Help me not spend $1000 on my kids' birthday parties! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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That's just to say - a big party can be something you enjoy. But if it's stressing you out financially or emotionally then no I wouldn't do it just 'cause everyone else is. So I agree with the last paragraph totally.
I agree. At big parties there is someone there for everyone. I have attended small parties where one child felt excluded for some reason or another.

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#32 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Why don't you look into renting a moonbounce for a day or two and putting it at your home? Then you could do one party for both kids together, or one party on one day and one on the next.

Or, wait, is winter weather an issue?
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#33 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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Why have 2 parties? My older two kids have birthdays in the same month. They are turning 6 & 8 this month and have shared one party their whole life.

Also, we have invited the entire class for both of them each year and have never had more than 4 kids from each class show up.
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#34 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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We always do a combo party - kids are boy/girl and 3 years apart but many friends are sibs and no one ever questions it. Sep cakes and decorations. One drop off for many of the parents.

I don't invite all the kids in the class, nor do we attend a child's party just because he's in their class and was invited. I always give ds the choice and he doesn't want to go unless he's friends. It's a strange tradition IMO. Perhaps it's because we have so many neighborhood friends and cousins that we'd be looking at 35 kids and who wants to host that many? Frankly my son had 12 friends at his party this year and I was having heart palpatations thinking about that many gifts coming into our simple home.

We did mini golf this year. $6 per kid in a land of fancy parties. Everyone loved it.

Katherine mother to DS 8/03 and DD1 9/06 and DD2 6/10
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#35 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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I ended inviting over 45 children to DS's birthday party last year, and over 100 guests including parents were present. I could not imagine not inviting both classes in his section, church friends and other friends. I don't really encourage the idea of a "best friend" (when it happens it happens) and I am not willing to hurt the feelings of another child to save money. My mantra is... If I can't afford to invite all of DS's friends, then I can't afford to have a party.
Is your DS really friends with over 45 kids?! That seems...unlikely, to me. A party with 45 kids, especially for a 1st grader or pre-schooler (like the OP has) would spell "instant meltdown' with any of my kids at those ages.
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#36 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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Is your DS really friends with over 45 kids?! That seems...unlikely, to me. A party with 45 kids, especially for a 1st grader or pre-schooler (like the OP has) would spell "instant meltdown' with any of my kids at those ages.
Yes, Actually DS is friends with all the children, or at least he says that they are his friends. Why does that seem unlikely?

As for church friends and other friends, these are children with who he interacts often. Or as often as possible due to schedule conflicts.

There were maybe 6 invited children who did not attend, and DS noticed their absence and asked me during his party if they were coming.

My son turned 4 and all of the invited children were between the ages of 1 to 7. Actually there was 1 meltdown, by a boy who cries at every party when it is time to sing Happy Birthday because he wants it to be his birthday. Normally his mom leaves before the song, but his sister was having a great time.

I also hosted this pool party at a popular city attraction that normally holds that many people when open to the public, so I don't see why a party with that many children would have cause a meltdown.

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#37 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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My mantra is... If I can't afford to invite all of DS's friends, then I can't afford to have a party.
So poor people (or people on strict budgets) should have parties? That just seems sad. I'd rather a small party than none at all.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#38 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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So poor people (or people on strict budgets) should have parties? That just seems sad. I'd rather a small party than none at all.
No, that is what I live by. I would only have a small party/dinner for family rather than pick and choose what 3/4/5 year olds I will invite to a party. The uninvited friend has no idea of the hosts limited budget or financial constraints. They only know that they were not invited. I feel so strongly about not slighting another child, that I would not want to leave anything out.

I see nothing sad about my decision.

What others do is their own business.

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#39 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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My DD turns 5 next month. Hubs is taking the morning off work, we'll have breakfast out, play at the park with a couple friends, and have a grease-out lunch at McDonalds. Later in the weekend, we'll have cake and presents with just the family.

Growing up as one of six kids, all birthday parties were family gatherings. Somehow, we all survived and grew up to be basically normal.
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#40 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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You could always do a small party in the winter, and then a 1/2 year party in the spring/summer when you can rent a bouncy for $100 or so and do a bbq outside.
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#41 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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Goodness, that's an expensive kid's party.

Birthdays are usually smaller affairs around here. Frankly, I don't WANT to invite ALL the kids my child's age to a party. I don't like them all, and neither does my daughter.

Even with a winter birthday, we have parties at home- cool games, food, cake, and punch. Yum!

In your position I think I would start differentiating between what 'everyone' does, and what works for your family.
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#42 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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We don't do parties. I have no desire to deal with all the potential problems as well as cost. My DS is going to be 4 (in 2 days!!) and this year he mentioned a couple times "his party" as he has been to several friends' parties. But he seemed to have no problem dropping it when I explained to him that we don't do them. We had a small party when each LO turned 1 (cake, make-your-own pizzas, and gifts for DD, can't remember DS except he cried about touching the cake) and then we do a family thing (special dinner, cake and presents) the other times. We may also do a special outing-last year we went to the local museum for their dinosaur trail. We will probably have a couple b-day parties over the years. This is what my family did for me and what I feel is right for our family.

I have also told DS's friend's moms that we don't do parties, so they won't feel they weren't invited.

Good luck with your decision, OP.

Kelly, wife to DH, mom to Caden Reese (10-2-06), Tessa Brynn (12-26-08 ), and Maddox Quinn (7-16-11). Fur-mama to Finnegan, Ripley, Raisin (my little kitty amputee) and Kimchi. 748/2011, 2028/2012-I did it!! 2023/2013-Again!!! 404/2014
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#43 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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What if instead you just didn't have a party and took your family to a nice hotel for the weekend? Swim in the heated indoor pool, hot tub, order in pizza, just hang out. There is no way my kids would turn down a hotel over a party. And it would never, ever cost a grand.
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#44 of 45 Old 09-30-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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I could never justify spending that much money on a party.

We choose to work to live around here, not live to work.

There are plenty of nice things one can do together with a child to celebrate their special day without spending a small fortune.
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#45 of 45 Old 10-01-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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ah - pre-K and K changes my advice.

For us, In pre-k there was a bit of an expectation that all kids in the class were invited - 1) the classes only had like 12 kids, 2) at that age they haven't formed really close friendships - they kind of hang out with whomever you stick them with. 3) For us, the last year of pre-school invited a LOT of parties. Kids who hadn't had that kind of friend party yet all had them the last year of pre-school. But once regular school hits the expectations to invite the whole class really do die down. The kids are forming closer friendships and have definite opinions on who they want to invite, classes are bigger and single-sex slumber parties start happening. Anyway, hang in there one more year and do what you need to do to bring sanity. Here's hoping your area is the same and the expectations die down for you like they did for us. I was thinking this was like a 10 or 11 year old. Save the big party for certain years.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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