There are some moments in life that you begin to see things more clearly than ever before. Do you know what im talking about? Those moments where you get a deep sense of clarity on something and it’s like the penny just drops. A light goes on. A choir of angels rings in your ears. Whatever it is that happens for you, you wonder what on earth had your vision so cloudy. In a single moment you realize you have been doing it all wrong.
Before you all go getting all deep on me, im not talking about those profound life moments. I’m not talking about realizing what you have is all you really need or opening your eyes to the new meaning of life. While those moments are great, thats not where im going with this.
No. I’m taking about kids parties.
In the 4 year years ive been doing stints at party planning , its taken me just as long to realize that ive been doing it all wrong. You see, this past weekend we celebrated my sons 2nd birthday and It was half way through the party as me and some mom friends were sitting on the steps watching the kids play, that it dawned on me. This is how a party should be. Why on earth do we stress ourselves out when it should be as simple as this, kids playing!
Here’s what I’ve learnt!
- Kids don’t give a shit about the decorations. They only care about the sweets. While I had a lot of fun putting the decorations together for his Peppa pig party, it was all for me. He really couldn’t have cared less about the cute gumboots with lavender coming out of them or the peppa pig bunting or the cute sweetie filled Peppa pig train or the Muddy puddle pudding or the OINK signs in every sweet bucket. NO. The only person who cared about that stuff was me. I think if you LOVE to go all out for your kids party because YOU love it and you think they will love certain elements of it, then go wild! My point is that they are not nearly as phased as we are.
- Party packs seldom make it out the party venue. If they do, the chances of them making it out intact is questionable. Party packs, in my opinion should be snuck into mommies handbags on the way out to enjoy once the initial sugar rush is over, usually about three days later. Here’s my last post on what you may want to reconsider putting in a party pack incase you missed it J
- Kids just want to play! I had SO many games and activities planned. Face paints, Pass the parcel, A parachute game, musical chairs ( I think every mom has this deep fear that people will get bored at their events!) We got through pass the parcel and the kids went back to playing on their own in the lovely outdoor play area. (OK we were blessed with seriously gorgeous weather) At one point I was about to gather in the troops for the next game (Pin the tail on the PEPPA pig ) when I wondered if it was even necessary. These kids were having a blast, did I really want to interfere with the free play and find the soldier in me to start coordinating another game? NO. I’ve learnt from experience. Don’t disrupt the peace and tranquility. DON’T upset natures perfect balance. Don’t kill yourself to entertain them if they are having a perfectly good time.
- Don’t buy an outfit specially for a dress up/themed party. The chances of them wearing it is pretty slim. (My boys took off their boots the second they arrived and their brand new jackets were not even put on!) By all means make something or use what you have at home. Better yet borrow something from a friend, but buying something that they will probably never wear again is going to be rather frustrating. It’s a little different if it’s a princess or superhero party of course as these thing will be worn for ages after during dress up at home. While my boys didn’t wear their wellies and rain jackets I specially bought them, at least I know they will get some good use out of them. But don’t buy something if you wont be needing it again after.
- ALWAYS have wine/beers for the adults. While it’s not vital to drink, there is a certain amount of wisdom in it. It keeps the adults calm enough to handle the sugar rushes and loud noise. It’s amazing how a little glass of wine can just take the edge off. The parents will thank you, especially the dads.
- Always say yes to help. Rope in the family to help clear things away. I used to worry so much about asking parents and friends to help, out of this desperate need to do everything myself. A few extra hands go a long way and make the day that much more enjoyable, that much calmer. Our Peppa pig party was cleared up in 30-40 minutes flat! With the help of grandparents taking shifts and us doing final damage control, we were out of there with our sense of humors still intact!
Remember, this is a day you are celebrating their birth into the world. Don’t be so caught up trying to make it a perfect affair, stressing yourself out so much that you are not even able to be present and enjoy the moment. I am slowly learning to enjoy the moments, rather than allowing the moments to overwhelm me.
So there you have it, some lessons learnt in how to throw a carefree party, how to not stress the small stuff and how to remember the day for what it really is. I’m hoping that each year will prove to be easier and more focused on what it is that truly matters at these little events we call Birthday Parties! Here are some more pictures of the day……
OVER AND OUT!