So our Daughter celebrates her 8th birthday tomorrow! Can’t believe it, I have an 8 year old baby, our youngest! So besides feeling my age this last week, I’ve been kept busy planning for her first party with her school friends, and a second family gathering, which both include balloons, bunting, matching table wear, and the usual must-have disposable party accessories, but my mind couldn’t help to ponder the question of party bags… to do, or not to do.
Now while I’ve always been a fan (who doesn’t love Palma Violets, Cola Bottles and other sugar infested delights!), I can’t help but think that already this birthday is costing a small fortune, not just gifts for the special girl, but on renting the café for a closed party, paying for the food and refreshments, new dress for the occasion, and of course the all important cake, which this year, the Daughter decided she wanted in on the design! But party bags can be one of the biggest headaches! How much do you spend? Is there a budget per child? What do you put in them, all treats or small gifts too? And god for bid, what if they’re not up to the other parent’s standards!
I have to be honest, I’m not one for keeping up with the Jones’, a life of #workkidssleep doesn’t really allow time to be worried what people think of the dirty car, the front gate that hasn’t had a top hinge for over a year, or the fact that I live in jeans and a T-shirt and drive around in my slippers most of the time if I don’t intend to get out, but party bags are the one thing that I think parent’s get judged on quite harshly on when it comes to their kids. We’ve had everything from a multi pack of Haribo and a slice of chocolate cake, to a ‘paint your own Tsum Tsum’ and even a lottery ticket! Yes, at a 9 year olds paintball party! But are we really judged on our party bag extensiveness? Are we bad parents if we only give sweets and a wedge of sponge? If we go small toys, how many? Are bubbles still blown these days? And the questions continue…
After a quick Google, and a check of the bank balance, I opted for cheap(er) and cheerful ones, full of little girlie items including bracelets, stationary, games and hair accessories, which to be fair didn’t cost as much as I had anticipated, all thanks to www.partybagsrus.com.
Was it the best party bag ever? Doubtful. Would I have received a gold Mother of the Year award if I’d spent an extra tenner each? Doubtful. Do I love my daughter any less for relying on Haribo & Maynards to provide the tasty top up to the otherwise slightly empty gift bag? Of course not. And that’s the issue right there.
We live in a world steered by comparison, always comparing ourselves to others in all aspects of our life. Our job, our house, our car, and yes, our children. How pretty are they? How bright are they? Do they wear the right clothes? Do they have enough friends? We constantly beat ourselves up, believing that others are doing a better job than us. But does any of this actually matter, or make a difference? To our self esteem maybe yes, part of us will always draw an analogy between ourselves and others, but to our children? No. The party was a blast, all her friends turned up, she had a load of gifts, all of the food was eaten and the music choice was a hit… as were the party bags. Mission accomplished. Happy Birthday J. xxx