you know. Pinterest will be the death of me. LOL
Thank you for the advice ladies. I guess I just needed to hear it from some one else. 🙂 DEEP BREATHS!
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Why are you trying to plan another big event where you will be so busy running around and trying to make things perfect that you miss out on enjoying it? Who are you trying to impress? Your 2 year old won’t care. Heck, she may even be overwhelmed by a big event and want to cling to you for security. But you will be so busy running around that you won’t be able to deal with that clingy-ness. I say that because most 2 year olds that I have encountered get like that in large gatherings. Maybe your kid is the exception to the rule.
I am known for being a hostess and an absolute perfectionist. And you know what? It isn’t healthy. You know what else? The last time we hosted a get together we ordered pizza, threw together a quick garden salad, and asked someone else to bring the dessert. All of the guests enjoyed themselves just as much as if I had spent all day in the kitchen killing myself to make the perfect meal. And I actually got to sit down and enjoy them because I made a conscious decision to let go of “perfect” and enjoy things as they are. I don’t need to impress these people. They are our friends and love us, imperfections and all.
I think you need to examine your own motivations for this. It doesn’t sound like you are enjoying the process. Life is too short to turn our precoius free time as Moms into more dreaded work. And you don’t get any awards for being a martyr to your children. No one is going to put “Here lies Peaceoutboyscout. She threw an amazing birthday party for her 2 year old.” on your headstone.
By The Way.., fwiw I threw DS some pretty awesome birthday parties every year until he was 10 or so (and then he stopped wanting them). He doesn’t remember any of them. If I didn’t have photos to show him, he would still be convinced that I never threw him any parties. He also swears that we never built any snowmen when he was small, despite the photographic evidence to the contrary. It’s amazing how much they forget so quickly.
Post # 11
There will be a few kids there (family members) How do I keep them entertained? I keep picturing bored children (all under the age of 10) running a muck. It’s hard because of the age range.
Post # 12
@Peaceoutboyscout: You can totally still be super mom without a bouncy house! Make her funny face pancakes in the morning, have a balloon tied to her chair, make her a paper birthday crown… the stuff that kids remember isn’t how pinterest-perfect it was, but how loved they felt.
My preschool/kindergarten had paper birthday crowns and I was beside myself with grief at having a non-school-year-birthday and never getting to wear one, so my mom made me one at home… that is my happiest childhood birthday memory, not any of the big parties. I don’t remember, but she tells me that I cried through most of my fourth birthday because there were too many kids and I was overwhelmed.
It really is the little things.
Post # 13
@Peaceoutboyscout: Kids birthdays are out of control lately…seriously, and its not the kids fault that their parents are jumping the shark because they turned three….I’m not sure where the idea that this is a necessary part of parenting came from, because it isn’t. When I was a kid, we’d have some cake, maybe a few family members over and gifts…that was it. When I turned 16, we had a big party and after that…not much happened, I’m a well adjusted person and I never got a bouncy castle in my back yard…not once.
Post # 14
@lovekiss: You’re definitely right. Now that I really think about it, this party is more about me than it is her. I’ve just been so determined to not let the bad stuff affect normal life, but two year olds don’t need a blow out. She won’t appreciate the pictures until shes my age. And even then, its just pictures.
Post # 15
When my daughter turned one, I had a HUGE party, complete with expensive personalized invitations (this was the 90’s), pony rides, and a big barbecue. Her second birthday, I was just too dang exhausted. I worked full time, of course was parenting, and taking care of the household. We just had a low-key at-home party with family only. Did balloons, cake, and gifts, and she had a blast. Seriously, they will not remember it, so give yourself a little downtime.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
@Peaceoutboyscout: From the age of 1-10 all my birthdays were a big deal. First was a huge family gathering, 2nd my mom got a giant piece of paper and all the kids did hand and foot painting with their names next to it. 3rd there was a street dance in my town (not for my birthday just a coincidence) and my mom was helping to organize it, I said “All this… for me?!” it has been a running joke ever since. 4th was a luau down at the lake with a hawaiian theme and beach games. 5th mom rented a hot tub in our backyard. 6th…. can’t remember…. 7th everyone (like EVERYONE) went to the waterpark, supper and a movie. 8th we took a trip to Kelowna B.C. and went mini golfing and exploring at the flinstone amusement park. I don’t remember all of them but I appreciate what my mom went through for these and looking at the photos I know how much work it was and want to do it for my kids.
Wondering if two is a little young for a bouncy castle? Maybe for 3 or 4? Just make her feel special and invite family and friends. Have appetizers for the adults to munch on and chat so they won’t be bored. Kids would be happy to do the basic birthday stuff, gifts, cake, food.