Jan 28, 2014

A low key birthday.

A friend who should be blogging as her words are amazing and she is crazy clever and blogged when she lived in Vietnam and it was HILARIOUS, anyway, she reminded me last week of the fabulous series called Motherhood Around the World over at a Cup of Jo. Did you see it?We were talking about birthdays and she reminded me about this paragraph in this episode from Northern Ireland and I instantly remembered it because it really rang true for me!
On birthdays: There’s not the same "Pinterest Mom" culture here, with its emphasis on perfect-looking dinners, birthday parties, kids' rooms, etc. Birthday parties only have one theme—birthdays. The cakes are store-bought and simple. Birthday invitations are just the fill-in-the blank invites you get at the grocery store. The first time I got an invitation for my son, I almost sobbed because I couldn't believe life could be so simple. No one was slaving away at night gluing googly eyes on the PERFECT invitation.

I love this! Another friend who has a small baby started going to the one year olds' birthdays in her Mother's Group and she nearly died- she emailed me "…it's like a blood sport! It's so competitive it is crazy! These cakes, these huge over the top cakes and invites and the whole theme decoration etc, for a one year old! I am so glad mine wasn't first, I HAVENT SLEPT IN A YEAR- I find it hard enough to wash my hair!!" (There was way more swearing in the original)So what changed? Remember when we were young - the parties were like the ones described above, and most of the ones we have been to have been like the one described in Northern Ireland.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am all for a bit of Pinterest party ideas, but the reason I am writing all of this is that I started to feel pressured by what I was seeing on blogs etc and that started me thinking will Marlos' party be good enough? I need to plan more games and activities and this and that etc etc but shortly after when I slapped myself in the face I realised this is not me! I don't mind if other people do that, in fact I am in awe of their organisation skills and creativity but it's just not me. I do love the idea Kate mentioned about asking one child to stay for the day, it certainly made the afternoon happy, and the post party meltdown was delayed until bedtime.
We threw streamers around the room, blew up balloons and that's it really. The girls decorated cup cakes, which we did for Marlo's 5th birthday too. The giggled and squealed and ate lollies. Mostly, they just wanted to play in the cubby.
I think it depends on how many kids you invited as to how organised you need to be, 4 seven year old girls are pretty good at entertaining themselves and they all know each other well. I think it's ok to be low key, and low key can still be pretty. And we do like pretty.
My blog is still being moved over from chunky hooky , so all the comments from old posts are still in transit. Thank you for letting me know.


  1. That looks like a pretty awesome birthday cake to me!!! Yeah, I'm over the extreme birthday party. One party I went to for a one year old had the full teddy bear picnic theme with 2 marquees, fake wrapped presents, teddy bears galore and a professional photographer. Our take home goody bag was worth about 10 times the value of the present I took. Too much!!!

  2. Well Cath I think that is the lovliest cake! The flowers are just perfect.

  3. So nice to see she had a lovely day (and still beautiful, probably moreso).

    I read something last year about a mum who realised they never spent any time together on her childrens birthdays, too busy preparing for the party "go play honey, I'm sweeping the porch".

    So this time she asked her child what THEY wanted to do on their birthday, and did what they wanted to do all day. They went to the park, and the beach, had pizza for dinner and had a cake at home with family. Saying it was the best birthday they'd had.

    Nice to get back to a single focus of sharing a special day together. ..xxx.

  4. Happy birthday Marlo!!
    I don't think I've ever seen a real life pinterest party.
    The ones around here are pretty low key.
    And you're right, in the end they really just want to play in the cubby.

  5. Wow, that friend of yours sounds awesome.

    And speaking of awesome, those cupcakes.

    PS. @flossy-p: the blog post you're referring to is this one - http://crappypictures.com/two-birthdays-funeral/ I loved it too.

  6. We had super small low-key birthday parties this year too. The kids both said they were "the best birthdays ever" and they were actually enjoyable for the grown-ups too. Win-win!!

    Happy birthday Marlo xxx

  7. I too have been put off by images on pintrest. I was contemplating on having a baby shower but so many of them are over the top. I just want cheese and biscuits, something small. I do love the cupcakes yours look authentic. I hope my kids enjoy wild creations as they get older.

  8. Your party looks just lovely! And I second the idea of having someone stay longer. We do this, but with another family, for all of our kids birthdays. The dads put on a barbecue, swimmers and sprinklers come out as the lazy afternoon stretches out until bedtime.

  9. It looks like you all had a beautiful, happy birthday party - yay for keeping low-key and remembering the important bits xx


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