I'm not a party planning mom.  Party themes are not my strength.  I have never made one goodie bag in my entire 10 years of parenting.  I'm not sure if it's the time, the craftiness, or the waste of money that keeps me from doing all this for my kids, but the bottom line is that I'm just not that into birthday parties.

I know you are thinking that I sound like a bah-humbug scrooge about birthday's, but I don't really think that I am.  What I do think is that sometimes the expectations of birthday parties is way over the top for my liking.

We have had plenty of parties for our kids, but they usually involve some snacks in our backyard, or some snacks at a park.  I can never justify the money spent on lavish parties when children around the world don't even get food on their birthday's.

I recently met a mom that had an entire theme party planned for her 1 year old's birthday party.  I'm talking Pintrest galore type stuff.  The problem with this is not that she's doing it, the problem was how it was making me feel on the inside as a mom.  I could never pull off a party like that.  I don't want to pull off a party like that.  I'd rather spend my money and time on something else.  Oh no … am I a bad mom because I think these thoughts about parties?  Those thoughts began racing through my head before I brought myself back to reality to remind myself that in fact I'm not a bad mom because of my party techniques, and she's not a bad mom because of her lavishness for parties.  We just have different priorities.  You know what else, she LOVES doing it.  She doesn't feel as though she has to compete with her neighbor, or make it the best party ever she just loves doing it.  More power to her.

Here's my point in all of this nonsense party planning talk.  If you love it and can do it and can afford it and it won't drive you batty, then by all means do it.  Plan away.  Make the best Minnie Mouse birthday party you can.  BUT if you do not love it, and if you do not have the money for it, and if you do it only to look good to your friends then let me clue you in to something …. you DO NOT have to do this.  I'm giving you permission to stop.  Your kids will not hate you.  Your friends will still like you {if they don't, that's clue #1 to find yourself some new friends!}.  You will survive.

There I said it.  You feel better about all this?

For those of you that rock at this party planning business I love you and respect you, I just can not be you, and for that I am 100% okay with.  And you should totally be you and plan away and for that you should be 100% okay with!

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*We celebrated Cayden's birthday last week and I decorated my car to pick him up.  He loved it!  We also had given him the option to have a party in our backyard with all his friends, or we would give him $75 and he could also take a friend out to dinner that night.  He is a smart kid and took the cash.

People I didn't even have to plan a backyard party with snacks and juice boxes!!!  LOVED it!

Jamie Ivey