For some reason, it seems that moms have come together in a general consensus that we all hate kids’ birthday parties. Was there a meeting? Did I miss the vote? I’m not sure about that, but I do know one thing: I’m going rogue. I freaking love kids’ parties, and you should get your ass on board too, ’cause they’re actually pretty awesome. Here’s why:
1. The kids can run wild. A backyard party, you say? Or a gigantic gymnasium? With wide open space to run freely? Fantastic. Or even better yet, how about a bounce house? If they’re jumping in there, that just means they’re not jumping on my couch or on their beds, which is great, since I don’t think either of those pieces of furniture can withstand much more.
Honestly, I don’t care what the hell they do at the party, as long as it’s physical and non-stop. Do you want to know why? Because they’re going to be exhausted from all of that insane, no-holds-barred playtime, and they’re going to sleep like sweet little cherubs the night after the party. And me? I’m going to finally get a full night of uninterrupted sleep with no kids scampering into my bed at 3 a.m. Glorious.
2. Dinner is served. An evening where I don’t have to cook, clean up after my kids or wash dishes? What could be better? And you know the food is going to be something kid-friendly—hot dogs, pizza, chips, cake, ice cream—so even the picky ones can find something they like.
Come on, just throw your organic meal plans out the window for the evening and embrace the beauty of the birthday party meal. It may be sugary, and it may not be the perfect vision of the food pyramid, but it’s not your mess and not your problem, and that is a lovely thing.
3. Babysitters are lurking around every corner. What’s up, 14-year-old niece who loves kids and grabs my child out of my hands the millisecond I walk through the door? You, my dear, are my favorite. But really, this could be anyone. Do you have a friend in attendance whose kids are older and who can’t wait to get her hands on your baby? Is there a great-uncle whose favorite pastime is joking with your toddler? Does your friend from down the street jump at the chance to lead a game of Red Light, Green Light?
Any and all of these characters may be at a birthday party, and that means that you can sit back and relax—maybe even for the first time in months.
4. Other grown-ups will be in attendance. Actual, live grown-ups will be there, not just Internet people (who sometimes seem like the only grown-ups you get to talk to when you spend all day long with your kids). So when the kids are off sprinting around and wearing themselves out under the close supervision of those party babysitters, you can talk to these people.
Need to bitch about your kids? If that’s your thing, go for it. Want to talk about last night’s episode of The Voice? Someone there probably saw it. And they will be just as grateful for your company too, since they may be a little sick and tired of talking only about Paw Patrol and Sofia the First all day, every day, as well.
5. Party favors. It’s like the party just keeps on going, even after you’ve left. One of two things can happen after you’ve left the birthday bash: 1) Your kids will pass out in the car, making the candy in their treat bags fair game for you to snack on (just leave them some, or they’ll lose their shit when they wake up), or 2) they will be wide awake and excited, and there’s got to be something in that treat bag that can entertain them in their post-party buzz. A coloring book? Some stickers? Some totally junky 50-cent toy that won’t last more than a few hours? I don’t care what is in that bag; I’m grateful for its delicious contents and its entertainment value, even if it’s brief.
So moms, suck it up, turn those frowns upside down, and get on the birthday party fun bandwagon. Besides, everybody else put on a happy face for your kid’s party, so you totally owe ‘em.