13 October 2015

A worry warts guide in preparing for a childs birthday party

To say I am a bit of a worry-wart is an understatement! At times, I can suffer terrible anxiety when organising things like birthday parties, or get togethers. I've had it so bad that its made me feel so sick that I want to vomit.

When I started preparing for Cherub's birthday party last week, I had that sick-in-the-gut feeling every morning (Hubby was sure I was suffering morning sickness....I wish!) when I woke up worrying about what chores I still had to complete on my 'to-do' list, and how many days I had left to get them all done.

I also needed to ensure I had enough time to bake and decorate the cake. I was making Cherub a 'rainbow' cake (vanilla cake with rainbow decoration) and needed enough time to do that without feeling stressed. Haha, that so did not go to plan. I was so stressed making the cake, that it resulted in one stuff up after another.

From top left: Popette welcoming guests / Cherub playing "Pin the tail" /
Our 'rainbow' theme deck / Rainbow streamers and balloons

I am ashamed to say it, but I was horrible to the girls, a couple times I screamed at them to get out of the kitchen when they would pop in to see what I was doing. Of course, Hubby would put me in my place and told me a number of times to 'calm the f*ck down!' I eventually got the cake finished, before heading out for the evening with a friend...which I also stressed about...see I told you I'm a worry-wart! I shouldn't had worried, as I had a great night.

Cherub had a wonderful time at her party, and loved the rainbow theme we went with. As Cherub loooovess rainbows and colour so much, I thought it would be appropriate to have a rainbow party! She loves to tell us over and over again her favourite colours (yellow & purple), as well as all our favourite colours (me - purple, Popette - red, Daddy - blue), and tell anyone else that is interested in hearing about it. It made it pretty easy in finding cups, napkins and tablecloths, as they're available in all the colours of the rainbow! I think the hardest thing was coming up with games, and rainbow inspired food!

From top left: colouring-in station / rainbow fruit platter /
Cherub's "Rainbow" cake / Some party treats

Here is my advice to those of you worry-wart parents who are preparing for a child's birthday party:

* Break tasks down - I wrote a list of tasks and allocated them to different days, i.e. Fri - clean kitchen, sweep floors, bake cake, Sat - decorate cake, clean toilets, vacuum rugs, Sun (day of the party) - pick-up balloons, buy fresh fruit, hang decorations etc.

* Pick a few jobs rather than a lot - I spent a little time each day getting a few chores done and ticking them off the list, rather than spending the whole day doing a bunch of chores, than stress when I hadn't completed everything.

* Control your stress - I find if I try and do everything at once, my stress levels get out of control and if people are in my way, especially little people, I lose my shit with them very quickly. (Refer to making the cake!). Try and find a little time for yourself, to chill out and relax. As an introvert, I need a little peace and quiet, and be by myself. On Saturday I arranged for Hubby to take the girls to swimming lessons, so I could stay home and get started on the cake.

* Ask people for help - I was thankful that Hubby understood that I was dealing with some anxiousness about the party, so he helped me in getting some of the household chores done before the party, and with preparations on the day.

* Think of an intimate guest list - If you feel stressed out about having a large number of kids over for a party, think of having an intimate group of friends instead. I made it a small party (8 friends + Cherub and Popette), and only invited a few of Cherub's friends from playgroup and preschool. We didn't invite all of her friends, so I am a little worried that Mums will wonder why their child wasn't invited. To tell you the truth I just wanted the kids who played with Cherub, and who Cherub wanted to be there. I could have invited friends of both my girls, but then I didn't want them taking over the party and distracting Cherub from spending time with "her people".

We found 10 children a great size, as it let Cherub play with everyone. We also could spend money on buying a nice 'thank-you' present (a bubble wand) instead of the usual lolly bag. As we didn't want Popette to feel left out as she didn't have any of her friends at the party, I made her my special helper, where she got the kids ready for the games, and handing out balloons.

How do you handle stress when organising a party? Do you like large or small parties? What your's best advice to a worry-wart?


  1. Sixth birthday party here next week! 14 kids!! Eek!! I like your tips! Just a tad of anxiety going on here too xx

    1. 14 kids is a breeze Elisa, hehehe...said someone who had a disco party with 25 kids and found it very stressful! I hope my tips help you out :) Happy 6th Birthday to your big girl xx

  2. I'm a bit of a veteran with kids parties now, so I rarely stress. I always say keep them simple. Kids want yummy food and to play with their friends. Anything on top of that is icing on the cake. :)

  3. Looks like it was a great success, Julie! I don't do parties often for the very reason that my anxiety levels sky rocket. I've organised one when they turned 1 and then for their 4th. I think it's just important to remember that simple is often best x

  4. I find it really stressful too - because it is! It's a 'big event' to put on and the big build up is followed by lots of little people underfoot enjoying the party. Not easy at all. Well done to you for pulling the whole thing off so beautifully, Julie. I have definitely found over the years that the more parties we hold, the easier it becomes. x


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