Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If it's gonna be THAT kind of party.........

*insert part of Beastie Boys song here*

Planning a child's birthday party can be quite stressful. There are so many details that go into a birthday party, and you sometimes are made to feel it has to be just perfect. This can not always be so, then again maybe every birthday is just perfect in it's own way. I guess you really have to set your limit of expectations and be happy with the way it goes regardless. I just finished planning my daughter Mackenna's 11th Birthday party. Once I really had a good location set up, the rest fell into line quite easily. Thank goodness!
My oldest daughter does not want a birthday party this year, so we will just go somewhere she wants to go on that day. She will be 15 this year, so I am sure it will be something like Busch Gardens or Islands of Adventure. who knows though, right?!?

My Twins are going to be 3 in April. I had pondered the idea of sparing everyone of the birthday party routine this year, however now I feel that I can not. One of my Twins talks about birthday parties, party hats, and sings the Happy Birthday song 3-4 times a day. MEEP! So, to rob them of a birthday party would make me feel like a jerk. The problem with birthday parties for my Twins is that we really do not have family here. The paternal grandparents (2 sets) are in an eternal feud and would not be caught dead in the same location, even if it meant the world to their Twin grandsons. The maternal side consists of Nana(my mom). The rest of the family are all out of state and unable to travel here for their birthdays. They were not even able to make it to their first birthday.

My Dad just retired recently and with his pre-existing health conditions it is costing him upwards of something like $700 per month for his health insurance. Due to this expense and the fact he is now responsible for several elderly relatives, he can not attend.

My Twins 1st and 2nd Birthday parties consisted of, as far as guests go....... Us, the paternal grandpa, his wife, and a few of her relatives, some of our playgroup friends, My mom, and my Moms best friend. They had a great party both years. It was really nice to have those who came, to attend. We had to have a 2nd mini party for them at the paternal Grandma's home both years due to the feud.

This year, I feel guilty.

I don't feel guilty to invite the very small amount of adult relatives that attend every year. I however do feel guilty inviting our playgroup friends. If I did not invite them, there would be no party. The only children at the party would be the Birthday Boys and my three older children ages 11.5, 12, and 14.5

I really value the friendships we have with our playgroup friends. However I now feel guilty inviting them to my Twins 3rd birthday party because when I asked a few of them recently what their birthday party plan will be for their child, several of them said they were only having their family over for small parties. So if they feel they would not want their playgroup friends at their child's birthday, does that mean they would appreciate not being invited to my Twins 3rd birthday too? Does it mean they can not afford a party that includes playgroup friends? Does it mean they feel strange mixing family with playgroup friends? What really does it mean?

I feel like if I do not invite them, there is no point of a party. What is a toddlers birthday party with no other toddlers there to enjoy it with? It's a bunch of bored adults eating cake off of a cartoon character paper plates with a colorful plastic fork. Uh......yeah.

What the heck do you do to entertain your bored adult guests and make it a fun party for your Twin toddlers if there are no other children at the party? Do you have them pin the tail on Grandpa? Do you have the Grandparents do some cartwheels?

I also feel like if I do invite them, they will be highly annoyed and feel obligated to either begrudgingly attend or make up some last minute lie/excuse to get themselves out of it.

Would it be easier if I just tell them gifts are not necessary? How do you make the parents happy and feel happy to come, not feel obligated to come while having no intentions of really wanting to be there?

What is the best way to have a birthday party that people want to attend?  I want our playgroup friends to continue to be our friends, not run for the hills to avoid being invited to another birthday party. Most of the playgroup friends that attended last year, did not invite us to their child's birthday when it came around. So, this makes me think that they would really appreciate not being invited. I just don't know.


  1. That's rough... I guess I'd make it as open and inexpensive as possible.. BBQ in the backyard or free park.. bwahahahaha... Let the family know that them being there is gift enough and if they insist, tell them to bring a dish instead of a gift .. I always just tell my parents and in laws that the gremlins already have TOOOO Mnay toys, and the guests will bring MORE, I'd appreciate their HELP MORE..., and as long as you guys have family there, I;m sure the kids will have fun.. bring water balloons, balls, Frisbee, wiffle balls and bats, etc, and the kids will have a BLAST... with or with out the playgroup folks.. if you want to include them in SOMETHING??? bring cupcakes to a playdate, and leave it at THAT.. lol..

  2. We do our kids birthday parties in our backyard. We have cake and ice cream and a pinata and usually hotdogs. The kids love playing together on the playground my husband built. If it's summer they can swim. The adults get to visit while the kids play. Everyone seems to have a good time.

  3. Ah big 3! I wish I had more ideas...but my first kid is still in my womb. I'm looking to you for advice :).

    <3, New Follower

  4. Are there just a few people in the group that you feel closer to than other? Do they have any friends in the group that they are closer too? Maybe not inviting a lot of the group, but a hand-selected few.