Birthday Parties: The New Competitive Sport


Three kids. That means three birthday parties to throw every year. Three glorious, magical, over the top, over my budget birthday parties. Every year. While I am so beyond thankful for my three little blessings, and I love celebrating them and all that they are, I feel like the preparation that goes into throwing their little shindigs is sometimes more stress than I can handle. I know. #momprobs And, yes they are worth it. But, man, Mama is flustered.

It all started when my first child turned one. I’m pretty sure I started planning for the big event around the time that she turned six months old. I knew we (er, she) wanted a butterfly theme. It matched the decor in her nursery, butterflies are super special to us and who wouldn’t love a three-tiered butterfly-shaped birthday cake? Just makes your heart all a flutter doesn’t it? See what I did there? I immediately started scouring Pinterest. Dang you, Pinterest. You are both a blessing and a curse.

While scrolling, I learned that throwing a kid’s birthday celebration isn’t just cake and ice cream anymore. It’s a full-blown competitive sport and moms across the nation are playing to win. However, I did find the exact cake I wanted! But, I also found some over the top ideas that I was never able to put into fruition. The Live Butterfly Release that I wanted to take place in my backyard never happened. And, my husband nixed the idea of him dressing in a butterfly costume and posing for pictures with all the guests. So, does this mean that I am failing at the sport of throwing kids’ birthday parties?  Absolutely not!

Her first party was a total success. Our family and friends had fun and she had fun. And really, isn’t that what matters? So, why did I spend the better half of a year trying to find the perfect little butterfly wings for her to wear with her smash cake outfit? Wings that she kept on for all of two seconds. And speaking of smash cakes, I’m pretty sure when I turned one that I had a Cookie Monster cake that we all shared. I didn’t get my own smash cake to rub in my hair and squish with my toes. And, I turned out just fine. I think.

My daughter when she turned one. A smash cake that was already smashed when we opened the box and butterfly wings that wouldn’t stay on. But, we still had a perfect party!

These days you can search Google or the old faithful Pinterest and find a plethora of cutesy themes! It’s hard not to get suckered in. I’ve done a Mickey Mouse themed “Oh Two-dles” party, a fiesta-themed “Taco Twos-day” party and my one year old was supposed to have a “Winter One-derland” party this year. It never happened because he caught the flu. So, we’ve been eating off snowman plates for the last five months and I have enough fake snowballs stuffed in the back of my closet to make a small avalanche. Along with three new friends I made off of Etsy who made the must-have “milestone chart,” the themed “Winter One-derland” shirt and the handmade party favors. Which I’m sure would have just been thrown away anyway. Why do we spend so much time and effort preparing for something that is just two hours of our life?

Smash cake pics for my one year old’s Winter One-Derland Party that never happened. Thank you flu!

While I love to celebrate my babes, and I love to make things just oh so magical, I find myself wishing that I could just give them an experience instead. A vacation with just our little family? A day trip to somewhere they’ve never been? Somewhere that we can go and not need a perfect little chalkboard-inspired milestone chart because our perfect little three are with us and we already know their favorite foods, songs, and hobbies. To the mama who does give an experience instead of a party, we need to talk! I need your advice on when you started doing it and do the kids love it even that much more? Again, throwing a child’s birthday party has kind of become a competitive sport. And, to me, that’s just not what we are about. I don’t want to compete.

I will say that it has gotten easier the older that they have gotten. They start choosing their own party theme, and it’s also much easier when you don’t have to throw it at your own home! Easy peasy, right? I say this as I am planning my middle child’s fourth birthday party celebration. He wants a Hot Wheels theme. And, now all I have to do is figure out where I can get a Hot Wheels birthday cake that he can actually climb inside and take for a drive.  We’re keeping it simple this year 😉


Moms, do you go all out for your child’s birthday celebration? Or, do you like to keep things simple? 

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Hey y'all! I'm Neely. I was born and raised in Lubbock. I am a wife to Brandon, and mama to Finley, Wylie and Auggie. My husband and I own a multi-media marketing company here in town called Rawe Yates Media Group. If you need help with marketing and/or advertising your business, we are your people! We love helping our clients tell their story in the most unique way. When I'm not at work you can find me hanging out with my three little loves! Me and the kids love discovering new ways to have fun in the LBK! I am a lover of fried foods, chocolate, caffeine, online shopping, Texas Music and Dateline's Keith Morrison. And, I LOVE being a part of Lubbock Moms Blog. My kids give me LOTS to write about, and I appreciate you following along!