Stressed at birthday party

Have you ever been stressed to your eyeballs at your child’s birthday party?  When I have been hosting  baking parties lately, it repeatedly comes up in conversation how many parents find their childrens’ birthday parties stressful.  (One of the reasons they ask Cookie & Crumb to host a baking birthday party!)  I can also remember this feeling on occasions in the past.  So here are some tips on how to take the stress out of our kid’s birthday parties!

Birthdays are about creating special moments. One of the most important gifts we can give our children are happy memories. Not memories of a stressed out mum! From our children’s perspective they love having a day that celebrates them.

So how can we take the stress out?

Keep it simple! As a mum of three, who has experienced various types of birthday parties over the last 20 years I think keeping things simple is the best advice I can give. Here are my top tips:

1) Play to your strengths – if you love the excitement of planning and executing a party, go for it! If not, keep it simple, such as small numbers or having a few decorations with some snacks and a birthday cake. We’ve had a family ritual over the years where the cousins (and aunts, uncles, grannies too) come over for cake and play. Every 2-3 years our kids had a “special” party (they took it in turns each year), from going to the movies with a couple of friends, to sleepovers or occasionally a bigger party at home or out. (It often depended on how busy we were as parents as to what we organised!).

2) Simplify things – from food, to decor, to invitations. I have to admit we still have the same “Happy Birthday” banner and tablecloth through the years. I just pick up different plates & napkins and we blow up a few balloons. My kids have always loved getting the “birthday box” down off the shelf to pull out our family decorations! Party food can also be kept simple – quick, easy snacks, drinks and a cake is all that is needed!

3) Have a “To Do” list – prioritise the list and let things go that aren’t really important to your child.  This is a lifesaver!  You’ll be surprised at what you can cut out and you’ll be able to get things done ahead of time.  This takes a lot of the pressure off on the day.  (It also means you won’t forget to organise the birthday cake!)

5) Finally, let kids be kids! We don’t have to plan things as much as we think. Our kids don’t notice the details that we obsess about.  They just want to feel special on the day!

I’ll be putting together a helpful party checklist – have you anything you’d like to add?  Please share with us in the comments below!