Hosting a stress-free kids party

  
Sometimes I feel like there is so many ideas going through my mind that I just want to run round and do them all before I forget them. Obviously I can’t do that because not only have I got kiddies to look after, I would seriously crash after a couple of days. Taking my time and easing into things is seriously a learning curve for me. I am still learning. But be prepared there are a lot of blog based goodies coming this way.

At the weekend it was my baby’s 2nd birthday party. I don’t know how other parents feel but these are usually times of great stress for me. Half the people that come are super critical, the kids are crazy and at least one of mine will have a meltdown, I invite too many people and I spend 90% of the time either cleaning up or making food and not enjoying the party at all.

  
This time, I wanted it to be different. I wanted to see everyone, I wanted it to be calm, I wanted everyone to get along. And actually, this time, I think I might have just about achieved it.

I decided before I planned the party that this would be the last kids party I do for family & friends and from now on parties will involve a few kids and a few parents for supervision. So what did I do this time to make it easier on myself? Heres a list of tips that made this party my most enjoyable one yet through 5 and a half years of motherhood.

  • Delegate. I recruited my mum and my sister to help. Rather than them chatting and playing I asked them to help, and of course they didn’t mind. Mum washed up and sister made cups of tea. Thats all. It helped me immensely.
  • Don’t offer different kinds of food. There have been occasions where I have separated children and adults food. That’s pretty crazy. They can all eat the same! And have in the past been running around topping up glasses of bucks fizz and wine and beers. Not this time, it was a tea only party.
  • Simple food. Sandwiches were off the menu because of the time and effort needed to create them. I had quiches (pre-made) garlic bread, pasta salad (actually everything was pre-made lets just get that over with) coleslaw, cookies, bottles of flavoured water for the kids, grapes, strawberries, crisps, sausage rolls, carrot sticks, mini sausages etc.
  • Make clearing up easier on yourself. I bought foil platters, paper plates, plastic knives and forks and popped it all in the recycling bin at the end of the party. Clearing up time seriously reduced
  • Get them outside. Ok it rained, a lot. I knew it would be a squeeze to get everyone in the house so we borrowed a gazebo. Not that the kids minded, especially the birthday girl, she just got wet!
  • When party time is over its ok to usher people out. If you have specified a start and end time on the invitation then people will stick to it. 2 hours is plenty.
  • Some situations can’t be avoided. My boy caused a fight which wasn’t ideal. He was sent to his bedroom for a while which gave him time to calm down but as the party was drawing to a close it was getting more obvious that he had had enough excitement and I started to wind things down with a few songs and asked him to help blow out the candles.

  

  • Arrange for some down time afterwards. I rewarded myself with a bottle of prosecco and a nice easy tea. The next day we spent time as a family and relaxed. It took me possibly about 3 days less to recover from than other kids parties because I gave us time to rest.

Overall I enjoyed my girly’s party. I had time to take photos of everyone, to greet everyone and even sat down to eat something at one point. Even with one or two little hiccups I would say that I didn’t get stressed. At all. really! Amazing isn’t it. There you go anything is possible!

  
Have a beautiful day guys,

Imogen x

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