Friday 21 January 2011

Make Planning Your Kid’s Birthday Parties As Stress-Free As Possible

Timmy Sheep Birthday Cake

Make Planning Your Kid’s Birthday Parties As Stress-Free As Possible
A lot of parents like to throw parties for their children’s birthdays but they don’t realise how stressful the party planning process can be – until they start that is. However, there’s no need to be put off by the work that’s in front of you because there are plenty of ways to make sure that children’s party planning is actually a stress-free experience.
There’s really no need to stress over sticking to the budget and still being able to keep the kids happy because it’s really easy. Just follow these tips for advice.

Although it’s essential to allow your child some input into their birthday celebrations it’s a good idea to lay down any rules that you have. It’s also a good idea to seriously consider the motivations for the party as this will enable you to identify your main priorities as you might be surprised to learn that the majority of extravagant parties that are thrown are only so flamboyant in order to please parents as opposed to it being the want of the child.

Although you might not want to answer these questions it’s essential to ask yourself why you’re throwing the party. Is it because you like to show off what a great entertainer you are (this is likely to have a little to do with it)? Is it because you feel like you missed out when you were a child and don’t want your own children feeling the same way when they grow up? Could it be because every other parent is doing it so you feel it’s your duty to throw a party also? All of these things are likely to have something to do with the reason that you want to throw your child a party and it’s not a bad thing that you want to however, remember that just because it’s what all of the other parents are doing doesn’t mean that it’s something that your child will want too.

When it comes to planning a child’s party they can’t all be planned in the same way and it depends entirely on child’s temperament. Once you’ve established exactly why you want to throw a party you’ll find it a lot easier to think about what your child will actually enjoy and will make the planning process much simpler.

Not Every Year
Just because some parent will throw huge parties for their kids every year that doesn’t mean that you have to do it too. The thing about birthday’s is that they should be a special day where your child is the centre of attention and throwing a party every few years – i.e. for big birthday’s like five, ten, thirteen and sixteen – will make them feel extra special when these days come around. For the years in between there are plenty of things that you can do which will make them feel just as special, such as going out for the day with the family, but it doesn’t require any of the commitment – in terms of time and finances – from you.

Make It Easy
If you have a large family then rather than stressing about where everyone’s going to sit and how you’re going to make sure there’s enough food etc. consider throwing two separate parties – perhaps a separate one for each side of the family – maybe a week apart to make it much easier for you and a much longer birthday celebration for your child. Alternatively you could throw a small tea party for family and then a separate one for their school friends.

Party Planning Strengths
If you’ve already hosted your fair share of parties and you just happen to be a natural then that’s great news however, party planning doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people which means that you might have to call in some assistants. You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask family or friends for help; whether you want them to help with the cooking or decorating or you just need them to help with supervision and moral support on the day. Alternatively you could outsource the party to a local play centre or your child’s favourite restaurant so that you don’t have any of the party hassle at home.

You might not think that the number of guests, invitations, end times and party bags are particularly important party details but they’re things that are essential to sort out if you don’t want to be left stressed on the day.

If your child is of school age but you don’t want a class full of five year olds invading your home then it’s a good idea to hand out invitations outside of school so that the classmates that aren’t invited don’t feel left out.

It’s always a good idea to ask for RSVPs because it gives you a rough idea of how many children are likely to attend however if people don’t respond then don’t worry. Along with the confirmed numbers cater for an extra few people as well because you know how busy the life of a parent is and with all of the daily stresses that parents have to deal with, it’s inevitable that a few replies will be forgotten.
Although you might not see the need to set an end time for the party it’s a good idea to specify one anyway because parents never turn up at the time that’s specified – and even if they do, they usually stay for a cup of tea anyway.

Although the kids love them and many of them nowadays expect them there’s really no need to hand out party bags at the end of a party. It’s a polite thought but the truth is – if you’re honest – most parents get frustrated with them anyway because the toys inside are played with for around five minutes and then left lying around the house for parents to find weeks later.

If your child has a friend in their class who’s birthday is pretty close to theirs then there’s no reason why you can’t team up with their parents and throw a joint birthday party as this will mean that you can split the cost and the planning and you won’t have any trouble with clashing parties.
As you can see, there are loads of opportunities to reduce the stress when it comes to your child’s birthday party it just means that you have to take your time when planning.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Life & Trials - Debut

This is my debut into blogging! It was never something I thought I would consider, but until recently I never really had anything to write about that people may relate too? Under it all I guess I could use a few outside views and opinions, reassurance everything will be okay.
My name is Laura, I am 21 and I work in administration – I have an amazing other half and 16 weeks ago…… I found out I was pregnant.
This was never the plan, not in these years of my life anyway. I wanted more financial stability & above all I wanted to plan every detail. I wanted both creators to want this new life straight away and to know that despite anything and everything that could happen, that this little being growing inside me would be loved.
I know that we can provide this little baby all the love in the world, and when we do see him or her for the first time our lives will never be the same, and this is a scary thought although very elating.
My full intention is to go back to work after maternity…maybe even before. Financially things look tight and we may have to make a few more sacrifices…….the car for one…..and the gym….. You see I am not going to be staying at home with my child, as much as I would love to….but I have to earn the pennies too! I cannot be kept and expect my man be the traditional hunter and gatherer.
This is the 21st century and us women need to go out to work and bring in the money for our families, surely two wages are better than one?
The main reason for my feelings on the short maternity is we really cannot afford for me to have my pay cut. Things will be tight without that happening anyway! However I am hoping that I am going to be able to get around the lack of being unable to afford the maternity leave, by topping up the statutory money I am entitled to by working from home during certain days of the months ahead.
How will I get around the guilt of leaving my small baby? How will I afford the childcare? How am I going to get over missing out on all those firsts that will happen without me?
They are just some of the questions running through my mind, along with all the others regarding financial matters. I wonder why all these women are at home while their men work, how can they afford it? How can my partner and I earn a reasonable sum of money between us, and not come up close with what they have?
We are in the process of obtaining a mortgage; we will be moving out of the family homes we have grown up in and creating our own little family.
So I ask you, how do you juggle a baby you will want to see every minute of every day with the 9-5 job you need to be able to support your child and your family!? It is a catch 22 situation, but I am on a journey, that is going to be hard and fraught with many challenges, so keep reading my trials and tribulations of a working Mum and see where we end up!