Why I Can’t Throw My Kids a Birthday Party
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My twins will be 1 year old in two weeks, and I keep getting asked if we are throwing them a birthday party. My reply is, I just can’t. I can’t throw them a birthday party for so many reasons, but mostly because birthday parties have gotten completely 100 percent out of control. I don’t think this makes me a financial grinch and here’s why.
I grew up with a birthday in May and house with a pool, so every year, kids came over to swim. My mom ordered a ton of pizzas and a cake, and that was it. She might have decorated with a few balloons. It was normal and easy.
Now, I log on to Facebook and I literally see professional photos from a 1 year old’s party with ponies (yes that was plural. Ponies for God’s sake!) And, let’s not forget about the giant water slide for the older kids. What is this madness? When did frugal birthday parties for kids go out of style?
Look, to be honest, I think it’s great if you can afford such things, and want to spend that much money on your kids, but I just don’t think I’d let my 1 year olds ride ponies even with me holding them. I know. I am really stuck on the pony thing.
Here are some more reasons why I can’t throw them a party:
1. It Sets the Tone for the Rest
The first birthday sets the tone for all the other birthdays. If there are ponies and waterslides at my twins’ first birthday party, what will their 16th birthdays look like – double BMWs?
The justification for these parties is all the same. Parents want their kids to look back on their birthdays and see that they went all out in the pictures. Well, I hardly have any pictures of my birthday parties at all growing up but I remember enjoying them. I don’t grade my parents on how much they spent on my birthday parties, and neither will my kids.
2. I Don’t Need the Stress
I know. It’s supposed to be about them and not me, but I have more stress right now than I need. I love entertaining people in small groups but the thought of buying the perfect outfits, party supplies, smash cakes, etc. for a bigger group of people is just exhausting to me.
Again, if you have a 1 year old and you have the energy to throw them a party, I give you major props. I personally would rather just plan a small, quiet (and frugal) weekend trip and enjoy it that way. Plus, there are so many costs involved with parties, and I would rather save my money.
I mean, would I sound like the worst parent in the world if I said I’m just going to pop into a bakery somewhere and buy them each a cupcake? Well, I am the worst parent already because… ponies!
3. I Just Want to Spend Time With Them
Really, all I want to do on my twins’ first birthday is marvel at them and spend time with them and my husband. This has been an incredibly challenging year for us, one that started off with our babies in intensive care and then an abrupt move across the country a few weeks later.
It’s taken us so long to just to catch our breath and marvel at all the great parts about having twins. In some way, we just want to enjoy them, put them in the cute outfits their grandmother made them, and take a few pictures with those bakery cupcakes.
And all that money I would have spent on a party? Well, you can definitely count on the fact that I’ll be making a large deposit in each of their investment accounts instead. That’s something they’ll really remember in the future, far more than photos of an expensive birthday party.
What’s your take on birthday parties for kids? Do you believe in creating a once in a lifetime experience every year or keeping it bare bones? Or, do you fall somewhere in the middle? What’s the best birthday party you remember having? What made it so special?