Birthday Party Woes

I’m feeling super guilty this year….  Porter turns 5 on Monday and we are NOT having a birthday party for him.  We decided, instead, to take him to Great Wolf Lodge this coming Thursday-Saturday (we are meeting up with Lori, Don and the girls so he’ll get to spend the weekend with family/cousins).  I know he’s going to be SO excited about Great Wolf Lodge but all he keeps talking about is a birthday party with friends from school!  I feel terrible because 1) he’s turning 5… which is kind of a big deal birthday to me  and 2) he’s in school all week so he has friends he is close to at school and he’s also been invited to a few of their b-days as well.

I did make plans for Donnie and Aubri (and Lukas, possibly) to come over on Monday (his b-day… and no school b/c of President’s Day!) to play.  We’re going to do a Spiderman Pinata, decorate cupcakes and let the kids play for a bit.  He will wake up Monday morning to Birthday Balloons (this year… ALL green!) as goes our newest tradition.  And after Ryan gets home I plan to wow him with a GREEN layered cake with GREEN frosting and a GREEN Lego Dump Truck on top, and GREEN plates, GREEN napkins and GREEN cups.  Our presents to him are going to be roller blades and a “Surprise: Great Wolf Lodge!” present (a green striped towel, green scuba mask, new swim trunks and a brochure and pictures of Great Wolf Lodge).

In my head I’m thinking “I’ve done a good job… I’ve done TONS of things to make him feel special this birthday… I’m not failing because we’re not having the normal party decked out with a cute theme.”  But I can’t help but feel I’m letting him down because all he seems to wish for this year is a party with his friends!  GRRRR.

So, what do you typically do for birthdays?  Do you have a party with friends for your kids?  Do you just have family over?  Is it quiet and intimate with just immediate family that live in the house?  What would you do if you were to replace a party with a trip to a fun place?  Is 5 too young for them to realize the “swap”?


  1. I would think he would be so excited about the GWL! Don't be so hard on yourself Nic! I remember those days when the 5's were 'the last year for the last big-hoorah' but, the big parties were so exhausting & it became more focused on celebrating the kids when we just celebrated their birthdays with them with a special event :)You are doing a special event for Porter with his family for his birthday & he will remember that!Great job Mom!!

  2. We did a BIG 5th birthday for Lincoln this year and we were talking about how every year it feels like it should be bigger/better. But we decided that next year we'd let him pick 2-3 friends and do something special. It's such a hard call, but personally I think Porter got the best of all worlds. Celebration at school, one at home with friends and a whole bunch of green stuff AND GWL. Lincoln LOVES it there! Porter will think he's the luckiest guy ever. I think you did great!

  3. This is the first year we did a birthday party with Nathan's entire school class invited and let's just say I wasn't a big fan. Too much chaos, too much $ spent on things that were 'disposable' and frankly, too many toys many of which he hasn't opened yet. We usually just do family and a few friends and that is what I plan on doing next year again. Nathan would pick GWL over a big party any day and I am sure Porter will love it too. Beware of MagicQuest (if you are going to the one in Traverse City).

  4. you are totally being too hard on yourself. first, all of the things you have done sound AWESOME! he will love it. and if he were to ever ask why he didn't get to have friends over – tell him he gets to when he turns SIX! :)for us, tucker had his first 'friend' party last year with three of his friends (and their moms are my friends) over. this year, he's made a couple new friends in preschool and wants to invite them – he has been talking about his birthday for MONTHS. so, he'll have a kid party on the weekend and then on his actual birthday (monday) we'll have some family over. however, i'm only inviting five of his little friends over so … things don't get too crazy!by the way – tucker is obsessed with GREEN too! don't worry about it too much – sounds like his birthday week is going to be awesome!

  5. I'm always wondering where to draw the line with birthday parties. Well, with spoiling my kids in general. I think he'll be happy with whatever you do for him, honestly, but I know how hard it is to feel like you should be doing more because you love him so much.Being a mom is hard.

  6. Yeah. I am waaay late in reading this. But anyway.. I think you did an awesome job making Porter's birthday special. The most important things are not giving him a ton of presents or having a bazillion people over, though those certainly are nice too. The most important thing is that you make him feel loved, and by judging from all of his birthday pictures, you did just that! Happy (belated) Birthday, Porter!! 🙂

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