as we It has entered village office, My son, Leo, who was four years old at the time, I suddenly clung to my leg.
We arrived first of many birthday parties in the school year. The noise of music and sounds coming out of dozens of children was a little overwhelming, and Leo was a little surprised by it.
His eyes scanned the room, taking everything in while finding a few friends he knew and creating a beeline for them, holding me until he dragged me by the hand.
After a while the entertainment started. A magician called all the children to sit down, and with a little persuasion from me, Leo joined the children watching the show.
The magicians were fantastic, stitching kids and adults together – Leo had fun and made a difference from bouncy castles and Marvel superhero performers at many other parties.
But as I watched, I couldn’t help but worry that he was asking for the same kind of event for his birthday. It was only a few weeks away and must have cost a lot for a party like this.
Sure enough, in the car driving home, Leo said he wanted a magician for the big day. So I explained that it wouldn’t be fair for him to party.
I have never spent a fortune on my children’s birthdays, nor have I ever been willing to give in to peer pressure.
Instead, I told him I was thinking of another fun thing that I know he and his friends would love – an adventure in the woods.
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of a big birthday party for a kid. believe.
The party we attended had not only a magician, but prosecco and beer for the adults, and even canapés.
Don’t get me wrong, we were well taken care of and I certainly wasn’t ungrateful, but the pressure to make Leo’s birthday as great as it was made me was temporarily weighed down.
I’m not a “competitive mom,” so it was just a short one. I’m confident enough in my parenting, I don’t follow crowds, and I think spending more money means the best party ever.
I certainly don’t judge other parents for littering cash.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that my kids’ birthday parties seem to become more and more “extra.” My parents spend hundreds of pounds to organize a fairly large festival.
The perfect images on social media may suggest that your child needs it, but is that really the case? I don’t think so.
At one big party we attended, the birthday girl greeted each of the guests by asking where their gifts were, placed each item on the designated table and counted while her friend asked her I have confirmed that knows the number of gifts received.
It felt like all the meaning of celebration had been lost. Her guests’ presents were far more important than their existence.
There were over 30 children there. There were many games, toys and clothes for one child to receive. I am not satisfied with giving my children that level of gift.
my children Ella, 9 years old, And Leo, who is now 6, has never done a little thing on his birthday.
Both of them understood from an early age that they couldn’t get more, but neither feels they’re missing out.
Having children means our household income has plummeted, so expensive get-togethers are too taxing financially for us…to have a lot.”
Their celebrations range from a few friends enjoying games and tea around the house to last year’s Leo Forest party.
I built the latter myself with a close friend, using local woods to build a cane, build a burrow and fill it with hot chocolate – all for just £40.
Everyone loved it, Leo especially loved being outdoors and feedback from parents was all very positive, with some commenting that it was nice to do something different than a big, noisy indoor event. did.
For Ella, after being unable to welcome her friends for her seventh or eighth birthday due to COVID-19, she brought nine of her friends to Pizza Express for her ninth birthday pizza-making party. I went.
It cost as much as missing out on two parties at home, and larger gatherings seemed to stop around age 10, taking a few friends to the movies and bowling became the norm.
Sure, my career in the childcare sector has meant I’m confident in throwing parties without hiring entertainment, but I don’t find it too difficult to do and The children have enjoyed themselves since then.
Not to mention, doing things on a smaller scale means less overexcited kids at parties (and sugar!), less mess and less noise. Castle will know what I mean.
And it has the benefits of teaching children the value of money, living within their means, and importantly, the important lesson that splashing money isn’t everything.
Families have to make some big sacrifices as we go through a cost of living crisis, but scaling back your kids’ birthday parties doesn’t mean they’re missing out.
And it certainly doesn’t make you more like a parent.
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