(Closed) I'm so overwhelmed with planning a party… for my 2 year old

posted 6 years ago in Parenting
Post # 19
8038 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think as long as she knows she’s loved, you’re in the clear. Like others have pointed out, she won’t remember a thing! If she looks back on photos of her 2nd birthday and sees she was surrounded by family, that’s all she needs! It’s sweet of you to want to make each party amazing, but I think you’re being waaay over the top with this.

You should not be stressed over a two year old’s birthday party. That’s just ridiculous.

Post # 20
47203 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Peaceoutboyscout:  If you can’t get a grip on yourself now, can you imagine what you will be doing for her birthday by the time she is 12? 16?

She won’t care about anything at age 2. She won’t even know it’s her birthday. She will like the presents, then toss them aside after a few minutes. She may burst into tears when she becomes overwhelmed with all the people and all the attention.

These parties are about you, not her. Somehow you have the idea that your parenting will be judged by family, friends and later her for the birthday parties you host. None of that is true. In fact most people will think you are wanting an awful lot of gifts for your daughter when you host these huge parties.

Scale back. Invite only close family. Keep it short. You will all be happier.



Post # 22
970 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

@Peaceoutboyscout:  I definately think it is the effort and the thought that counts. Activity ideas, scavenger hunt, lawn games (big enough lawn?), trip to the park. Anything that is some what normal is made special when tons of people come together for one person. Even a trip to mcdonalds that has a play area is awesome when you are under 6 with all your friends. 

Post # 23
7371 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’ve attended a few kiddie parties and honestly I don’t know why moms get so worked up. Like CHILL out. I know its easier said than done. Pizza, cake, ice cream. That’s all you need. Ballons, maybe a get a face painter. As long as there is room for them to run (because they will high off the sugar) thats it.

Smartest things that I’ve seen done, if you can afford it. Rent one of those themed kiddie rooms that offer pizza and performers included. Its great because its not the house, its for a limited time of 2-3 max hours. And you get to pack up and go home without worrying about clean up. They set up and do everything. 

I think 1st Bdays are big deal. Between 2-4 the kid will barely remember, so low key all the way. I’d crank it up again for them turning 5, but that me. 


Post # 24
507 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I have done some really decked out parties for my kids. Just recently, I did a spa party for my 9 year old where we did manicures, pedicures, facials, makeup and paraffin and our house was decorated from top to bottom to look like a spa.  And I spent hours on the cake, ordered spa robes for the girls, made lots of signs, etc.

But I have come to realize that I do this for ME.  I love to decorate and plan and never feel stressed out while it’s going on.  It’s a creative outlet for ME.  That said, she loved the party and all the other girls did too but in the years where we have done something simple, they have had just as much fun.

If you aren’t having fun, don’t do it.  The kids will find so many things to do that you don’t have to entertain them.  Maybe have a few crafts planned for the older kids in case they are looking for something to do but I wouldn’t do anything beyond that.  And just order pizza and get some chips and 2-liters.  Oh…a popular activity with all ages is a pinata which is easy.

I’d find a park and just invite a few people and let the kids play outside.  Have bubbles, balls, etc if there isn’t a playground and keep it really simple.

I didn’t start doing big parties until they were 4-5 years old.  And even then, I alternate years with one simple home party and then one super fun, slightly more expensive party.

Post # 25
2598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@Peaceoutboyscout:  if you are overwhelmed planning a birthday party for a two year old (hell…ANY year old) then you are overdoing it. Scale back.

Post # 26
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Nobody should be stressed planning a two-year-old’s birthday party. Seriously, the whole party pressure thing is out of control in my book. Pinterest and Facebook are your enemies in this because they crop out the realities of how much time, effort, and money ‘effortless whimsy’ usually costs. Mommy competition will only make your life miserable, so I vote get out while you’re ahead! We’ll be doing cake and presents with family on our kids’ birthdays until they are actually old enough to remember these things, and even then we’ll keep it simple. 

Post # 27
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@Peaceoutboyscout:  Why not find a park with a field or volleyball pit, a shelter with some picnic tables, and a spot to grill out? Give the kids a few balls and they’ll have a blast running around while the adults grill and chat. For more structured play, you could always organise games of hide n seek, simon says, and maybe do a piñata. Add a big cake and presents at the end and you’ve got a party.

Post # 28
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Peaceoutboyscout:  We did big for ages 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 (and I mean awesome parties).  In addition, we had “birthday parties” and “birthday day” gatherings.  Ages 2, 5, and 8 were small because I was too exhausted/overwhelmed, then we moved out of state (no friends to invite) and then her dad I divorced when she was turning 8 so it was a tumultuous time.  When she turned 9, we a big, fun, slumber party.  From ages 10 on, it was more subdued with outings with a few of her close friends. 

I just want you to realize if you miss one or two years and just have a smaller celebration, your child won’t be scarred for life. 

Post # 28
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

If big parties are no fun for you and you get stressed, keep it low key. If you have the money order as much as possible ready made items so you won’t have to do as much stuff.

i love parties, party planning, the whole shebang I actually enjoy, but it can get stressful if you let time management get away from you and take on more then you can handle. last year I kept things really low key because I was just too pregnant to plan or do anything and the kids were fine. This year with the baby, I am having parties for the kids, but I am making it easy on myself with as little to do for each party as possible. 

For my 14 year old, we took him and a few friends and cousins to paintball for an hour and a half, then everyone came to our house for pizza, chips, drinks and cake and ice cream. Simple and I didn’t have to do much but order the pizza and blow up a few balloons.

my 7 year old daughters party is this Sunday and we’re having it at the local gymnastics academy where she also takes classes. the party will be 2 hours and we get 2 instructors for the kids. The best thing is the party is not at my house. and since it’s at the gymnastics place I dont have to do too much decorating. I also plan to order the food (I will make 2 kinds of salads and fruit cups and chocolate covered marshmallows) but not much else. Pretty simple. I’d rather just pay to have someone host and do most of the work for me because with a baby, it’s more difficult.

for my almost 6 year old, we’re having his party at the movie theater, again I won’t have to do anything but show up, which I love but  he still gets a great party. The only party i will have to do some work is for the baby’s 1st birthday. I do plan to rent a hall and hire a bouncehouse and a clown. And since it’s a circus/carnival theme, I might hire someone do do hotdogs, cotton candy candy and nachos. I want the big parties, like you but I just don’t want the stress so I make it as easy for me as possible.

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