How much are you willing to spend on a child’s B-day Party?

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?

Playdate sponsored by Rudi’s Organic Bakery (Post also includes FREE Custom Sandwich Box info)

God knows moms have enough to worry about when it comes to the health and wellbeing of their children.  That’s why I am thankful for Rudi’s Organic bakery. 

The best things in life are free. Free from (anything bad like) synthetic ingredients, chemical pesticides and fertilizers. When we say organic, we mean it. Our products are USDA Certified Organic, which tells you that at least 95% of our ingredients are organic. This is good for you, your family and the environment. (Source:http://www.rudisbakery.com/)

So, you can see why moms don’t have to wonder what’s inside Rudi’s bread. I believe we have an unwritten code as moms, if we have come across an amazing product, technique, or the like we need to share that with other moms.  And share we did…..

When you come across a product like Rudi’s, that gives moms peace of mind, a celebration is in order. So we got out our Pom-poms and then headed to Health Foods by Claudia to purchase our Rudi’s organic bread (they offer Rudi’s entire line of bakery products and a slew of other amazing organic products, I highly recommend Health Foods by Claudia. And, good news, if you aren’t local they are launching their e-store soon, check it out) and invited over all our playgroup friends.

We packed the house, literally! We welcomed 14 magnificent moms and 16 amazing little kiddos.  We decided to keep it simple and a bit traditional. While Rudi’s offers hot dog buns, hamburger buns, rolls, tortillas, wraps, bagels, English muffins, and sandwich flatz we decided the best way to introduce Rudi’s was the most practical way, the way in which moms often utilize bread, the good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The PB & J is a staple in most of our moms’ lives. Whether it is packing a lunch for school, meeting up at the zoo, going to the park for a picnic, the easy to prepare, climate controlled, and fan of most kiddos is the PB & Jelly. But we added a twist. The kiddos had the option of making their own sandwich. They could select the Rudi’s bread they wanted, spread the PB and J, and then select a fun cookie cutter shape.

To accompany the PB & J moms brought grapes, cheese sticks, yogurt, carrots, apple sauce, juice boxes, milk, etc. to share.  The moms in our playgroup are so amazing; they are so kind, compassionate, and considerate of others and this was definitely apparent at our play date.  Most moms might think I was nuts to have 14 moms and 16 kiddos in my home especially since it is on the market and there is a chance that a prospective buyer might want to see our home the next day. But not me, the moms in our playgroup are such good moms; it is evident and reflected in their children’s behavior. They are also great friends; they did so much between bringing food to share, helping set out food, and clean-up that I actually got to enjoy the play date too.  Thank you Playgroup-in-Toledo moms for being such wonderful moms and great friends; I am truly blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

After lunch we finished up our play date with a trip down to the park. What better way to conclude a well-balanced meal than with some activity. The kiddos had fun playing on the playground, swinging, and chasing after bubbles until their little bodies couldn’t go any more. Then it was time to head home where I hope all the moms got to have a little bit of a break while their children napped.

As if the bread, cookie cutters, playdate, park, etc. weren’t enough!  The kiddos also received a Let’s Doodle Lunch sheet that allows them to create their own masterpiece and then submit that to Rudi’s and they will place that custom designed masterpiece on a sandwich box for the kiddos. AND, and each child has a chance for their custom design to be the Official Rudi’s Sandwich box!  Sound like fun? Wish your kiddos could participate? They can!! Click here to get your kiddos art work on a sandwich box for FREE! ( Also, May1-31st, Rudi’s is running Get a dollar, Give a dollar, you can get $1 off coupon and Rudi’s will give a dollar to the celiac organization of your choice)

All of us moms agreed that Rudi’s was delicious and the kiddos seemed to enjoy the bread too! However there is the issue of the price and yes, if we are being totally honest it does cost more than non-organic breads.  However those non-organic breads contain preservatives and additives that do not contribute to a healthy well-balanced meal.  As moms we know that our children are what they eat. I know I have witness the effect that highly processed food have on my kiddos. They are often lethargic and left craving more highly processed food and that is a road I do not want them going down.  I would rather spend a few more dollars today for healthy, organic food for my children then spend thousands years down the road trying to fix organs that processed foods have damaged. My children are worth it! Are yours?

Please share your thoughts. Have you ever tried Rudi’s organic bakery? Would you? What is your take on organic foods?