How to throw a totally kickass bday party without doing jack shit

Dear Pinterest moms,

You guys are awesome. Amazing. Inspiring. The way you pick a theme for your kid’s birthday party and do it to the nines. Wait, no, to the TENS!!! Your cakes that are too pretty to eat, your food tables that make everyone oooh and ahhh, your pretty little sitting areas under trees surrounded by poufs and Chinese lanterns. And you make it look so easy. And make people like me think we can do awesome shit like that.

So this year when my daughter wanted to have a nature-themed slumber party for her bday (foreshadowing: I’m too lazy to even type out the whole word birthday), I started searching on Pinterest for inspiration, saving your gorgeous pins so I could decide which ones to do.

And then four days before the party I started to panic because I hadn’t done a thing. Shit shit shit, why do I always procrastinate?!!!! So I went to my Pinterest account to see if I could do any of the pins I saved. Hmmm, which board did I save it to? Oh yeahhh, to a board I named “Shit I should never try.” I shit you not, that’s what I named it. To remind myself that this is shit I should never try.

It’s not that I don’t think your pins are amazing. I do. But anytime I try one of them, halfway through the project I’m like WTF was I thinking? And I end up spending $30 on art supplies to make something that looks like I ate a bunch of shit from the art supply store and vomited it out on the table.

So I came to the most brilliant epiphany I’ve ever had. Here’s what I decided to do for her party. Jack shit.

Like this is what your table looks like:

And this is what mine looked like.


And this is what your food looks like:

And here’s mine:

Your sleeping area:


Your cake:


I mean yeah, I totally could have attempted to make a nature-themed bday cake, or I could just send my hubby to Dairy Queen to get an $18 cake in the shape of a log. Nature!!

And I could have bought some fabulous party favors on etsy because we’re only having nine kids, but guess what I said? F it. I jumped onto Amazon and ordered nine stuffed animals. I started to tie ribbons around their necks but then I was like why bother? So I stopped and literally just handed them out to the kids at the beginning of the party.

And I thought about making a dance mix that would have taken time and effort, but then you know what would have happened? I would have been totally disappointed when the girls turned off Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and 99 Luftballoons to listen to a song called Poop Stuck in my Butt. Yes that’s a real song, and no you should not listen to it, and if you ignore my warning please listen to it when your kids aren’t at home or they’ll want to listen to it over and over and over again until you want to stab your eardrums out with an ice pick. But I digress.

Anyways, the party took like zero effort and cost almost nothing and looked like crap. But guess what? The girls didn’t care!!!! They didn’t even notice! They had a blast.

They devoured the pizza and cake, they squealed over their stuffies, they watched a free movie on Netflix, they ate cheap Dollar Tree candy I dumped into bowls, and that was it. I mean yeah bedtime was a pain in the ass and I had to go in there like 9000 times to tell them to go to go the F to sleep, but duhhh, it’s a slumber party. And then in the morning I was going to make a huge pancake breakfast but that would have been stressful and messy so I said screw it.

$9. NINE. And not a single dish to clean.

Wanna know why it all worked? Because kids don’t give a crap. If you offer them an elaborate food table, they’ll eat it, the same way they’ll happily eat a Costco pizza (except for that one kid who’s lactose-intolerant so I got all fancy and nuked some nuggets for her).

So if you’re a Pinterest mom, please keep hosting your elaborate birthday parties and pinning them. I really do like oohing and ahhhing over them but I’m not gonna try and copy them anymore. I think they’re absolutely amazing, but guess what’s NOT absolutely amazing? Me. So I’m not gonna fake it anymore. An average, old-fashioned, boring bday party is good enough for me.


A regular mom

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There are 33 comments for this article
  1. Stacy at 10:22 am

    Did you know that there is a large Ashley Madison ad at the top of this blog post? Not sure what your target audience is but I was surprised to see an ad for an extramarital affair website…

    • Joshua Orlopp at 10:48 am

      The ads are not determined by her, they’re determined by your browser history. My add is for a network firewall that I was shopping for the other day.
      Check your own house for the culprit.

    • BabySideburns at 11:09 am

      Ha ha ha, well, clearly you were looking for some company. Kidding!! I do my ads through Google so they decide what to show to people. I mean I can block ads if I’m feeling extra ambitious, but I’m pretty sure you guys all know how lazy I am.

    • Marie at 10:07 pm

      Ads that you see are actually based on your Internet history. The ad that I saw at the top of this blog was for menstrual cramps.

      • Stacy at 12:58 am

        OK, I wonder if I solved my Ashley Madison mystery. I have been watching Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce on my phone and I probably googled the show title at some point. It’s the only thing I can think of that would get me ads even remotely related to AM.

  2. Lisa J Montague at 11:32 am

    Love this! We’re doing the same this year! I mean, we have a pool, go swim in it and we’ll blow out candles on a delicious Costco cake! **My ad is for shoes, bc I was shopping for shoes. Def not for extramarital affairs. Good luck kiddo!

  3. Kathy Linklater at 11:39 am

    I told my two sons, they could have a party every other year. I don’t like to do parties. They either looked like your party (which everyone loved) or in later years, I held it at an inexpensive venue. Once when one son was in 5th grade, he had a sleepover. One boy gave him a chess set. They all wanted to play chess, so I dragged out the other two sets that we owned. I never thought chess would be the highlight of a 5th grade party.

  4. Stacy at 12:21 pm

    Lol you guys I have no idea how these ads work and can’t imagine what I’ve been searching as the ads I usually see are for things like Poise undergarments. ? Clearly I have some investigating to do…

    On topic, love the no effort bday party. Nice work.

  5. Carol Byrne at 1:21 pm

    Your ice cream cake beats out that other one by a long shot!! and Guess What, kids know how to have fun. I bet your daughter loved it.

  6. Joanna Myers at 1:54 pm

    So true and loved it, as always!! But, my ad was for mascara and not only do I very rarely (actually probably never) google makeup, it practically has to be a cold day in hel* before I’ll even think it’s worth all the time it takes to put it on! Lol

  7. Lisa at 4:42 pm

    My ad was for life insurance. This really made me laugh, since we didn’t even have a party for my son. We took him to dinner at his favorite restaurant with a couple of friends. He turned 10, and he totally gets it now. I am so done with the bday party thing!

  8. April Bergkamp at 6:08 pm

    After having a panic attack prepping for my son’s third birthday I decided that from now on I was going simple. I can’t put my family through that again (we had also moved the month before and were still in the unpacking process).

    My ad was for swimsuits.

  9. Candy Keane | Geek Mamas at 7:27 pm

    It’s SO true. I just went through this with my 3 year olds bday. I pinned all kinds of amazing car themed stuff. Then 4 days before the party I figured 3 year olds don’t give a crap and ordered a few decorations off amazon and food platters from Publix. Done!

  10. Melissa Crawford at 10:06 pm

    was pretty sure you gave Zoey the option of an expensive birthday party or a trip to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique when you went to Disneyland. Either way, you’re right, kids don’t care and if at that age they do, I wouldn’t want them at my kids party 🙂

  11. Cathy at 12:55 am

    Another thing to think about pre-party, aside from the money, the more crap you put out the more you have to put away when the fun is done. Then what do you do with $200 worth of junk that cost too much to throw away yet you know you’ll never use it again vs $20 on Amazon that you can throw away or let your kid hang on their wall until they get tired of it.

    Happy Birthday Miss Zoey! You’re an awesome kiddo!

  12. Red at 11:26 am

    Yes! Do the fancy party if it’s fun for you to do stuff like that (actual real fun, not peer-pressured), and don’t do it if you don’t want to. The kids don’t care, they just want cake and pizza and presents.

  13. Lid at 12:18 pm

    If you have ad tracking turned off itll randomly grab stuff. Mine for business stuff, both of them lol. Also completely irrelevant lol.
    Now to the birthday parties, moms, kids don’t care! They get cake, ice cream, presents, and time with friends and family. They know us moms try and are more excited about what they do have than how much time and effort (and the stress they see us go through trying to get it set up) we put in to it all and are grateful for it. One of my sons is autistic, we don’t get to do parties but I always make sure they get a nice cake (I make them, they chose flavor of cake/frosting and design), icecream and dinner of their choice with some activity they want to do. They’re always happy they get a day to celebrate themselves and dont give 2 hoots about how pretty the table looks, heck even the cake ( I destroyed a dragon cake, it was hideous! Lol), all they truly care about is the love and effort that went in to what we did do for them. How do I know this? My kids told me! I’m not surprised at all Zoey loved it! <3 you do you and keep up the good work!

  14. Pingback: You sent me your hilarious bday party pictures so I'm sharing my favorites

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