Ok, so I have gone to a significant amount of birthday parties this year. Between my 4-year-old and my 6-year-old social butterfly I have had the opportunity to observe many moms in this Birthday Chaos Mode. We have attended bug themes, princess themes, dancer themes, super hero, dinosaur, cowboy, you name it and I am sure there has been a correlating themed birthday party we attended. Since when did a child’s birthday party become such a huge production?
The vast amount of time, energy, and money that is sunk into these occasions astounds me at times. I always thought the big, break the bank party people threw was for weddings, not the case any more. My husband and I were discussing this birthday party epidemic the other day and we were trying to determine how this crazy birthday party revolution evolved. When we were children we did not have birthday parties till we were at least 6 years of age and even then they were often smaller scale gatherings. We would have a hand full of friends over to play pin the tail on the donkey, make a pretty picture, have some cake, and call it a day. Granted every now and again I would have a friend whose parents would have a party for their child at a fast-food restaurant or even at the pool that they were members of but, again, it often wasn’t anything to elaborate. So when did this birthday party revolution occur and how has it evolved into such a spectacle?
Was it a 4-year-old who woke up one morning and declared that he wanted a bounce house, a clown, tons of candy, cookies, cake, cupcakes, trampoline, pony, dancers, goody bags trimmed in gold that Donald Trump would be jealous of, and an outlandish gift that is not appropriate for my age that all my friends will envy. Or perhaps we should blame MTV? After all isn’t that the easiest was out? Why take responsibility as the parents, no, let’s blame entertainment media. Did this all start because of the MTV elaborate show Sweet Sixteen where parents, mind you often millionaire parents, throw teenagers parties that any bride would be envious of? Perhaps the over the top party idea was then imbedded to memory and was unconsciously referenced when it came time for the 4 year olds birthday? Or maybe a mother really asked her child what they wanted for their party and they made their every wish come true? I don’t know about you, but if I actually threw the party my 4-year-old wanted there would be a space ship in our backyard, perhaps a few fire trucks as a safety precaution in the front, the Wiggles dancing on the roof, and Yo Gabba Gabba characters being shot out of cannons on the side of the house. Oh, and the cake would be tons of PB & Jelly sandwiches in the shape of the spaceship in the backyard (don’t be surprised if you actually see this type of party on some celebrity reality show- talk about crazy!).
I guess we will never know the true culprit, who first entertained these crazy competitive, over the top parties but the crazy bus needs to be put out of commission. The elaborate birthday parties are making moms go wild and not in the cool crazy way. We are talking scary, nuts, veins bulging from their foreheads way. It is not a pretty sight for anyone to witness let alone a poor, innocent, 4-year-old. Why are these moms driving themselves crazy to have the best birthday party for their child? We get it, you love your child but don’t you love them enough to provide boundaries and limits to their expectations. If you are starting off so elaborate at 4 how are you supposed to top it at their next birthday? These moms are not only competing with each other but they are also competing with themselves. If you have more than one child each party must be better than the last.
Moms there is no need to break the bank when it comes to your child’s birthday party, keep it low-key. Have fun planning the party with your child. Bottom line and most importantly enjoy the day. Your baby will never turn 3 or 4 or whatever age again, soak it in mom and designate another parent or girlfriend as your photographer that day. You will be so busy with the activities that you will not have the time to take a lot of pictures, you will treasure them later.
So, how much is too much to spend on a child’s birthday, how much did you spend on your child’s last birthday? What is the most elaborate child’s birthday party you have attended? Any one happen to see the Real Housewives of OC last week? Alexis, a mother fo 3 young children had an elaborate party for her twin 4 year-old daughters (the entire thing was rather humorous if you are looking for a good laugh) and she had puppies for the guest to take home (like on Bridesmaids), how pissed would you be if you were one of those children’s parents who attended the party?