Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to have a 3.5 hour birthday party with eight, 5-6 year-olds today.  Especially when it's only 3 days after getting home from Vancouver and the day before hosting company for the May long weekend.  I was only gone for 4 days, but somehow managed to come home to 7 loads of laundry, 3 dishwasher loads and an empty fridge.  I asked my oldest if they had all changed their clothes multiple times a day, and she assured me that they hadn't, in fact, daddy had sent them out the farm overnight without sending ANY changes of clothing!  To the FARM!

I swept, washed floors, vacuumed, dusted, shopped, etc. and now you can't even tell that I did anything.  I'll have to do it all over again tomorrow.  The good news is that I survived the birthday party with all breakables and sanity intact. It helps that most of the breakables are still packed and sitting in boxes in the living room.  This is one time that in-action has paid off!

My debit card sure got a good workout this morning.  I can guarantee that my parents never spent the amount of money on my birthday parties that I spend on my children.  Between the food, craft supplies, ice cream cake and party favours (smartie covered caramel apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory), I easily threw down over a hundred dollars for this event.  Am I crazy to think that this is a lot of money for a small child's birthday party?  I know that some people spend considerably more than that, but at this age, should you have to?  I'm torn between wanting my children to feel that their birthdays are significant, celebration-worthy events; and not wanting to put in the effort (sorry, it's true, I'm a bit lazy... and cheap, or as I like to call it, thrifty).  I've spent more than that on previous parties, but they were large family gatherings where I was feeding a crowd.  Should a party for little kids get the same "blow-out" mentality applied to it?  What do you generally budget for birthday parties?

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