Birthdays stress me out, mostly my kids. I feel a strong urge to make them feel REALLY special on that day. For a long time that was me making fancy cakes and spending a lot of time on them. But, it seemed like that stressed me out even more. I mean, who wants a birthday with your mom screaming at you to GET AWAY WITH YOU, I AM LOVING YOU ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU THIS CAKE.
It wasn’t working.
So, we have 2 birthday traditions, besides your usual presents (which I have also REALLY tried to decrease the # of presents and move more towards “experiences”).
1. The child gets to go to the store and pick out some favorite candy to decorate the cake. I frost it and then they decorate it however they want. This is. huge. They LOVE getting to pick out the candy, and they LOVE decorating it. Sure, the cake is a little questionable after sour skittles go on a chocolate cake but the idea is a tradition that they love. And they do.
2. Parties stress me out. I worry about kids feeling left out and how do you open presents and on and on… so the birthday child gets to pick a friend or 2 for a playdate and we do just what they want to do. Saturday we went to McDonalds for lunch. Yuck. But the kid was in bliss. Very happy. Worthwhile. I suppose.
So, that’s what I do. I think you have to do what works for you even if it differs from the societal norm. Sure, my kids wonder when they’re going to have a birthday party but they really enjoy their one on one time with their best friends doing what they want to do.
And that is all. 🙂
What do you do for birthdays?