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To not throw DD1 a fifth birthday party?

(98 Posts)
designerbaby Wed 26-Sep-12 20:54:20

I did a big one for her fourth, and it nearly did for me.

Church hall, entertainer, big arsed cake, the works. But DH is away so much with work I'm operating as a single parent much of the time, plus I've started my own business, which I'm trying to work around school drop offs and pick ups.... I just can't face it.

But she's convinced she's having a party, even though I've said she's not. Talking about who she'll invite, where it might be. I feel really crap...

It doesn't help that I can't think of an equally appealing alternative. I'm the first of my friends to have children, so no idea what people do, if anything, when they don't do a birthday party...

Feel like a rubbish mum anyway at the moment, and the guilt trips on this one may just about finish me off. Should I just bite the bullet and hire the bloody hall again?

<Hits head on table in despair/exhaustion>


dexter73 Wed 26-Sep-12 20:55:16

Just have a few friends back for tea one day.

monsterchild Wed 26-Sep-12 20:55:42

Um, just have on at your house, like most people do. Or at the park if the weather is good.

get a cake, but you don't need all the other stuff. Just friends and presents.

fluffywhitekittens Wed 26-Sep-12 20:59:11

If you have the money but not the time could you look for somewhere that organises them for you, soft play or sports centre type of places?

Toombs Wed 26-Sep-12 21:01:07

Give her a party, it's just mean not to. It doesn't have to be lavish or even more than two hours on Saturday afternoon with cake, games and party bags.

coldcupoftea Wed 26-Sep-12 21:01:15

Get her to invite a few friends for a cinema trip/day out?

Blu Wed 26-Sep-12 21:01:47

You invite some friends - not more than 6 or 7 - to a birthday tea at your house. You have pass the parcel, dancing to some disco music in your front room, or pick an activity like put toppings on your own pizza or decorate biscuits with icing and hundreds and thousands. You give them tea - sandwiches (cheese, and ham), crisps and a birthday cake. You provide party bags with bits an bobs of dreadful crap from the 99p shop. The party should last no more than 2 hours. That is a perfectly good party for a 5 year old.

charlieandlola Wed 26-Sep-12 21:02:15

Her fifth party could very well be one of her earliest memories, so you should do something to mark the day that she could remember.

charlieandlola Wed 26-Sep-12 21:02:53

YANBu however to do something small at home, not the whole competitive party shebang.

MrSunshine Wed 26-Sep-12 21:03:20

It's not mean not to give her a party, ffs hmm The majority of kids don't get big organised parties every year, they have friends over for tea and cake, or bring a friend to the cinema and mcdonalds or something similar.
Don't let them think they should be getting a hoopla for every birthday, rod for your own back that is.

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 26-Sep-12 21:03:35

Just have a couple of friends for tea. Add crisps, cake and some balloons and it's a party...

EverybodysCryEyed Wed 26-Sep-12 21:04:16

If you want low work then get the hall, the entertainer, shop bought cake and dominos pizza

or do it at one of those soft play places that do everything

and you can buy pre filled party bags

it doesn't have to be that much work!

LittleBairn Wed 26-Sep-12 21:05:22

YABU because your reasons for it is you can't be arsed when clearly its important to your DD.
If it was for some other reasons like finances then. Could understand, but all the reasons given were about you not your DD. It's one day a year make the effort.

PoppyWearer Wed 26-Sep-12 21:08:16

What about after school on a week day? You'll feel obliged to invite loads of her new school friends, but the timing will mean lots can't come and those who do will only last until 5.30 or 6pm at the latest. Might also be cheaper on a weekday?

Find a local soft play or gym and let them loose. Buy a cake from the supermarket. Book People Peppa Pig bulk pack of books, one each and a pack of chocolate buttons is your party bag. Job done.

I wasn't planning to have a party for DD's 4th but she did the same, started talking about who she would invite etc. It wasn't without stress, but it was ok. What I've noticed as DD gets older is that other parents pitch in more to help. Except from now on they'll be dropping-and-going!

elfycat Wed 26-Sep-12 21:09:22

We took DD1 out for an adult lunch for her 3rd birthday and might do this for a few more years (as long as we can get away with it). OK it was just Wetherspoons but it was nice enough and she's not fussy.

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Wed 26-Sep-12 21:10:03

I agree with everyone else...

A small party at home, a few balloons, a cake (tesco special or similar is perfectly OK for a five year old) some loud music, some running around and some presents. Easy and stress free.... and usually just as enjoyable as a big showy, expensive bash.

Goldidi Wed 26-Sep-12 21:10:08

Dd1's fifth birthday involved her 2 best friends coming for a day out at the zoo with us. It was a day out that we were planning on doing as a family anyway and we got a free child for every adult that went in so we only paid for 2 adults and 1 child. They had a fantastic time and thought it was far and away the best party they'd ever been to even though for us we felt like it was just a day out. Not everybody would want to do a full day out though.

We've also enjoyed parties with no more than 4 children at our house (not a big house) just playing, a couple of party games, pizza and cake for birthday tea and a book rather than a party bag.

Or go for something organised.

Or you could spend an afternoon doing a few crafts with a couple of her friends.

Maryz Wed 26-Sep-12 21:10:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Wed 26-Sep-12 21:10:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Wed 26-Sep-12 21:12:30

YANBU. Parties are horrible and stressy. I hate them (for my kids, I don't mind packing them off to someone else's!)

Have you got a soft play place near you? I like parties there as they run around in there, have some food and the cake and go home. Nothing for you to do except have a drink while they're playing!

Meglet Wed 26-Sep-12 21:17:00

yanbu. I've only done one big party, for DS's fifth birthday, and the only other one I will ever do will be for DD's fifth birthday next year. No parties this year (too busy) but next year DS will be 7 so I might let him invite some friends around.

Lambethlil Wed 26-Sep-12 21:19:39

Blimey I missed the memo about this one- I'm shocked at the guilt tripping going on here.
Two options; either scale it right back and take a few friends to the cinema/ buildabear or hand it all over to someone else and get a package at soft play/ riding inc cake, party bags etc.

butterfingerz Wed 26-Sep-12 21:25:07

YANBU to do a big party if you did one last year... I would echo other posters - do a party at home. The fun is in the detail, you could do a cinema night with dvds, popcorn... even your own pick n mix (that sounds fun even to me!) with little sweet bags maybe for them to take home, ice cream cones, you get the idea.

bubalou Wed 26-Sep-12 21:33:56

Do you have a local 'fun centre'. We have one in our town that has those giant frames and soft play inside with balls and slides etc. They do all the party for you including food and are very reasonable.

Minimum hassle - send out invites, book and let them do the work.


designerbaby Wed 26-Sep-12 21:58:05

OK, so IABU... sad

And yes, I know the reasons are "all about me", because it's me that'll have to do it all, isn't it... On my bloody own, whilst running my own (currently v. stressful) business, and attempting to bring up two children, run a house etc. with no help from anyone, especially DH, who's gone more than he's here up until Christmas. But thanks for making me feel even like an even shitter Mum than I currently do...

However, some good suggestions from others...

Our local soft-play parties are grimsville, and extortionate, for what you get (not much)... It's an option, but not in my top 10, and only as a last resort! Some friends have done it recently, and have felt v. ripped off and disappointed. Dunno they should be good, but at our local one, they just feel a bit, well... bleak...

The day out thing sounds like a good idea, but not sure we could stretch to paying for parents and children... Although if we severely limited numbers, and chose carefully... Would we be expected to pay for both parents and siblings? Or could we just say X plus Mum OR Dad...

Are they too young for it to be a trip to the Cinema and pizza afterwards? Obviously for whatever Disney thing is on, not SAW3. Same basis as the above? DD LOVES the cinema.

Outdoors, well, it's November so weather si hard to predict. I don't mind getting the waterproofs out and going for it regardless, but have several Mums of DDs close friends who aren't that way inclined...

Small numbers at the house... Gah... I did that for her third. It might have been more stressful than the fourth extravaganza, with the added downside of the house having to be tidy before they arrived and trashed when they left...

I really don't want to get into the situation of having to do a bash for every birthday x2. But maybe IABU in thinking that too...

It's bloody hard to limit numbers though... Now there's school friends in the mix...


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