There are times, as fathers, that we’ve got to get out of our comfort zone. While you find that making an upgrade to your home is firmly within your comfort zone, but the more emotional aspects, or even full-on childcare duties can seem almost like a foreign language. Sometimes, we need to do a little bit more of the things that we’re not necessarily a dab hand at. Perhaps you use the excuse that there are parts of life that are best suited to the mother. But when something really important happens, like a child’s birthday party, and you’ve got to do it without your partner’s input, you could very well feel over your head. But, that is no need to feel like this. In fact, it’s pretty straight-forward, as long as you have your common sense hat on…
Think Of The Audience
In terms of any event planning, you should always think of the audience. In this case, it’s your child’s friends. Think of the age group, and from there, coming up with the appropriate decorations, themes, and activities won’t be so difficult. Sometimes we can feel quite out of our depth because we have no idea if Dory is from Frozen or Toy Story (hint: it’s Finding Nemo), and this is doubly so if they are at an awkward age where their tastes are changing every other day. But, the simplest aspect of this is to speak to your child. What do they want? Granted, if money is an obstacle, there has got to be a cut-off point. But if your child wants a specific theme, everything else can be geared towards it. Likewise, with the age of the people attending, you’re going to think about suitable entertainment. For toddlers or babies, perhaps having a clown isn’t the best idea? But on the other hand, having an Ariel or Belle character turn up to interact with the children can add that age appropriateness to the event, as well as that bit of magic.
Ensure Everybody Is Fed
You might think that there is no point putting on a big spread because there aren’t going to be many children. But no doubt, what happens is that you don’t put enough food on and end up making a dash for the shops halfway through the party. Hungry guests are dissatisfied guests, and this is when they are old enough to express their dissatisfaction! Imagine the tantrums that are going to be on display with children under the age of 10!
Also, you’ve got to think about dietary requirements, having some sort of healthy food on display, but also having the all-important cake! What might happen if there’s not enough cake to go round so some children are left disappointed. Make sure you do the maths so you cut equal slices of the cake. But as a backup plan, you might think it’s worth getting a Victoria sponge cake to buy, just in case pressures on the day mean that you end up giving the vast majority of the cake away. It’s always worth having a spare cake, and just make sure that it’s the same as the main cake itself.
Doing The Admin
When you think of the audience and the guests, preparation is always key. You might think that your child has plenty of friends, and they will turn up regardless. But we’ve got to make sure that the parents are kept in the loop as well. Send out the invites as early as possible; that way you’ve got a good idea of the number of people coming, children and parents, so you can prepare the food and entertainment accordingly. If you intend to have the party in your house, you’d better think about preparing the home so a child doesn’t end up causing damage to some prized lamp in the corner of the room.
You might think that if there are clearly defined boundaries, this would be enough, but children love to play in every nook and cranny! Any room becomes an opportunity to play hide and seek! But as summer is pretty much upon us, the chances are that you’re thinking about the back garden as the venue. But because of this temperamental British weather, you’ve got to have a backup plan in place. As nice as it is to have a back garden full of children’s toys, paddling pools, slides, and everything to ensure that all the children have a fantastic time, you’ve got to have an additional plan just in case it decides to rain cats and dogs. If the weather is warm, but it’s still raining, you might want to think about hiring a marquee or buying some sort of shelter. That way, there’s no need for the children to stay in a stuffy house. As they say, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. When it comes to a kid’s birthday party, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
On The Day Itself…
You’ve prepared everything, and you reckon you’ve got all the bases covered; now it’s time for you to prepare for the day in your mind. It can be quite a stressful thing to keep on top of all this mess, as well as having kittens every time a child plays dangerously close to a hazard. Preparing for the party means getting rid of every single hazard in place, but also having a first aid box on hand just in case. If the parents are attending as well, it’s their responsibility to look after their children. But if it’s just you and not another adult in sight, it’s about developing that tone of voice that’s nice, but stern at the same time. After all, you don’t want these children to have an accident.
And one of the best pieces of advice when going through the party itself; be sure that you clean up as you go. Yes, you will have a lot of mess to clean up throughout the entire day. But it’s your choice; would you rather have to clean up the entire bombsite afterwards, or have a bin liner on hand so you can clean up as you go? And, once the children have gone home, and you are left with (hopefully) not too much mess, you can sit back, have that well-earned beer, and hopefully feel you’ve done a good job, until it’s time to do it all over again!