young kids in a ball pit at a birthday party

Dear stressed out Mama,

It was 12 o’clock (Midnight) and I was still up making cardboard Paw Patrol badges when I suddenly questioned every step in my life that led me to that moment. 

What on earth was I doing staying up at all hours gluing Paw Patrol badges??? 

I get it! You want to make your child’s birthday party magical and perfect. But it also sends chills down your spine. Whether you’re hosting one, or just have to take your kids to one, is it really how us mums want to be spending our time?

Well, no. But of course we do it, because that’s what us mums (and dads) do. 

Have you ever looked around at a child’s birthday party and noticed how stress out the hosts look? In trying to plan the perfect celebration for our kid, many of us fret over every detail and overextend ourselves and our budgets. 

All you want is everyone to be blissfully happy. And you want some amazing photos for your Instagram feed. 

But sweetheart, you are so tired, and confused from scanning every Pinterest post looking for the perfect themes, decoration and designer cake. Maybe you have already put a tonne of work into it already and now you’ve had it!

Or, perhaps you are simply realising all the hours (and $$$$$) it’s going to take to make the party a reality. 

Girl, I seriously know how you feel. I’ve been there and felt exact the same way. 

And my friend, I have some great news for you. Unless putting on an amazing party brings you immense joy, you can stop all this planning RIGHT now.

You don’t have to sacrifice your life at the detriment of your children’s parties. 

You don’t have to experience all this insane birthday stress.

And you can still be a Rockstar Muma and host. 

In fact, I would argue that NOT stressing yourself out will actually ultimately bring your child more happiness and will help you be a better mum than what you already are. 


Your child does not need this party. Your child can experience the joy and magic of turning another year older without it giving you grey hairs and forcing you into sleep deprivation. 

Crazy stress is not the only way for a fun and exciting party. 

But I get you. 

Despite a headache and serious sleep deprivation, I was determined to have a picture-perfect Paw Patrol party for my 3-year-old. I was looking at the pile of badges I had spent hours making FOR A DECORATION (eyeroll *🙄*) and it was like: This. Is. Ridiculous.

And it was.

But like so many mums I got caught up wanting a picture-perfect Pinterest/Instagram-worthy birthday party. 

So, some real questions here: Who exactly is the fancy birthday for? 

Is it your child? Other mums? Social media? For yourself? A combination?

If I was answering in that moment with the tutus, I would have to admit it was for all those reasons. While creating a magical experience for my son was my primary motivation, it was not my only motivation. I’m 100% I would have gone about things differently. 

As you know, kids find joy in the simplest things. A cardboard box or kitchen utensils can keep kids busy for hours while the mountains of toys gather dust. 

I’m telling you mama – your child doesn’t need a fancy party to have fun and feel special. 


Just days after my stressful and exhausting dinosaur birthday party, I went to a party for one of my son’s friends. And this mum had it figured out.

 It was in their big backyard at home, they had some playground equipment (trampoline & swings) and they hired a ball pit and bouncy castle. They served up home-made sandwiches (with simple fillings such as ham & cheese), heated up some (bought) sausage rolls, and a platter of fruit & supermarket cupcakes while the mum chattered completely stress-free with the other mums, and the kids played happily. 

No gift bags, no decorations, no games. Just a bunch of happy kids and relaxed parents.

Frankly, this mum was a birthday party “God”. 

Ok, I know we don’t all have a big backyard with room for a bouncy castle, but this mum had it figured out! 

She used the resources that were easily at her disposal and she kept it super simple. 

While I ran around at my son’s birthday party exhausted and frantically and still traumatised by it all, my mum friend sat relaxed and happy with all the other mums. She appeared to be enjoying herself. 

The difference couldn’t have been more opposite.


Can I let you in on a little secret? I’ve come to realise that a successful kids birthday party really only needs 3 things: Frosting, Fun and Friends. 

That’s it. Really 

No birthday stress needed.


Remember mama, at the end of the day, what your kids most is a happy, healthy mum, who takes care of herself. What will shape their future is feeling loved by you and connected. Not a party.

So, go hug your kid and get some sleep, my friend. You’ve got this!

Written by local mum, Emma Orchard.

For more ideas about planning your little’s one birthday party visit our Parties & Events section in the Business Directory. Here, you’ll find local businesses that can help you with birthday gifts, venue hire, entertainers, photographers and more. Have fun, mamas!

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