As a parent, do you celebrate your children’s birthdays? And if you do, how do you do it? Do you celebrate it in a subtle way, or do you go all out in making it grand?
Among today’s modern trends is that of parents organizing lavish birthday parties for their children. Nowadays, it’s not strange to find parents sparing no expenses for such events, where they spend fortunes on all manner of enticing goodies for the kids –from the snacks, the cartoon-themed birthday cakes, cups, plates, spoons, mats, chairs, tables, decor and other such items.
At the party, the kids get spoilt for choice on the wide array of fun activities such as bouncing castles, slides, swings, bikes and mini swimming pools. This experience is made even more memorable by the face painters and clowns –all this whilst listening (and sometimes gyrating) to music emanating from powerful sound systems. Some parents even surprise their kids with celebrity artistes who perform for the young ones.
The above activities do not come cheap, and do cost a pretty penny! But can you blame parents? Most parents I know –myself included, are ever willing to do anything for their children. And birthday celebrations are such times.
Birthday parties are lovely celebrations, and especially first birthdays. And even though the little tot may not even be aware of the goings on, it is usually a significant day for the parents, especially the mother. It is a time when she reviews the year and pats herself on the back, because hacking that first year is no smooth ride. There’s lots of patience and sacrifices involved, with many mothers having to make adjustments both in their personal lives and in their careers during that year. So her child’s first birthday is often a time to congratulate herself for a job well done.
However, while holding birthday parties, parents must be very careful in how they go about some details, such as the expenses involved. They should be especially keen on not succumbing to societal pressures with regard to birthday bashes. Admittedly, it is very tempting to splurge on a child’s party, because you want them to have the best of life, but still, one must exercise reason in doing so.
Parents should not be driven by the sole aim of throwing a better party than the one their friend threw for their child. Some parents’ sole intent is to create the impression among their friends that they are ‘doing well’ and living the good life. Parents who are show-offs, and who image and perception mean everything. Keep up with the Joneses is their guiding principle.
But, does it make sense to take a loan of 200,000 shillings for a birthday party just to impress –not your child –but your friends? Besides, do the people you invite to the party really care that much? Is it worth it? Why not just have a simple party that is within your budget?
If one can afford a lavish party, then that’s fine, but parents shouldn’t do things out of their way just to impress others. Truth is no one really cares. It’s foolish to spend 200,000 shillings on a child’s birthday party, yet his school fees are in chronic arrears.
Parents can simply look for cheaper ways to help their children celebrate their birthdays. They can host a simple lunch for family and their child’s close friends at their home. They can also prepare an array of delicious snacks and bitings for the child’s friends, invite them over and have fun indoor games that will keep them entertained. They could also watch the latest age-appropriate movie.
Should you do so, your child will thank you for many years to come because they will appreciate the thought that counted. And you too will be happy and debt-free! Life does not have to be so complicated!
The writer is a motherhood blogger. Follow her on mummmytales.com