Birthday parties are fun for kids, but they tend to be rather stressful for moms. There is lots of planning to be done before the party, and there are often worries about the party itself turning into utter chaos. There are, however, some precautions you can take to increase the likelihood of everything going smoothly.
* Plan ahead – A party planned at the last minute is often a recipe for disaster. Choosing the date well in advance and beginning to make plans a month or two ahead is a better idea. You can go ahead and buy decorations and plan the games and menu. Then when party time approaches, all you’ll need to worry about are the favors and how many people you’ll be serving.
* Include details on the invitations – Make the invitations as clear as possible. If you are inviting the child only, inviting him by name is completely acceptable. If you want the parents to come or are allowing the child to bring a sibling as a guest, state that as well. And if the type of party you’re having requires a certain type of dress, as in the case of a costume party or a pool party, be sure to include that.
* Set an appropriate time for the party – The best time for a party is an hour or two after mealtime, and when there are kids involved the best meal to plan a party after is lunch. For school children, 1:00-3:00 or 2:00-4:00 are popular time frames. For younger children who generally take naps, a party a couple of hours before lunch might be more appropriate.
* Ask for help – A party with lots of children running around is best handled by more than one adult. Enlisting the help of your husband, parents, or a friend or two will make it easier to keep things under control.
* Invite parents to stay – If you don’t mind feeding and entertaining the grown-ups as well, invite them to stay for the party. That way they can be responsible for their own children. This will greatly ease the burden on you.
* Accept offers of assistance – If other adults stay and offer to help with games or serving, by all means take them up on it. Giving them a choice of things to do will make them more comfortable. Be sure to send them a special thank you note when it’s all over.
Parties are meant to be fun for everyone, including the parents of the honoree. By taking steps to ensure that you won’t be handling it all alone and considering the details, you can have a low-stress celebration. And that will be good for you and everyone else involved.
Owner, WAHM Enterprises