Tips from Sara to survive birthday party season… if you’re the organiser!
I’ve been a mama for over 3 years now and like my mum I believe in birthday parties. I sometimes wish I were that mum who has a quiet cake-cutting and bowl of icecream at home and snaps a few candid photos, but I have my mama’s genes. And those genes tell me it needs to be big and I need to do it myself and if I don’t look absolutely exhausted with a rash from the extra-strength Super Glue on one hand and random feathers still stuck to my jeans then how will people know I’m the mama?
But this year I got some help. No, not therapy. The Big Moo. And a few others. Because in the midst of planning my three year old’s birthday (and wanting to make it special since last year she got a baby brother as a present and this year she’s getting another baby brother as an early Christmas present)… I got the fever. You know. Birthday party fever. Where planning a few friends to come over escalates into a duo-kid event. Enter the party planners. Because being 3rd-trimester tired and brain-fatigued, I needed help.
First, let’s break down the pain points involved in birthday parties.
What makes a kids’ birthday party a success for an adult:
- Something to eat other than chicken fingers and French fries
- Somewhere clean to pee
- Other “normal” parents to socialise with
- Doing the cake early enough, as in not at the very end when the kids are overhyped on sugar and become over-overhyped on the way home and do one of the following: a) pee, b) puke, c) have a tantrum, or d) all of the above
What makes a kids’ birthday party a success for a child:
- Loud music
- More sugar
- Giveaways that include candy
- Some sort of activity that involves bubbles, water, sand, or better yet—all three!
What makes a kids’ birthday party a success for mamas in Dubai who need help?
1. Kakes by Me and her amazing creations. Finally a cake that looks and tastes as good as it looks. Sounds so cliché but it’s so so true. Oh, and they were the best for putting up with my indecisive nature. I wasn’t quite as bad as that mum who changes theme last minute, but I was pretty close by integrating a baby boy’s party into a toddler girl’s special day. From original cake pops to cute-looking clam and seashell and starfish cookies, the dessert table looked immaculate!
2. BookMunch Café for feeding so many hungry bellies! It’s been beyond refreshing working with a company that mitigates kids’ unhealthy habits with healthy and appetising options. The mini-sized treats were too good to pass up and the only problem we faced was everyone wanting a lot of everything!
3. A dear old friend of mine and my kids is Dubai Drums and so a birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without them. Festive and energetic they had age-appropriate games and songs to entertain even my husband who resisted dancing for as long as he could!
4. The Studio for all the beautiful photos, making sure each was “magic” (ummm maybe they photoshopped those tantrums out) so that each one was a keeper.
5. Remelie and Richard and their amazing voices at the Sofitel because they really managed to turn the function room into an opera house with the power of their voices alone.
6. Last but certainly not least, I’m so thankful to have found The Big Moo events company or as I like to call them “no boo hoo” where they combatted every worry and silenced any doubt that this would be a successful event… you know, because you only turn 1 and 3 once! Special shout out to Lina Manuel who was such a find and I really felt like I was throwing ideas back and forth with a sister who reined in the fever ideas—like having a 20-man orchestra just for the introduction to sing her happy birthday—and support better ideas like cute homemade juice boxes. Doable, practical and adorable. It felt so much more relaxing to have someone hold my hand through it all and after what feels like 1,001 voicenotes later, the birthday extravaganza is over, I haven’t delivered (thank God) and I’m busy opening gifts and sending out thank yous. I really would recommend working with The Big Moo for their unique ideas, fun-loving attitude and stamina!