I am going back in my mind to a simpler time. A time, not so long ago when a birthday party meant cake, ice cream and presents. Maybe a little "Pin the Tail on the Donkey", "Musical Chairs" or a Pinata if a parent felt adventurous. Every once in a while you would get invited to an extra-special party at the bowling alley, or at McDonald's where all the kids would argue about who gets the piece of cake with the Ronald McDonald sugar figurine on it. Those were the days... just a bunch of party guests running around, playing, getting filled with sugar and going home. At least that's how I remember it growing up. So, what has happened that made me feel like the worst mother in the world because I was not throwing my child the "Disney-themed-party-of-the-year?" I blame Pinterest!
Somewhere along the line, I put these expectations on myself to throw my children these huge, themed birthday parties complete with bounce house, hand-made party favors, pony rides, and a designer cake. While I have never gone that big before, I have tried my hand at cute, coordinated, extra-special, themed parties. I tried. I never met my own expectations and I became completely stressed out. Parties like these are great. If party planning is your passion and you have the time and resources to pull something like that off, then more power to you! Keep doing what you are doing, because my kids love going to your parties! But if you are like me and have neither the time nor the resources in your budget to pull something like that off, then don't. Don't put so much pressure on yourself that you can't even have a happy day with the birthday child because you are so stressed, and don't go into debt at the Party Supply store when all that is really necessary is that your child feels loved and special.
How do you celebrate your children's birthdays? Do you go big or keep it simple?