Follow Us!


Birthday party stress


From my fortnightly column published in The Coffs Coast Independent (7/6/2012)




Oh the pressure. I am in the process of planning a birthday party for my (soon to be) 3 year old son.

Now I will freely admit I find kid’s birthday parties very stressful. Not going to them because all I have to do is show up with a present and two kids in (semi) clean clothes. But organising a birthday party is another matter. It might stem from when I was little and had a somewhat irrational fear that my friends would be bored at my birthday party or worse still, not even show up!

My poor, deprived 3 year old son has never really had a birthday party. Of course, we’ve had family gatherings and dinners for his other two birthdays but never one with all his friends gorging themselves on lollies and cake.

In contrast some of my friends throw parties for their kids every single year! One of them has four kids, four parties a year and she doesn’t seem to get stressed in the slightest with 20 kids running around her house.

Browsing on the internet for ideas this party business seems to have reached whole new levels.  I came across a Lego party which looked like something out a magazine. The mother had even replaced water bottle logos with Lego logos, chocolate wrappers with Lego wrappers and had the most amazing Lego cake you could ever dream of. Everything from games to decorations to party bags was Lego themed – the whole shebang, Lego themed!

When I was a kid the parties were a lot simpler:  we played good old fashioned games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, pass the parcel (where there was only ONE present, not one in every layer!) and musical chairs. We ate chocolate crackles, fairy bread and butterfly cupcakes and drank orange Cottee’s cordial. All our cakes were very carefully chosen from the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book.

For my 3 year olds party I am going (somewhat) all out: having a rainbow theme (which is easy really, just lots of colourful stuff) and there will be over 20 kids invited. The cake I have chosen is a 6 layer cake, rainbow colours – every layer weighed and measured for exact rainbow stripe accuracy. Yes, I could make things easier on myself I know, but I feel that because my children don’t get parties that often that I want to make them extra-special when they do.

My family are on notice: they will be delegated their respective jobs but I know despite the best planning and organising in the world I will still be stressing out days before and during the party.

Lucky it finishes at 5pm so I can have a wine ready to go. It wasn’t planned that way… no really it wasn’t!

Categories : Alison's Blog


  1. Kristie Bajo says:

    We are a local Coffs harbour business who custom design birthday party packs to entertain the kids at parties!
    packs include colouring -in mazes, puzzles, dot to dots and pencils and feature your childs name on the front. You can even use them as a lolly bag or thank you to your guests for coming. Heaps of themes to choose from including Mermaid, cowboy, pirate, circus and princess…

    Check us out

  2. […] of you  might have read my column in The Coffs Coast Independent a couple weeks ago “Birthday Party Stress“  – well here is the result! My son’s 3rd Birthday “Rainbow” […]

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to

Get the latest updates delivered via email