I love my kids, I really do. The days of their birth hold such special places in my heart. They are core memories for me — days that changed me forever. And I’m glad to honor their lives and celebrate them each year on their birthdays. But…I’m really bad at birthday parties.
I blame this at least in part on the fact that my birthday falls during the week between Christmas and New Year’s…not an ideal time to have a get-together, and honestly, it often gets overlooked, even by me. (The exception to the previous statement is my parents who have worked hard my whole life to acknowledge my birthday in the midst of the holiday season).
I’ve attended countless perfectly themed birthday parties for friends’ kids and kids’ friends. And I’ve enjoyed them and appreciated the thought and care that went into putting these curated events together. But from the time we had to put together the first birthday party, I’ve mostly pressed the “easy button”. Almost all of my kids’ birthday parties have been at a local park, with a few snacks and drinks, and sometimes cupcakes. My son who has a Spring birthday gets a crawfish boil party every year — but don’t tell him, I’m pretty sure that is as much for his dad to have the chance to boil as it is for him.
I’ve never done a balloon arch or photo backdrop. There is no special birthday outfit or food that cleverly matches the theme. (The theme of our parties is “Happy Birthday to _____!” Every year.) I only do party favors sometimes, usually when my mom is in town for the party and insists it is the proper thing to do.
I’m in no way hating on the perfectly planned parties, or the moms that plan them. They are fun and memorable! At times I wish (and maybe my kids do, too!) that I was more like them. But for me, for now…a park party with friends, or a crawfish boil in the backyard will have to do.
I hope as they grow up, my kids know they are loved and celebrated…even with simple parties and relatively little fanfare.
So what about you — are you a party planning pro, or do you keep it simple like me? If you have tips to make planning easier, please send them my way!