You work hard to keep the kids from running into each other in the small space and mop up spills. You talk to every guest for only a few seconds, and then you take off your heels because your feet hurt from running around so much.
Sound like fun to you? Not to me.
I was so tired of having to deal with the immense amount of work throwing a large party entails, I decided to throw another small party for my son's second birthday this year, and it was great!
If you're already stressing about your own child's upcoming birthday celebration, maybe you'll find a smaller birthday party easier to achieve.
Here are my Top Five Reasons Small Birthday Parties Rock:
I've attended way too many kids' parties that aren't actually about the kids. Instead, they're about the adults. In such parties, there are more bottles of alcohol on the tables than games for the kids, the tables overflow with more food than the kids themselves would ever eat and the venue is not conducive to child's play.
That's why I chose to have my son's second birthday party in a private park with pizza as the only food option. I wanted the children to be able to run free through the open space, swing on the swings and conquer the playground equipment as they pleased.
Sure, we have to make the adults who bring the children to the party happy, but I think it's a mistake to focus so much attention on the parents that the children get lost in the process.
I'd rather not worry about carrying fifty balloons through the
street without losing one or carrying a three-tiered Yo Gabba Gabba cake without it smashing to the ground. With just a couple of weeks to plan, I figured the more simple my son's birthday party was, the better.
I set up my son's Cars table in the park, brought some drinks over in a shopping cart and had my friends help me to set up the Oogieloves tunnels that I'd gotten at the BlogHer '12 Family Fun Day. My best friend baked the cake, and my father and sister picked up pizza.
See? Simple + Support = No Headache.
It's simple mathematics: providing food for 100 people plus booking a venue to fit them all costs more than doing so for 20 parents and children.
By keeping the party simpler and smaller, you can save a lot of money on transportation of all the party materials in addition to the food and the venue.
Most importantly, you don't set up such a high standard of party perfection that you feel as if you're flailing.
When I think of my own 15th birthday party and my son's baby shower, I realize they share one major aspect: I was completely overwhelmed as a host!
Both of these parties were rather large with close to a hundred people attending each one, and I could barely enjoy them because there was so much to do.
"Xiomara, there's no more soap in the bathroom."
"Xiomara, this person's been waiting to talk to you for an hour!"
"Um, Xiomara, I'm lost. Can you come get me?"
I didn't even have time to eat at these parties. My plate of baked ziti, rice and chicken was thrown away at the end of the night, cold and neglected, as we cleaned up the space.
For my son's 2nd birthday party this year, I was not nearly as stressed out as I would've been if the party had been larger. Sure, I still worried about who was going to pick up the pizza and barely sat down because my son was running all over the park, but at least I didn't feel like I was speed dating my friends and family.
By throwing a small birthday party, I was able to spend more quality time with the partygoers than if I had thrown a larger party.
Even though I still ran about setting up the cake and making sure everyone had drinks, I was able to sit down to speak with my guests.
My favorite aspect of the extra time was being able to spend more quality time with my son, playing with him, feeding him and chasing him around the park.
All in all, we had a wonderful time, and I'm so glad I chose to throw a small party for my baby's very important second birthday.
Do you prefer to throw a large birthday party or a small one?