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The Good-Enough Birthday

by Meagan Francis on October 28, 2010

Do children’s birthdays have to be complicated to be special?

Monday was my son William’s birthday. He turned seven years old–a magical age. He’s old enough to read chapter books and understand complicated riddles but still believes in Santa Claus so enthusiastically and purely that it actually makes me tear up a bit.

Will’s birthday is the second in a long row of birthdays spanning our fall months. Isaac turned 11 in September. Will’s birthday was 30 days later. Jacob will turn 13 in November. Jon turns thirty-something in early December, followed by Owen’s fifth birthday a few days later. Of course, there’s also Halloween and Christmas to fit in there, and Christmas is upon us almost as soon as Owen’s birthday toys are out of their packaging.

William surrounded by siblings and cousins on his 7th birthday

It can be pretty exhausting, frankly. The pressure’s on to host all-class parties, held in a gym or museum or playland of some sort. But add ‘em all up and you’re looking at close to a thousand dollars we’d be spending on kids’ parties, right before Christmas. While I could come up with ideas for themed parties all day long, the reality of filling my house with children, decorating, planning games, and dealing with invitations  four times in three months is more than I can happily bear.

So somewhere along the line, we opted out. We’ve never rented a donkey. Never reserved a hall. Never set up a party at the local children’s museum. Never, to my memory, sent out themed invitations matched to the napkins and gift bags. The boys have had a few low-key pizza parties at home followed by sleepovers with a few favorite friends, and sometimes we let them invite a good buddy or two for a movie outing with Dad or a trip to play laser tag at the local arcade. But usually, birthdays in our house consist of a small, family-only gathering for cake, a few presents…and that’s it.

Isaac giving his gift–a pet tortoise–a pretend smooch before blowing out the candles

I used to feel really guilty about that. Wasn’t I depriving my kids of a time-honored tradition: the crazy birthday party with clowns, magicians, maybe a petting zoo? Even without going to that extreme, didn’t I owe them some kind of bash to share with two dozen of their closest friends? Or at least some kind of theme, gift bags, hand-made decorations or an expensive trip to the party store?

But then I realized that just because it seems like everybody else seems to be throwing big, elaborate parties doesn’t mean I have to. Just because other moms are great at cake decorating doesn’t mean my scrawled efforts at writing with icing with some scattered candies for adornment aren’t good enough. Special, even, in their own predictable, laid-back way.

Owen turning 4. He didn’t seem to notice that his cake was the victim of the Great Cake Malfunction of 2009. See how it’s about an inch higher on one side?

In fact, I now embrace our low-key, slow, family-centered birthdays. I wake the birthday child up with a hug and kiss, and he’s sent off to school with a chorus of “Happy Birthdays” from the rest of the family. He gets to choose his birthday dinner. I spend the afternoon baking a cake–usually from a mix–and wrapping two or three presents. I hang the same birthday banner we’ve used for years (actually, it finally fell apart, so now I have to buy another.) The birthday boy walks in the door after school, greeted by the smell of cooling cake. Sometimes we have a few cousins or an aunt and uncle or grandma over. Sometimes not. I love that I don’t have to worry about RSVPs, reservations, or gift bags.  I love that the day is all about us, our family and our home.

Jacob, turning 12

Looking back over years of our boys’ birthday party photos, most look more or less the same. Family gathered around the table. A rather sloppy cake (some years sloppier than others. Hey, I try, but this is one area where I’m lacking natural talent.)

I promise, I really do TRY

Candles. Singing. Lots of smiles and laughter. As you can see, the kids don’t seem to be suffering.

He is actually wearing this expression in EVERY photo.

I do hope to one day create a cake that doesn’t look like a first-grader’s 4-H fair entry. And we aren’t opposed to mixing it up a bit when we need to–for example, this year we’ll be in Florida on Jacob’s birthday, so I’m thinking about getting tickets to Medieval Times for a very special birthday dinner.

I also know that as the boys get older, their friends will become more and more important to them. Someday, they may prefer a trip to the movies with a buddy over sitting around the table eating cake and putting together their new Lego set with their brothers. Maybe one day I’ll actually have the energy, time and budget to put together one of those blowout parties my kids have never had.

Jacob turning 12

But I think I’ll always look back fondly at our dozens of slow, quiet, family-centered birthday parties. They’re not stylish, and they’re not terribly exciting, but sitting around the table is our personal birthday ritual–something that is just for us, that helps make us the family we are. And you know what? It’s more than good enough.

Have you ever felt guilty about throwing a low-key birthday for your children? What is your family’s birthday ritual?

*Speaking of rituals and family, did you know that Amanda Soule, aka Soulemama and author of The Creative Family, Handmade Home and a new book The Rhythm of Family (coming in August 2011) will be sharing her thoughts on making a house a home right HERE tomorrow? Be sure to come back and check it out!

 

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

BeccaV October 28, 2010 at 10:15 am

My son is only 2 years old and both of his parties have been pretty low key. This year we did have his party at a local park, with one friend and family. I don’t know how parents throw these big elaborate parties, just throwing a small kids bday party stresses me out and I love to entertain!

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Vera from Lady and the Blog October 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

I have become victim of the insane bday party curse. And every time I go all out I HATE myself after it’s all over. Makes me think twice about doing it again next year. All that really matters is having CLOSE friends and family around.

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elatshaw@earthlink.net October 28, 2010 at 10:38 am

We did one all out birthday party for Ben when he was two because our dog was sick and we couldn’t have the party in the house without stressing her beyond her capabilities. Most birthday parties here are some good friends, grandparents, and us. I do tend to order cakes because one of the good friends has a dairy allergic child. Far, far easier to order from the bakery they use than to try to do it on my own.

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kate October 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

Ah, birthdays. We opted out of the big parties due to the cost. Because we only have one child, we always allow a friend or two. We’ve done sushi making (cheap and his favourite food), a movie here at home, and a special lunch out. Last year he asked for a hockey party, which consisted of 4 friends bringing their hockey sticks and us throwing the road hockey net into the truck and taking them up the road to the school parking lot.
Cakes are always home made (again, cost factor). We all get to pick a meal for our birthdays.
I think he’s opting for a friend and a meal out again this coming birthday, we’ll see.

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Leah October 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

This makes me sniffle with happiness. This is how I DO the birthday parties, but now I am letting go of the guilt about how I SHOULD DO the birthday parties. Particularly with my son and husband a month apart and my two daughters 6 days apart.

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RookieMom Whitney October 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

This almost made me cry, Meagan, because you have given your children so many siblings that they will never lack for a companion on their birthdays. Their phones will always ring with the voice of one of their brothers wishing them a good day.

I am totally with you on the good-enough birthday, and as a crafty girl, I have surprised myself by not being gung-ho to create a fabulous everything on my kids birthday. My son turns 6 tomorrow, actually and I am experimenting by doing a traditional party with friends and OMG entertainment. His beloved preschool teacher will play guitar and tell stories for 45 minutes. Last year, however, we had one other family of 4 over for dinner and there you had it: eight people, pizza and cake. It was plenty lively and we were all happy.

I think your kids will want to continue a tradition of birthday as a family dinner experience. Who wouldn’t? It will always be an excuse to go back to Mom’s house and see their brothers (and baby sis!)

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Tanya October 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Thank you for this post. I admit, I’ve bought into the whole Chuck e Cheese thing and told myself that it’s easier than cleaning my house before and after the party. But my aunt never did. Her boys would always insist on a family party when she asked them what they wanted to do. And I only remember my mom doing something special once – my 16th where we had an ice cream cake. My girls always ask for Chuck e Cheese. The pizza is terrible, it’s noisy, it’s expensive and I think it’s time we turned things around. My baby will turn 4 in three weeks and I was trying to decide if we should go bowling or do Chuck e Cheese but after reading this post – I think it will be a good ole family birthday at home for my little one :)

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Robin October 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I loved this. I have a three year old son and so far we haven’t thrown a birthday party other than having my husband and myself here (and my inlaws via Skype for his most recent birthday).

I’ve been thinking that I’ll probably start throwing birthday parties for him next year…but maybe not ;) We’ll see. :)

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Sara D. October 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm

We’ve done both, but the blowout birthdays didn’t start until our family had to move away from family and friends for employment and we needed to gather new friends fast! It’s been 2 years since our cross-country relocation, though, and this year I’m ready for a return to what you describe. It’s what all of us really want; slow time to enjoy each other with a little bit of homemade “yum” thrown in. Happy Birthday!

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neena October 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm

We always do low-key birthday with siblings and grandparents. We end up having so much fun without all the stress and hoop-la. I certainly prefer these celebrations to the craziness I did for 1st birthdays.

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jonniker October 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I have no intention of having fancy birthdays for my kids, and I’m not even planning on having five or six children — just two. But I don’t recall a single birthday party at a special place growing up — I remember cake and presents with my family, maybe a special outing to a movie with a friend, if that.

I just don’t want to really make it ABOUT that, you know? Not that I judge those who do, but I don’t want the pressure, and I don’t want my kid to feel the pressure to have the “right” birthday, either.

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Tara October 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I love this post, because these are the birthdays I remember having as a kid, and I never thought I was missing anything. My mom would make whatever I requested for dinner, she would bake my favorite cake, and maybe I would have a friend or two over. I remember a big birthday party when I was little — there were maybe 3 kids who all had a birthday together, so our parents all went in on a big backyard family barbecue, and all the kids ran through the sprinkler. Just a fun potluck, but no rented ponies or clowns. I had a blast.

I only have one daughter, 2 years old, and her birthday party this year also served as our housewarming party. We had a bunch of people over, grownups and kids alike, for nibbles and drinks in the middle of the afternoon. It was great, and she had so much fun she couldn’t believe it.

I think the big birthday party is about parents trying to do outdo each other, and the kids don’t really care that much, until they start to get a concept that each birthday *should* be a big blowout. And that’s when they start to get disappointed. I think you’re taking exactly the right approach — everybody deserves to feel special on their birthday, but it doesn’t require spending a ton of money and being totally stressed out about it. Right on, mama!

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Sarah G October 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm

How timely! My little one’s first birthday was just last week. I hadn’t even thought that much about it (in too much denial about him growing up, I suppose) but started feeling so guilty because I had no plan, no theme, no clue and everyone was shocked that I didn’t! A theme, really? In the end, I cooked a cake from scratch, made dinner and had a few of our close friends over for dinner, along with his one “friend” – my nanny’s daughter, who is close to his age. It was so low key and absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I did give into guilt and buy some decorations at the party store, but ended up not using them in the end and thus took them all back. And his gifts? I was going to purchase a second hand cozy coupe, then a friend found one in his garage and gave it to us for free! His two wrapped gifts were toys purchased from Goodwill. All of our friends that I invited over were specifically told not to bring gifts. Still, I was shocked that the pressure for a big blow-out party starts so young. Great post…I am a long time reader, first time commenter. Love this month’s theme!

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Amber October 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

My firstborn is 5 1/2, and so far all of our parties have been family-only. I do sometimes feel a little guilty, especially when I see people going all-out for 1-year-olds who don’t even realize what’s happening. It’s not so much that I think I should have gone all-out for my 1-year-old, as I see that I have not given my kids big, splashy parties, and I wonder if they’re missing out.

But you know, I never had splashy parties, and I enjoyed mine all the same. And I suspect my kids feel the same – so far, anyways. For them, it’s all about the cake and feeling special. And I am saving money and my sanity in the process. So I’m not that inclined to change things, to be perfectly honest.

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Melissa Chapman October 29, 2010 at 5:28 am

I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!! I think we need to start “The good enough birthday” movement– so that I don’t need to get a second mortgage on my house to fund the butter cream fueled madness of over-the top circus performers at my kid’s parties– who’s with me?! And by the way– How CUTE are your kidlets?!!

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Sefchen October 29, 2010 at 6:08 am

What a lovely post. I think that family birthdays are the best. I have never had elaborate parties. Everything is homemade in our house, some things turn out great, and others are, well, good enough. I do think that as kids get older, they appreciate their family birthday parties. We still have the same cake and tea, for my 20 something year old cousins, they invite friends and then they go out to celebrate, but the family gathering is must.

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cagey October 29, 2010 at 6:22 am

I have always tried to be laid back on birthday parties. We do home parties, or inexpensive venues such as a nearby nature center that does a small program and it only costs $60. I usually don’t do gift bags and I ask that non-family members not bring gifts. I only invite friends the kids actually know – not their whole preschool class!

This year was #5 and I decided to do a little more – my son wanted to have a Halloween party this year and I was okay with that since the decorations can be used year to year anyway and Halloween is my favorite holiday. It was an investment, of sorts. I also bought fancy cupcakes and did gift bags. In lieu of gifts, we did a food drive for a food local pantry.

Next year? If he wants a Halloween party, we are cool with that, but I will definitely pipe down on the cupcakes and gift bags. Really, I have found that kids are happiest just playing together and then, eating some cake. :-)

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Terra October 29, 2010 at 8:58 am

I praise you for this post! We are a family that does the low-key birthdays as well (once we did a big birthday bash and it was so stressful and expensive to boot). I know I enjoy the small birthday affair as it seems much more special. Thanks for putting this out there!

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Liz October 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

I did not have elaborate birthday parties growing up, so this post is very familiar to me and reminds me of my (wonderful) childhood. One reason that my mom chose not to have big parties because she didn’t like the idea of obligating other people to buy gifts – something I can certainly relate to. We always had a nice family time and a few times I had sleepovers with friends or something like that.

I am doing the same for my son and other future children!

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Kathleen (amoment2think) October 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

I am all for slow, family, good enough birthdays. My daughter is 19 months, so we have only had one birthday so far, and all we did is have dinner with Grandma, who happened to be in town. It was wonderful.

There is no need in my opinion to throw crazy birthday parties (Especially for one year old’s that aren’t really getting it at that point) and there are lots of ways to make the day special for older kids without pony rides and goody bags for 25 of their closest friends.

Not to mention all the ‘politics’ of who to invite, what presents to buy, ect. ect. Bah.

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Ginger October 29, 2010 at 11:50 am

I got such grief for not throwing my 1-year old a big to-do. My thought? He’s ONE, he won’t remember.
But even when he’s older, I doubt we’ll be the big party types. The best birthdays from my memories were sleepovers with a friend or two, knowing I could have *whatever* I wanted for dinner (generally I wanted my mom’s chicken fried steak. Or pizza), and that I got an out on chores for the day. I had a few big parties and they were always a let down, and way less special than I thought they’d be.
I hope I can stick to that line of thinking as the pressure builds over the years, because parties like the ones you talk about? Those are the best.

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Lori October 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I like to strike a happy medium. We’ve never rented a donkey or a clown, but we’ve done pool parties, laser tag, painting ceramics, and Medieval Times. I only have 2 kids, so that makes it easier to spend a little more.

One of the reasons I do it is that I always had fun, friend-filled birthdays growing up (we didn’t have family in the area, so it had to be friends). I loved my bowling party, my Showbiz Pizza party, and the year my sister’s party had a magician was truly memorable.

I’ll never rent a bouncehouse, but we do make it a little more than just family and cake. Oh, and I do theme invitations – I make them on the computer. I don’t pay big bucks for ‘em.

My cake baking skills are similar to yours, Meagan, so we go to Target. The prices are reasonable and the cakes are yummy.

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Jen October 30, 2010 at 5:10 am

We are the same. Unfortunately, we don’t live near any family, so the kids invite friends for birthdays. And not every year. It’s weird because most of my friends always have birthdays at places. I don’t get that other than you want to keep your house clean. I love the satisfaction of making a cake and putting together goodie bags and playing games with the kids. When you have multiple kids, it gets expensive. It shouldn’t be about who’s the best, or, whose birthday was the greatest. In the end those things don’t matter.

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Kelly October 30, 2010 at 5:18 am

I think your family birthday parties look perfect! When your kids are grown they will remember that repeated experience of being surrounded by their loving family on their birthdays more than they would remember any overstimulating crazy expensive party-at-a-party-place with their current friends and classmates. And I think your cakes are awesome. They are made with love.

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Sara October 30, 2010 at 5:51 am

Usually along with our family party we have the birthday boy/girl pick out what they would like for dinner that night. They have more fun deciding! Every other year the birthday person can take a friend and do something special — see a movie, go to the zoo, etc. It’s fun! Otherwise we are pretty low key around here. Unlike many we have been too! But that can be fun too.

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MamaShift October 30, 2010 at 6:06 am

My oldest is ten and has had one party, I think, at a local skate rink. I made the cake. She prefers being with family.

My youngest had her first party when she turned three. I was sick from chemo. I took her a two friends and their kids to a play cafe. I couldn’t even stand at the cashier to order. So…perspective, ya know?

She just had her fifth birthday. She invited three friends. I thought I would have them make birdseed cakes but the idea stressed me out. So they just played and ate some cake.

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anie October 30, 2010 at 7:59 am

We live in a very affluent, over the top for EVERYTHING county. When you say “everybody’s doing it” you mean everybody in every direction for about 30 miles. Ugh.
Before my daughter’s first birthday, I decided on party every other year. Party on the odd years up to 9~then a party at 10 and every even year until…whenever :) Party for us means a couple of friends (we don’t have any family nearby), a couple of cakes and some gifts. On the off years, we do family only, cake, dinner and some gifts.
So far it has worked out very well! And yes, no halls, no donkeys, no hired agents for anything, ever. LOVE that :)

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Heather B October 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I really enjoyed this post. You are spot on! We don’t do big birthday parties. I tell the boys I can either spend the money on the party or on their gifts. They always choose gifts! We like to make their birthdays about an event. We go somewhere together as a family. An outing to the zoo, science center, etc. It’s more memorable that way.

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sandi October 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Hi Meagan, I just found you through Soulemama’s twitter…have already added you to my favorites on my laptop.

I am mama to two boys…Drew 21 and Cole 6. When Drew was little we usually (not every year) had a family cookout in our backyard with close friends included who are like family. Simple food (grilled burgers and dogs, chips, water and soda and of course a birthday cake and ice cream), and simple decorations (craft paper rolled out on picnic tables, taped down with a bowl of crayons on each table, and a cluster of [1-red, 1-yellow, 1-blue] balloons at one end of each picnic table) were the main “theme”. We focused more on the time with the people who showed up rather than the “party” aspect. It was always a relaxing and fun time for all in attendance. Drew’s last birthday cookout was for his 10th birthday. After that he told us he really didn’t like being the center of attention. So from that point on it became even more simple…cake with just us and the grandparents but still at our house.

When Cole was turning 1 we had the same type of birthday cookout in the backyard for that birthday. when he turned 3 it coincided with Drew’s graduation from high school and Father’s Day so we had a combination cookout and celebrated the 3 events together that year. He wanted to swim on his 5th birthday (his birthday is in June) at a local pool, so it was there. This past summer we gave him the choice of an old school swingset or a party and he picked the swingset, so we took him on a day trip on his birthday to the beach. Just Mama, Daddy, Drew, and Cole…He said it was the best birthday ever!

I have never felt guilty about not having the big over the top birthday bashes that most of the moms I know give their kids, because we generally do what makes us happy and content, and our boys have never needed all the hooplah…all the love and the bonds that we share with each other and all those around us makes whatever we do special, no matter how simple or small it is. And that will always be “good enough” for us.

Thanks for such a thought provoking topic. Sometimes when we are doing what we do in our everyday lives we don’t think of anything as special. Until someone comes along to remind you of how special it really is.

Have a great weekend!
Sandi

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Andie October 30, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Thank you for this timely post. I decided just last week that we would have family-only parties from now on. I want to make it special for just us. I don’t have the energy to do an “us” celebration as well as a big party. I felt such peace with this decision. This way, I can truly focus on the birthday girl, and not her guests!

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Cheryl November 1, 2010 at 5:38 am

We don’t do big celebrations for birthdays or any other occasion either. Some of my children don’t even like cake so we don’t always have one. I let the birthday child do the planning and sometimes they choose to do nothing at all. The biggest party ever planned was pizza for four friends and our family of six.

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lil November 1, 2010 at 8:56 am

I think we all excel in different areas, and the hard thing for me is learning to make peace with the things I don’t do well without suffering from mommy-guilt–and not having guilt over getting too enthusiatic over things that I love to do. (How can I suffer guilt on BOTH ends of the spectrum?! And yet, I do.) I love throwing the class-wide parties for birthdays, but mostly because at this age, it’s the one time I can visit with my daughter’s friends’ parents. I love creating a theme and finding ways of throwing a party using my imagination. I mean to throw various parties at the house throughout the year, like Halloween–and I don’t. Birthdays are pretty much it. It has become our ritual, and as the girls get older, they get to plan it, and learn how to budget with a set amount of money. This past year, my oldest daughter just got to the budget part, so she couldn’t do all the amazing things she initially had planned. But it was fun working with her and seeing her understand how a budget really works.

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Veronica November 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

This was wonderful for me to read, after feeling guilt yesterday for my 2 yr old daughter’s birthday celebration. I didn’t do the big bash for her 1st birthday, as I had done for my two older kids, and here was another birthday with me “copping out”! Yes, I have spent YEARS feeling guilty about only having US (and maybe grandparents) for birthdays, while other kids were having parties at fancy restaurants, play places, farms, chuck-e-cheese, etc.

I admit it – I just can’t handle to whole birthday party blow-out. Too much stress, AND money. I keep telling myself that I never had big parties when I was growing up and that was fine. And it WAS fine. But still, I felt guilty.

Yesterday, we had a very small celebration – just us, plus our next door neighbor who has become a good friend (and sometimes babysitter) since we moved to our new city. I did make the dining room pretty, and I did order a bakery cake, which was decortated with lovely butterflies and delicious! I made a grand entrance with Olivia in her birthday crown, and we sang “Happy Birthday”, had cake and ice cream, then opened a few presents. Olivia LOVED it!

I have decided that I’m not going to feel guilty anymore! And it’s wonderful to hear that some other moms still do “family-only parties”!

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Adrie November 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

This is fabulous – hooray for opting out of the madness! Thank you for sharing so honestly and wonderfully.

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erika November 3, 2010 at 11:09 pm

have definitely felt guilty in the past but not anymore. we’ve got four kids, and doing the $300 shindigs just aren’t feasible. i think the day should be about making the bday child feel special, and especially with young ones like mine low key is best. my son will be three next week, and we’re going to a FREE local event he loves (tractors galore), enjoying a family dinner and some cake at the kitchen table, the place where family always happens.

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Dorothy @ Kids Birthday Party Places December 2, 2010 at 4:48 am

I felt the same..GUILTY! Yesterday was my youngest sons
birthday, it is his 7th birthday. We can’t handle to whole
birthday party too much stress and the expenses. We
celebrate it with cake and ice cream good thing that
he appreciate it. Great article for all mom.

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Melinda August 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I just read your post and it made me very happy…been feeling in my gut that the “all out” birthday parties were not quite the right thing to do..been drifting towards simplifying them.. but seems the parties they go to become more and more elaborate.. wondering how to “opt out” too, without feeling the guilt..and still supporting friendships too.. “showing the love” to them in other ways. I ended up blogging about it too..http://timecapsuleeighties.blogspot.com/2011/08/birthday-expectation.html

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Dana January 30, 2012 at 10:37 am

My daughter is about to turn one, and we are having a small family party. Growing up I had a few wonderful parties at the skating rink, chuckie cheese…but most war home parties with kids from my class.

I plan on having a few more elaborate parties for my daughter every 5 years for the milestone birthday… 5, 10, 15 or sweet 16, and 20 or 21. I think I can deal with the stress better if it’s just once every 5 years with small family parties in between.

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VanMom July 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm

My boys are 17 and 13.

For the past seven years, I have felt a little let down from the birthday party we gave my oldest son for his 10th birthday. Money was tight and instead of buying a fancy cake, I made a devil’s food cake with cream cheese frosting and decorated this double-layer cake with m&ms (even made a 10 on the cake out of m&ms, didn’t buy the 1 and 0 candles). Husband rented a couple video games. Pizza ordered because of a dynamic coupon.

A couple months ago, I was taking a van full of son and friends to practice. Hey, do you guys remember your 10th birthday party? It was GREAT! We had pizza, cake and ice cream, video games and marched through the woods with Star Wars light sabres. It was AWESOME. One of the best parties ever!

It still brings me to tears thinking about it. I’ve been beating myself up about it (inside) and they absolutely loved it. It all comes down to…They were together, they were fed and had fun. <3

WOW, that was a lesson learned! ;)

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