Surviving Your Child’s Birthday Party


Today we had Holly’s 9th Birthday party. It went really well, the girls all had a great time and I didn’t have to call my therapist even once. Not even a text message. Winning!

If I’m honest, with four kids birthday parties are a giant pain in the arse but the kids absolutely love them and Holly has been excited for weeks. Gone are the days like her first birthday party Β when we invited 120 people. We had it professionally catered and we hired a bouncy castle for the kids we had there. I even hired chairs and a marquee. I definitely think we peaked too early.

Kids parties are stressful, especially if you’re having it at home. Things aren’t like they were when I was a kid .. when you had the whole class over after school, ate fairy bread and chocolate crackles before climbing trees and playing tip in the backyard. The ones where there was always someone bleeding when the parents arrived, or someone lying on the lounge with suspected concussion (my Mum’s recollection of my childhood parties).

So I thought it would be helpful to write a checklist of things to remember when planning your child’s next party. These are my top ten tips and suggestions if you’re having the party at home:

  1. Do not invite any boys.
  2. Twelve hours prior to the party, take the maximum dose of paracetamol. Then one hour beforehand take the maximum dose of ibuprofen. If you have Valium take that too. This way your body is at maximum painkiller saturation for the migraine you’re going to have later.
  3. Decide whether or not you really want to have any more children, because you may decide after the party that your husband is going straight for a vasectomy.
  4. Do not feed your dog for 24 hours before the party. This will save you cleaning the floor later. If you want it to clean up the wrapping paper and plastic cups, don’t feed it for a week.
  5. Don’t worry about peeling the carrots and cucumbers that everyone puts on the party table to ease their consciences that all their kids are eating is pure sugar. Nobody eats them and you’re going to throw them out later anyway because the dog won’t eat them either.
  6. No child eats jam sandwiches.
  7. Unless you really like them, do not hang party decorations from your ceiling or hard to reach places because they are likely to still be there in a few of months time. Perhaps a year.
  8. Cake Preparation: Allow 40 minutes. Get in your car and go to the supermarket. Buy a pre-made birthday cake because unless you’re a Martha Stewart type it’s going to cost you twice as much to make one yourself and it will probably look like shit. We all have those friends who are extreme bakers and who make awesome cakes but it’s highly likely you aren’t one of them.
  9. Hire a children’s entertainer. If you’re on a budget then go without something less important for a couple of weeks, like electricity. You will thank me for this later.
  10. Only put edible things in party bags. Those crappy little toys never last longer than the car ride home and then end up rolling around on the floor of the car for the next few weeks.

You are welcome!

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