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How Can I Get Out of Hosting Another Birthday Party Ever Again?

If I’m being completely honest, and I am, one of my least favorite aspects of parenting is the whole birthday party thing.

My daughter turns five in May and has been planning her 5th birthday party since moments after 4th birthday party ended last May. For the past year she has planned elaborate and randomly themed soirees-a butterfly party! An Amy from Sonic the Hedgehog party! A pink SpongeBob party! A horse party! A pink horse with butterfly and SpongeBob tattoos party!

I’m in the initial planning stages of Ella’s birthday party and feeling incredibly overwhelmed. Birthday parties, with all the etiquette rules, time consuming preparations, and the prospect of having too many children in my home, hopped up on sugar, stresses me out.

In a perfect world, the type of party I’d like to host is one where we invite a few friends-all of whom RSVP-over for twenty minutes, serve some store-bought cake and ice cream, open presents, party done! Ella has different ideas, though. She wants pizza and party games. I have even tried to convince her to have a party at an over-priced venue that is equipped to entertain and feed multitudes of screaming children.

“Nope, Momma. I want to have my party at our house,” she adamantly told me.

Although she is still undecided on her theme, she already knows that she doesn’t want a store-bought cake. Nothing but the best for Ella, her expectations includes homemade buttercream icing. On one hand, I’m proud that my daughter knows the difference between delicious and store-bought, but homemade means time-lots of time that I don’t really have.

Birthday parties are supposed to be for the kid, but it’s other parents that have also made me dread hosting parties. We all know what they say about opinions, everybody has one about birthday parties. I just recently learned that some people feel that opening birthday presents at the party is a no-no. WHAT?! I always opened presents at my birthday parties and every party my children have every attended have included birthday present opening, so this apparent new trend is unsettling.

Other birthday party issues:

1. Treat bags filled with plastic junk and candy, yes or no?

2. The guest list. Who can we invite without hurting anyone’s feelings, but also avoid inviting 243 children just to make everyone happy.

3. The lack of RSVPs that will be received. This should be a non-issue, but alas, people seem to lack common courtesy to RSVP anymore.

4. Teaching my daughter to be gracious and at least act like she loves every present.

Do you have any suggestions for easy, stress-free birthday parties? Or I am asking the impossible?

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