Throwing a party over the recent years has become a big event that involves more stress, work, and planning than I ever imagined. It can be very overwhelming.
I’ve noticed that it’s not just kids, cake, and a game of tag in the backyard anymore. I have decided to only do birthday parties every 5 years but when that time comes, my anxiety goes through the roof. I feel that there are a lot of standards that you need to live up to in order to have a party nowadays.
First, it’s who to invite. Do you invite everyone in your child’s class? You also feel the need to invite everyone who has ever invited you to a party, and then family and friends. Then, is it acceptable to invite people with a Facebook event invitation or do I have to send out invitations in the mail?
Also, you have to worry about where to have it. If you have it at home, you have to clean every nook and cranny of your house. I always feel like I have to keep up with the Joneses so to speak and make everything look perfect so I don’t get judged on my home, poor party planning skills, or my hostess abilities. There are always those parents who take note of every little thing that isn’t perfect and that is hard to live up to.
You have to clean things that you don’t even think about! Like the walls! I didn’t notice how dirty my walls were until I had to clean them for my sons first birthday party. And my garbage can and the outside of my fridge, all things that I have never thought about cleaning before but I scrubbed every inch of the house to try to make it sparkle. I keep a fairly clean house anyways (I say fairly because I do have two kids so a level of small disasters from time to time is normal around the house) but it takes days and hours upon hours to clean it to be acceptable for a party. Then if you decide to have it somewhere else, you have to make sure the facility is big enough for how many people are coming and the cost of renting these rooms is usually pretty pricey.
Also, the gift bags. You have to make sure each child gets a gift bag which can be stressful because that can add up as well. I usually go to the dollar tree to get some goodies but then I feel guilty and worried that I am going to be judged for being cheap.
And you can’t forget the food, drinks, and cake. So many people have food restrictions with being 100% organic or gluten-free or vegetarian so I try to take that into consideration. Then there is the decorations and other little nick-knacks and before you know it, hundreds of dollars have been spent just to throw the party that you rarely even get to enjoy because you’re trying to take care of everything during the party.
I think I am going to try to worry about others less and what my little ones need more. These parties lately are becoming more for everyone else and less about the person who the party is for.
In the end, I think I’ve just decided to use our Kings Island passes, invite anyone who wants to come, and celebrate with my beautiful son by riding some roller coasters. No parties, just a day of fun. Success!