Friday, June 28, 2013

Repost: I don't want to throw my kid a birthday party

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

July 18, 2012

I don't want to throw my kid a birthday party.

There, I said it.

My daughter's third birthday is coming up in a couple of months, and family members, friends and other parents all seem to be assuming that I am planning to throw her a birthday party. The small family gatherings we've had in the past were cute, they seem to be saying, but this time she deserves a real big-girl party.

I know all the great things about parties: watching the kids get icing all over themselves, smiles, laughter, the opportunity for parents to say "just this little bit" so they give themselves the excuse to pick up the sugary treats they've been denying themselves all week (or is that just me?). Even my husband has started saying that he'd love for us to throw a party for our daughter because he'd like other parents to buy things for our kid the way we bought things for theirs.

Still, I'm not buying it. This will just be her third birthday, and I'm betting she won't remember it. Also, we've attended a few 3-year-old birthday parties, and it seems as though most of the kids are just barely of an age when they can play together. They sometimes wander off, leaving ostensible playmates behind, and don't always seem to understand the concept of a birthday party.

And, of course, I absolutely hate the idea of having to decide which kids we can invite based on what will be a limited budget. Ideally, we'd invite kiddo's whole school, but that's just not going to happen.

Plus, I like our small family parties. Generally speaking, when it comes to a choice between blowout event and lowkey gathering, I'll always choose the latter. That's in part because I'm at my best in small groups. It's also because I like to minimize chaos in my life -- and there are few things more chaotic than a gaggle of small children.

Oh, and the gift bags. It's a kid's party, not a wedding! I don't recall getting presents for going to other people's parties when I was a kid, but we've walked away from all the kid parties we've attended with gift bags in tow. I have to invite other kids to my daughter's party, get them hopped up on sugar and then send them off with a parting gift? Who came up with this idea?

I continue to resist efforts to begin planning a party, but as the date gets closer, I wouldn't be surprised if the pressure gets stronger. I'll try to stay strong.

Did you throw birthday parties for your small children? What was the experience like?

1 comment:

  1. Here here sister!! Lol. I completely understand and I am right there with you. We have 2 boys; a 1 year old and two year old... back to bak birthdays... I'm not here for the parties. I'm content with our families coming to the house to sing the birthday song, cut the cake, and go home. Lol. Of course we do more than that, but I'll take family gathering over big birthday party any day!!!