Of all the things in this world that make me anxious, throwing a party at my house is among the worst. I don’t mind so much when it’s just family coming over, like for Thanksgiving.
But hosting friends? Acquaintances? Children?
Last weekend was my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. The invitees were a mix of family and our friends who have children around L’s age.
As the day of the party drew nearer, I started to sweat. And panic.
My house is too small.
My yard is too small.
What if it rains?
I don’t want 35 people inside my small house.
What if the kids are bored?
What if the adults are bored?
What if the other moms say this is the worst/dumbest/lamest birthday party they have ever been to?
What if I chose the wrong type of food to serve?
What if people don’t mingle?
Should we have beer and wine?
…And those were just my top, most pressing concerns.
The weather forecast for the day of the party said 60 degrees and rain. A glimmer of hope! Surely no one would think it unreasonable if I cancelled the party due to a foreboding weather forecast. I’m just being responsible and smart.
I asked my husband if we should cancel. He said no. I asked my two mom friends who were coming to the party. They also said no. Dammit!
The night before the party I pushed on some pressure points in my foot that would hopefully induce labor. And cancel the party. It did not work.
We awoke on Party Day to a beautiful sunny sky, with not even a hint of clouds or rain. The party went off without a hitch. The kids played, adults chatted, and everyone ate the food. (There was a discrepancy about whether or not there were enough hamburgers, but that is 100% my husband’s fault. Which I let everyone know.)
Being a mom has, in recent years, gone hand-in-hand with a fear of being judged. Pinterest is full of boards telling you how to throw the BEST toddler birthday party, with all the BEST foods, decorations, and party games.
Hell I took the time to make a Sesame Street Birthday Party board, pinned all the creative ideas that I thought I’d do…and then did none of them. And the party was still a hit. Why? Because of the guests.
Family members don’t complain that there isn’t fun music or a bounce house. And good friends don’t either.
A good friend will say, “Actually I filled up on chips, so I don’t even need a burger,” when the burgers run out.
So while others may have you believe that to have a great party you need x, y, and z, all you really need is a good mix of people. And a few more burgers. Just in case.