Whilst reading the Guardian online the other morning I came across an article entitled “Children’s parties a winning formula for entrepreneurs”. Whilst the Article had a business slant on how this business idea has taken off for some entrepreneurs the light bulb moment came when the words average spend of €191 per party was mentioned and parents are booking these events, up to three months in advance of the child’s birthday!


Am I the only parent who has had my fair share of tightening the belt till I can’t spend 2 pence on a frivolous Interior Design Magazine for myself or has that lovely word recession passed many by as quick as the A1 Exit off the M1 from Belfast to Dublin and you end up in Dungannon. Are we losing the run of ourselves? Are we losing something precious that we had when we were young and banishing it off forever - The aul Birthday party in the Home.


Nostalgia I know plays a part in my memories be it the Fancy Dress at my 12th Birthday, when my aunty dressed up as Tina Turner with Boot Polish on her face until she remembered it had to come off – which it didn’t for a few days! Or the time when at a Birthday party in a pals house the kitchen went up in flames and the sight of Fireman Sam arriving to save the day was the most impressive party piece ever! Sometimes keeping it smiple can bring a lot more to the event and carve out lovely memories for the Child. Having the nearest and dearest around you at milestone birthdays and not a full class of Kids you only know because they’re name comes after yours in the roll call in School.


In our pursuit of giving our babies everything their little hearts desire and sometimes more than their little brain can cope with, are we setting ourselves and the nippers up for a fall? Christmas is coming too fast for me and with all the expenses associated with Birthdays, Halloween, Christmas and the lot I wonder if I as a parent am getting it wrong – Am I creating a little monster? Am I the overachieving parent, who’s misguided desire to show love in a monetary sense is bringing more plastic happiness than what I can actually afford? And not real happiness that will last forever?


We all strive to be the best parents, especially us mammies. But sometimes it’s a worthwhile exercise to stop and take stock of all the good we do and all the great memories we can create with our kids when we keep it simple. I’m talking out loud here and if I’ve learnt anything with the Recession of late, I know I can show love to my kids in more ways than opening the wallet, especially when it’s empty anyway.


We put so much pressure on ourselves as parents to please, that we might just think back to what made us happy and gave us lasting memories. We might be surprised to hear that the Xbox that was brought into the house a few years ago won’t get a mention in greater scheme of things and so my motto for the new year is – Keep it simple, who’s up for the challenge?