Preschool Birthday Parties – Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

If you are the parent of a toddler or preschool-aged child, you know the weekend birthday party routine by now.

You get the invitation, completely forget to RSVP, devote your Saturday (or Sunday) afternoon to your child’s friend. Of course, hit up Target on the way to the birthday party for the last minute gift. Grab a gift bag on the way out of Target. Hang out with 20+ wildly excited children for a few hours while they consume mass amounts of sugar. Drag your screaming child into your car, against their will, when the party is over. Deal with the post-party toddler hangover for the rest of the weekend.

Rinse and repeat.

The routine is even more stressful when you are the one hosting the party! Add in finding an appropriate venue, determining who to invite, wondering if you need to feed the party goers a meal. Are party favors still a thing? Answering the question “how many more sleeps until my birthday?” a million times. Did you plan an outdoor party? Is weather a concern? What if a guest gets injured?

My oldest daughter is about to turn 5, and she has already dreamed up a hundred different ideas of what she wants to do for her birthday party. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it. 

But Moms (and Dads), I’m here to tell you a birthday secret. 

Guess what? Taking your child out for a cheeseburger feels special when it’s their birthday. Making popcorn at home and watching a movie past bedtime feels special when it’s their birthday. Having a friend or two over for cake and presents feels special when it’s their birthday. Balloons feel special when it’s their birthday.

We don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to make sure that our kids’ parties are worthy of social media posts. All our children want is to feel special and loved, on their birthday…and always. 

So this year, I’m taking the pressure off. We’re having a “magic” themed party at our house. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top. Just a few friends and some cake. And I can guarantee whatever we do will feel like pure magic to our daughter. 

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A graduate of Colgate University and the University of South Carolina, Laura landed in Atlanta in 2014 after her husband Ryan retired from the military. Although she previously worked for several years in the hospitality/events industry, Laura became a stay-at-home-mom when her daughter Taylor was born in 2014, and then quickly welcomed two more daughters, Sloan in 2015 and Chandler in 2017. While most waking (and sleeping) moments are consumed by her daughters, in her free time Laura enjoys traveling, reading, true crime podcasts, and of course, a good nap.