Birthdays in a family of eleven
I was a killer 'Birthday Mom' for my kids when they were little; inviting twenty kids to a party was normal, and we have had Star Wars themes, princess themes, costumes, face painting, bubble machines, smoke machines and so much more. Now can you imagine doing that for eleven kids? The price alone is staggering, just figure in the time and preparation and oh exhaustion...no, please.
My parents made a rule we could have one theme party in our lives. One big splash. Most of us did this at a young age because we were little and just couldn't wait. Mine was my fifth birthday. We did a PJ dress up party, and I loved it. I think not having a party every year made it even better. After that, I had a party, but it was family plus one event. As a teen, I might have squeezed a few more friends over to sleep in a tent and giggle outside, but it wasn't organized by my Mom and certainly not a themed event or a party by any means.
My favorite birthdays to this day are small events with family and a few friends. Yesterday was my birthday and the evening was lovely. Just family, a few friends, some burgers, and life is good. Being raised in this big family meant sacrificing a lot of things but I never saw it as a sacrifice...I love my little birthday parties, and couldn't be happier with the simple pleasures in life. My kids are older now and want smaller birthdays. I think they see the joy I have from mine and have followed suit. Sometimes less is more.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife