The stress of throwing your child's birthday party

How much is too much to spend on your little one’s birthday party? A hundred dollars? Two thousand dollars? Forget the fact that junior may throw a tantrum or two during the event. He also won’t remember it.

I have found that coming up with a theme for the party can be a debilitating process. Well, she likes Dora the Explorer today but will she be more into Elsa from Frozen tomorrow? Does she even know who Ernie and Bert are?

We moms must admit that the elaborate decorations we’ve meticulously created from multiple Pinterest ideas are really for us to be able to show our friends that we can accessorize a party like celebrity party planners.

The food laid out to look like TV characters won’t likely be acknowledged by the birthday girl. Elmo’s face made from tomatoes and black olives is more about showing our girlfriends how fabulously domestic we can be.

We fret over pizza. Is it fancy enough? Maybe hand-cut party sandwiches are the way to go. What about a braised lamb? No, too many vegetarians are on the guest list.

Making sure our domiciles are spotless is a must. Because you know that children will look at their parents and say, “Oh no, I’m not playing in that bouncy house. It doesn’t look like it’s been wiped down with disinfectant today. And Mom, did you see the speck of dust on the floor…”

Then there are the goody bags. Often there is a pretty significant age range of invitees. Do I put a lollipop in there and risk 12 children choking to death to please 3 others who love red ones? Why can’t I find Caillou-themed sunglasses? Oh the injustices in this world!

You may ask yourself these questions and a dozen others, like will my child’s toys be enough of an activity or do I need to hire a clown and get a petting zoo into my backyard?

But even with all this undue stress we place on ourselves to provide our babes with the perfect party, we must remember that ostentatious isn’t always best. Sometimes the simplest party can be the most fun.

It’s certainly hard not to compare yourself to the Joneses. But if you’re in the midst of a freak out over napkin color, it’s time to take a step back.

Realize that your child will be so pleased to have her family and friends around her, not to mention the sheer joy she’ll get from eating unlimited cake and ice cream on her special day. She really won’t care if the décor and balloons perfectly exemplified the princess theme. She’ll just be happy you made the effort.