It’s always lovely to have birthday parties for your children, but one thing that I never think is lovely is the amount of planning that has to go into them.
It’s alright when you’re small. As the birthday boy turned 5 last week, all he had to do was turn up, graciously thank all his little friends for his lovely presents, jump up and down lots on the soft play structure then go and stuff his little face full of party food afterwards.
Not poor old mummy, here, though. It starts with having to book the place up to a month or two in advance, then having the dreaded task of handing out invites.
Dreaded because it doesn’t matter how you word it, there’s always going to be some parents that you’re chasing down the street and trying to get replies off only a few days before the actual party.
Even if you write “please RSVP to Wendy on mobile number ********, ” there’s always going to be a fair few who just don’t reply.
You could scrawl it in bright red pen, or go to school with a sign round your neck saying “Have you replied to me yet?!” and you still wouldn’t get an answer.
(The latter’s more likely to get you a few strange looks than someone talking to you, though.)
Then there’s always the obligatory one or two who say they’re going to come, get paid for and then just don’t turn up, so you end up having to pay for them anyway. Which is what happened the other year.
If that’s not enough to contend with, there’s also the party bags. Filling and organising 20 little party bags full of cake, sweets, balloons or whatever.
Remembering to take them all with you, and not leave them at home.
Panicking that you’ve made enough, as the last thing you need is little Tommy crying as there isn’t enough party bags to go round and he needs one too.
Double checking you’ve put the same amount of things in each bag, as that’d go down well if Tommy and Jane decided to peek into each other’s party bags and find that one had a balloon and the other didn’t.
All hell would break loose.
It all went smoothly in the end though. Phew. Even though you can’t see an end in sight when the preparations are under way. A good time was had by all, and that’s the main thing.
My stress levels have now returned to normal – just in time to do it all again in another few months for the 8 year old’s birthday…..