COLUMN: Valley of the party moms

With two pint-size princesses in our clan, there’s no chance of a happily-ever-after if we continue to blow our budget on birthday hoopla.

I can still recall the exact moment I realized I had become… one of them.

Exhausted from a late night of decorating, prepping finger food and crafting hand-made bows for the goody bags –all the while consoling a teething toddler on my hip – I was ready to cry, okay sob, into my cocktail.

However, I figured that wouldn’t exactly be polite. After all, the tray of welcome spirits – each adorned with a fresh fruit slice and tropical umbrella were intended for our adult party guests, not my salty tears. Those sporting diapers and Sippy cups, like our little birthday girl, Molly, would enjoy a sugar-free, organic punch and frolic on the inflatable bouncy castle that had enveloped most of the backyard.

It was bad enough we had blown our Kraft Dinner budget on a champagne fete our daughter would simply forget. And for what? It’s not like she’ll ever look back in pictures and be upset her decor scheme didn’t match the fondant icing on her homemade three-tiered princess cake with a raspberry puree filling. Would she really care that the cups ordered online weren’t an exact match to the dollar-store plates daddy brought home on a whim?

Instead of having a little mommy meltdown before the first guest arrived, I took a wee swig, a deep breath and swore I’d never go to such extreme lengths to throw my baby the “perfect” party ever again.

And then she turned four.

Again, I found myself in the same frenzy as I tried to create a royal extravaganza for my wee princess. This time around, I stuck within our budget –Dollar Store all the way baby – and no special drinks for the parents.

I thought I did a pretty darn good job with the soiree, but that sense of satisfaction was fleeting. A month later we attended another party that was hosted by an actual “real” live princess. Both the children and the adults were in complete awe by this enchantress, who sang as sweet as the dickey birds,  pranced gaily around the room and dazzled guests with pixie dust pulled from her little bag of tricks.

As we left the party, my  pint-sized party pooper seemed a little distraught.

“Why didn’t I get a princess  at my princess party?” she asked as tears began to stream down her pixie-dust speckled cheeks.

Other than fill her in on our modest financial situation, I really wasn’t sure what to say. Instead, I muttered a “maybe next year,” all the while hoping she’d forget all about it.

As I drove home, I began thinking about children’s birthday parties and how they’ve become so over-the-top. Once upon a time, a trip to the roller rink, swimming pool or a small get-together at home were your typical party scenes.

Nowadays, there are princesses, pirates and superheroes who make house calls at $200 a pop, backyard pony rides – even trips to the spa so your youngster and her friends can indulge in a mani/pedi session.

Even the calmest, most level- headed parent can find themselves turning into an ego-maniac when they get into party-planning mode– myself included.

With extravagant themes and venues,  take-home loot that resembles Hollywood swag bags, and expensive gifts, there’s no denying the birthday business is booming.

While I’m certainly not knocking any moms or dads who do take a swing at throwing an epic birthday, this mom is going to stay out of the game.

With two pint-size princesses in our clan, there’s no chance of a happily-ever-after if we continue to blow our budget on birthday hoopla.

And speaking of story book endings, I shudder at the thought how elaborate  weddings will become when and if our girls take a walk down the aisle. If that’s the case, I think I’d better look into becoming a party princess on the side and start saving. Perhaps I could pull off Snow White; after all, I’ve got the pale complexion down pat and already spend my days with little people nipping at my heels.

Kristyl Clark is a stay-at-home-mom and founder of the family blogazine, She’s a Valley Mom (www.shesavalleymom.com). She writes monthly for The Leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

Missing North Delta senior found deceased

88-year-old Jarnial Sanghera had been missing since the morning of Friday, May 15

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Dry-grad cancelled, Elgin Park students make donation to food bank

Students donate $1,800 to food bank after being forced to cancel graduation event

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read