This isn’t really a house-cleaning tip, but one that’s good for people who struggle with Time Passage Awareness.
Like I do.
When it comes to scheduling kids’ birthday parties, I’m thankful I have my mother’s footsteps in which to follow. I started out this motherhood gig knowing that I would do it the way she did, because if it was good enough for me . . . .
Our family rule/guideline/practice is that the kids have “friend parties” every other year.
On the opposite year, we have family parties.
This . . . totally works for us. I give them their first party when they’re three, and then they know that on odd-year-birthdays they’ll have a big shin-dig.
I used to think my (fine . . . my mother’s) idea was brilliant because it kept me from feeling the pressure to do yearly birthday parties. The kids know which years are party years, and I don’t have to constantly answer the “Am I going to have a big party this year?” question.
But, as the reality of mothering three fun and active children has sunk in over the years, I’ve realized that it was also a perfect solution for me . . . because it made me have a party, at least every other year.
It sounds horrible to say, but my kids’ birthdays sneak up on me. One is immediately after Christmas, one is immediately after the start of school, and the other is around Easter. And with my scatter-brain-never-thinks-to-flip-the-calendar-to-the-next-month-until-it’s-almost-over-and-definitely-not-to-see-what’s-coming-up-next-month personality, I think that if I didn’t have this pre-arranged schedule, several years could pass without a party.
I’m sure I would sound genuinely regretful when I said, “Oh honey, things are just too busy this year, so let’s do a really big party next year, OK?
Now, here’s where I acknowledge that many parents choose not to do parties very often, or ever. I understand that is the best choice for some families.
But . . . I LOVE throwing my kids’ parties. I may not have the knack for creating an inviting ambiance in our home on a normal-old-day-of-the-week . . . but give me a theme and a deadline, and I love nothing more than to transform our home into a barn or a fire-station or a springtime garden.
And because these types of things are part of my Unique Mommy Personality, they produce wonderful family memories. (As long as everyone conveniently forgets the crazy-eyed-looks I give when apple juice spills on newly-mopped-for-the-party floors.)
So even though I appreciate my years off (my kids are all two years apart so one year is completely free while the next is rather crazy), I also appreciate the deadline and the commitment I’ve made.
Deadlines and commitments, especially ones that make me do fun stuff, work for me.
How often do you do birthday parties?