I'm going to be real on this and not sugar coat it....I dislike Birthday Parties! I hate giving them, worrying about them, going to them, the whole deal!! When giving them they are full of nothing but stress and emptying out my pockets. In fact since Rylee's birthday is right after Christmas, every year for almost 8 years I have used every dime of my very own Christmas money to throw her a birthday party.
Let's face the facts: When giving them they are expensive and stressful. When going to them they are always right dead in the middle of the afternoon. That is exactly why we will be throwing Rylee the biggest birthday party she has every had:) Seriously...she wanted school friends and family so we have set up to have it somewhere other than my house (thankgoodness). The only good thing about this is that we are doing it in the morning and it will make her very happy.
On my side of the family alone there are 12 grandkids with one on the way (including my two) and on Paul's side there are 3 grandkids (including mine). So if we only get invited to birthday parties for the nieces and nephews and throw our own parties for our kids that means we automatically attend 13 birthday parties a year. Throw in the birthday parties that both kids get invited to and you have every other weekend booked up with birthday parties. Of the family birthdays there are 3 in Jan., 1 in Feb, 1 in April, 2 in May, 1 in June, 1 in July, 3 in August and 1 in November. I have been working on my sisters, brothers and sister-in-laws for forever to maybe cut out all the birthday parties b/c it has become impossible. So far only one has agreed but only for her older kids (she has six) and yet she is still having what we call an un-birthday party:) I can't resist but to tell you what an un-birthday party is. It is a birthday party where she says "We will be at Chuck-E-Cheese at 10 am on Saturday morning, if you would like to come them fine if not then..." . That sentence should be finished with "I will be mad at you and not come to your kids party" but instead that part is left up in the air. So anyways you get to go to an un-birthday party where you still bring a present and pay your own way!!! Love it! No seriously I love it b/c since it is an un-birthday party you are not technically obligated to go (although I am ) and when she gets mad at you for not going you can say "but you said it didn't matter".
I don't say all this so that my kids never get invited to another birthday party again. I'm just venting out the stresses of being in the throws of planning a
sweet sixteen birthday party for my soon to be eight year old. Surely I am not the only mother that feels this way. There has to be a better way to celebrate and enjoy your own kids birthdays. A way that makes it special for them but doesn't break the bank for a very unfulfilled day of running around like a chicken with your head cut off.
We have talked to Rylee and told her this is the last big birthday party we plan to have for her. This time next year she will be turning nine and she doesn't need the whole big happenings of a birthday party. Instead the plan from that birthday forward will be that she can either pick somewhere to go and we will take her to do whatever she wants...kind of like a birthday DAY but just us. I have had others tell me this is what they do and that the kids seem to enjoy it so much more than a big huge party. Or she can invite a friend and I will take them to the movies. Now if only I can use that whole "I'm not doing birthday parties so you shouldn't do birthday parties" thing and convince my siblings that my way is best.
My next big mission is convincing Tegan that age three was the cut off for boys to have big birthday parties:)