Despite my son being one and not knowing a lot in the world, I knew I wanted to mark his birthday with a party. Obviously he wouldn’t have a clue why he was having an eleborate play date but I figured when he looked back at photographs in the future it would be nice. And let’s be honest, I’d look like a crap mum if I didn’t!
The venue was the village hall in the area I grew up and where we move back to it four weeks. It was a bargain at £40 and my plan was to do a bit of food, stick a load of lucas’ toys down and balloons, let them play and do a game of Pass The Parcel and end with a chorus of “Happy Birthday”.
Obviously, it wasn’t that simple….here is my advice for a relaxing and enjoyable party.
1) Set up early.
The stress began when we could only get in the hall half an hour before the party started so it was the most stressful 30 minutes trying to get organised. Once again J & J came to the rescue!
2) Don’t buy cheap balloons.
I bought matching polka dot decorations from eBay but the balloons were crap! They kept popping! Luckily we had a bunch of brave babies and they weren’t phased but it was a bit tense every time one went bang.
3) Be prepared.
I wasn’t prepared for my boy to be overwhelmed by everyone and get really clingy. This meant I was unable to do much unless he’s go to Daddy. Eventually he got used to it and went around stealing food off people’s plates!
4) Think about the adults.
I just catered for the children which meant I didn’t get any pop or anything because they all have their own cups and most drink water. The hubby had to go to the shop for drinks and we had to dig out glasses from the hall kitchen because I’d only ordered about eight cups!
5) Serviettes are a must. And lots of them.
I forgot about wrapping up the cake so a lot of people got theirs in kitchen roll!
6) Pass The Parcel + One Year Olds = Disaster!
Firstly my docking station kept shutting off every time the music was too loud so the adults couldn’t tell if the music was on or not! The babies had the concentration span of a fly and we’re off crawling about after a couple of minutes and one of the babies had to go early so we had one more layer of paper than planned so someone got too chocolates. My advice: hold off on Pass The Parcel till they are older!
7) Party = gifts
We know some very generous people and Baby R is a lucky boy but with all the party stuff we didn’t face enough room in the cars – and we took both! Luckily one of my best friends helped out and brought stuff home in her car for me.
8) Emotions run high!
We gathered around my boys amazing cake and everyone began singing. Suddenly I had this feeling of dread as my bottom lip wobbled and a lump formed in my throat. Next thing I know, I can’t sing for crying! My emotions definitely got the better of me and, to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed.
9) Recovery time is needed.
After our birthday on the Friday and party on the Saturday then Father’s Day on Sunday, by the time I went back to work on Monday I felt like I needed another weekend to recover! Definitely try and have a lazy day after the birthday celebrations.
10) Remember to take lots of photos!
I’m so glad I got a family member who is handy with a camera to be my unofficial photographer! If it hadn’t been for him I would have had zero pictures because I was too busy with other stuff. Definitely assign someone the role of photographer. Then you don’t miss a second.