Birthday Parties. I have fond and not-so-fond feelings on the subject. On the fond side – the delight in my child’s face as she blows out the candles or sees her friends arrive. There are also the pictures of the girls screaming with excitement as they play with their friends. The memories of the celebration days will last a lifetime. The headaches of planning it will last mere moments – so why do I dread it so?
It’s because I’m obsessive about…well, most anything. Why? No matter how simple I keep it, I want the day to be perfect – head to toe perfect. Which means I obsess and nit-pick over every little detail. What will they wear? What time is best for everyone? Should we have food and cake or just cake? And my favorite – “Yes, the tablecloth should match the paper products!” (As said to my husband about a year ago). All those minor details turn into a major headache for me.
Usually, I prefer to have the gathering in my home. Sometimes with entertainment of some sort and sometimes without. But that means I want my house to be spotless/perfect on top of a “perfect” party (whatever that is). You see, here’s the thing, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that party day is all balloons and rainbows for me. It’s stressful and I only enjoy it when I’m in the thick of it. The week before and hours until, I’m a genuine mess.
This year, being our first away from “home”, we went the route of a destination birthday party here in Northwest Indiana. We chose our favorite, Bellaboo’s. They handled everything for me, so all I had to do was show up with the kids. I still got the beaming faces, the thrilled laughs and I had none of the headache.
I was returning on the heels of being out of town for 3 weeks, so I took a much more carefree approach than normal. I delegated (delegated!) tiara and pinwheel assembly to my husband and father. I asked my mom to help get the kids ready so I could (gasp!) get ready myself. Plus, I patiently waited for my secret weapon to arrive on party day – the mommy helper. She helped me corral the kids from one room to another at the party so I was actually able to socialize and enjoy the party.
Another birthday party down and many more to go.