Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Starting out too fast

It's Madhouse day over at One More Thing, and the theme is birthday.

Now that I have four kids, I realize that I started out too fast on the whole kid birthday celebration thing. I'm having a hard time keeping up the excitement level for planning birthday parties, especially for the younger kids. I've scaled back a lot from what I did with Ella and Lily, and while it has made Campbell's birthday celebrations much easier, I still feel guilty that he's getting short changed and that Elizabeth will too, once she starts having birthdays.

But when the guilt gets overwhelming, I remind myself that Ella and Lily have no memories of their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd birthday parties, and only hazy memories of their 4th.

I'll say up front that I don't throw mega-parties with clowns and petting zoos and ponies. We tend towards the more simple celebrations, and honestly, the parties that end up with the kids running around in the back yard have been the most fun. The kids play, and the adults chat. It's a win-win.

But having learned my lesson, I'm going to stick with quiet, family-only parties for Campbell and Elizabeth until they're old enough to understand and appreciate - and remember - the celebrations. Then I'll be more than happy to plan field day parties, or bike parties, or princess tea parties like I've done for the big girls the past few years. Those have been lots of fun, and the girls had a hand in planning them.

Once Elizabeth and Campbell are old enough for parties, I'll have a busy stretch. Campbell, Elizabeth and Ella all have their birthdays within four weeks of each other - Ella's and Elizabeth's are only a week apart. Eeek.

Maybe I'll stick to the quiet family parties for everyone, regardless of age.


Anonymous said...

Want to know something horrible?

Emily's birthday was 4/17. She still has not had a friends-birthday party this year. We did the family thing, and then she just never seemed all that interested in a friends-thing. There's lots of reasons, but the end result is mommy-guilt... but not enough for me to actually do anything about it. Hah.

Cathy said...

I've managed to hold off birthday parties until mine were 3 and 6, thank God. I admire you doing home parties--that would stress me out too much.

donna said...

I know what you mean. We have a rule that the kids can have a birthday party every other year. The years that they don't have a party they get to have a friend sleepover and we have a quiet celebration with a cake and just the family. In the past 2 years, my oldest son has come up with the idea...(which I think its great)...of trading in his party in exchange for a gift that is a little more expensive than he would usually get. He realized that a party only last a few hours so he asked me if I could put the $ I would usually spend on his party toward buying him a playstation instead. Works for me! :-)

Baino said...

Sorry I missed the Madhouse this week. My two are 2 years apart but their birthday's just one week apart (great family planning) so when they were young, parties were always combined which made it easier. We had fairies, magicians, jumping castles and frankly they remember so little but both remember their 18th holiday away up the coast in a huge house where their friends came . .it was great. Save the big events for when they're older. I learned my lesson the hard way.