My youngest son just turned 4 years old and I didn’t host a party in his honor.
I didn’t have a big cake or wrapped presents. I didn’t have our friends and family over. No pinata, no goodie bags, no fuss, and mainly NO STRESS.
I basically made the decision to do nothing that would be too overwhelming for my son. I had made plans to go to a play-land but the trip got postponed for health and logistical reasons.
Instead I focused on spending a good day with my son, which I successfully did. BUT I still feel the need to explain why.
Culture Of “Over-The-Top” Parties
With Pinterest being one of the biggest apps around, it’s no surprise that heavily planned and themed birthday parties have become more and more of a “thing”.
It seems like everyone plans these elaborate parties for their kids these days. And if it’s not an elaborately planned party, it’s a destination party.
Both of which are expensive and stressful to put together.
But, we do it for our kids. I’m guilty of at least attempting to pull off the perfectly themed party more than a few times.
And while they are fun and great for pictures, these parties are super stressful to plan and they take quite a bit of preparation.
Making The Decision
It wasn’t an easy decision for me to accept, because it’s been basically “tradition” to have a party with our family and friends for each birthday.
I’m the mom who wants to make sure my children are loved and feel special, especially on their birthday. So deciding not to have a party made me feel guilty at first.
But, how exactly to accomplish the goal of making your child feel loved and special changes when your child has a sensory processing disorder. (or any special need)
My son could care less about the decorations, well except the balloons, he loves balloons.
He doesn’t care to open presents, he doesn’t like family pictures, and at his last birthday party, he cried when we tried to get him to participate.
The preparation alone stresses him out and interrupts his routine too much.
It leads to meltdowns and frustration.
So this year I decided to keep it simple. I bought him a couple balloons and some cupcakes and we celebrated as a family.
We also decided that he could pick his own present, and the boy just melted my heart with what he picked.
Out of all the toys, in all the store, my little guy chose a little stuffed pizza.
And it was literally ALL he wanted.
He really enjoyed his day. I catered to him as much as I possibly could and made the day as easy as possible for him. I made sure we watched his favorite shows and we ate his favorite foods. We did what he wanted to do.
When he decided to chill in a corner “just because”, I did too.
When he wanted to watch “Tsum Tsum”, I did too.
When he wanted to eat just the frosting off ALL his birthday cupcakes, I let him.
When he was over it all in 10 minutes flat, I let him be.
We had a nice day, his way!
Sometimes it’s really the little things in life.
I thought I understood that, but my little boy just keeps showing me how true it can be.