Friday, February 6, 2015

Birthday Blues: Why is planning a child's party so stressful?

Photo courtesy of
I'm not sure who to blame on this one. I'd like to throw some shade at Pinterest. And all of those over-achieving folks on Facebook. I'm sure my husband would argue that the blame rests squarely on my shoulders.

I prefer to blame others.

If you have children, you've probably experienced some form of the birthday blues. Not the kind that makes you sad when you blow out 30 candles on a cake, but the kind that results from the self-imposed stress of planning a child's birthday party.

Because let's face it - it's not "just a party." You only turn 1 or 2 or 10 once. And you've been to the other parties. It's not a competition, but at the same time, you can't phone it in either. Now it's activity-driven parties or themes that were carefully crafted using only your very best Pinterest skills. Have you seen the goody bags?! What happens when my child is old enough to voice his opinion (other than 'no')? But Joey is going to Six Flags! But Ryan is going to the zoo! But Natalie is going to the bowling alley! UGH. It's a black hole. And maybe it always has been and I just never knew about it.

Right so, all of the stress of planning a toddler's party (it even sounds ridiculous) brought me to yesterday when my time intensive, carefully crafted party invites came back from the printer and the colors were off. The fonts were smudgy. My light blue sky was gray. It was an invite for a very sad looking party.

I called and complained and ended up at the their location to show her what it looked like (oh, she knew) and then she turned it around on me. She said their digital printer only runs CMYK colors and my file had RGB colors. She only printed "what I sent her" (which was crystal clear, by the way). We went back and forth and eventually she had her son graphics guy redo the invites. He couldn't get the color right so my invites are still off. And I was grumpy the entire way home because who runs a business like that? Why didn't they check the file to see if they could print it? Why would you commit to printing something and expect to be paid for something entirely different? WHY DID YOU RUIN MY INVITES?!

And then I realized that I was developing an ulcer over invites to a 2-year-old's birthday party. One he'll never remember, much less the invites themselves. Earlier, I caught him throwing the invites all over the ground so he could attempt to slide across the kitchen floor on them. Side note: It ended exactly how you think it did.

So when you get your invite covered in leftover sauce or a random sticker that peeled off the floor please know that I had good intentions. And if I'm standing there, tell me they're the best damn invites you've ever seen. I'll do the same for you. Scouts honor.

In the meantime, I'm going to stay away from Pinterest and focus on the basics. I'm also going to toy with the idea of serving alcohol to the adults who are brave enough to attend a toddler's birthday party. I should probably taste test all of the booze in advance though. You know, for the greater good.


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