In the past few weeks, I’ve been on the pewee party circuit. Including mine, we’ve celebrated a 1, 2, and 3 year old birth fest in the past month alone.
In my case, I didn’t have children while working out of $107,000 of consumer debt. So kid’s clothes, social itineraries, and other necessities – 3 hots and a cot for instance – were not on my financial radar. Fun stuff sacrifices didn’t impact little cuties with puppy dog eyes and smiles that render parents senseless.
However, we’re diving in (more like being dragged) to the social participation end parenthood. Kid’s parties are all over the map. Gone are the days of cake and ice cream, a few manually inflated balloons, or your dad’s made up games in the back yard.
Kiddie soirees are now themed events, have catered spreads, are held in exotic (read: far) locales, and boast Oscar worthy goodie bags.
Really? Is it that serious?
I’m all in for celebrating little loved ones. I know all too well that tomorrow is not promised. I’d give almost anything to host a birthday bash for my first born who celebrated 5 this year in Heaven. I get it. But are we being peer-parent-pressured into going over the top by the likes of fake reality show franchises glamorizing the fiscally irresponsible.
I’ve seen these shows portraying $2K princess parties for a two year old (who could obviously care less).
God bless those who are financially able to indulge in over the top baby bashes. Have a ball. But if you’re complaining about the amount spent after or the lack of financial assistance from your child’s father (is this oddly specific), then let’s consider a few budget friendly options to support singing the birthday song in style
- 1. Keep it close. I’m a fan of house parties because they are generally more convenient for you and your guests. However, I get it. Not everyone wants a gaggle of munchkins running around your home. Not everyone has a backyard (or party room – like we are fortunate to have access to). Park districts, local libraries, or parks (weather permitting) are close in, cost-effective alternatives to home base. You also don’t have to engage with unruly rugrats at a crowded kid party warehouse like Chuck E Cheese or Odyssey fun world. Your guests will appreciate the respectable travel time and will be less likely to blow off the shindig once the distance reality sets in (leaving you with a bucket load of unclaimed gift bags).
- 2. Keep it simple. Young children appreciate simplicity. That’s why they play with boxes instead of the toys found inside. Give them an opportunity to move around (whether through choreographed game play or free time) and interact with other little ones and your soiree will be a hit.
- 3. Keep it kid centric. Goodie bags, themes, and a spread that would make Martha Stewart drool are nice, but definitely unnecessary if you’re sticking with a limited budget. Those items are to impress the adults anyway. Your child will not love you less if the baby birthday picture books (let’s be honest, they’re not paying that much attention now) are not straight out of Home and Garden magazine.
I think my children will better appreciate (and benefit from) a fully funded college nest egg over a high priced baby-bash (remembered only through pictures). At least they’d better!
I’d love some of your budget friendly birthday bash ideas. Please share them below.
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