Friday, 15 October 2010

Hi! My name is MultipleMum and I am a chronic under-celebrater.

I was reading Sister A's post yesterday and it occurred to me how differently we manage our children. I have, of course, had this realisation before, but not within the context of preparing our children for birthday parties.

I have a tendency to 'under celebrate'. This takes to form of 'under-gifting', 'low-key entertaining', and 'piking' from stuff whenever possible.

Don't get me wrong now. I really do know how to enjoy myself, and frequently do, but I just don't make a big deal about birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, new year's eves or other 'must-dos'. I don't know why exactly but the 'post-event downer' probably has something to do with it.

I am aware of the issues associated with my disengagement with life's traditions and on one hand I want to improve my performance in this arena. On the other, I know I am too disorganised and 'maxed out' to make it happen in the near future.

Anyway, I digress...

So I was busily reading Life in a Pink Fibro's account of how excited my two nephews are about their cousin's pirate/mermaid party at the weekend, when it realised that I haven't even mentioned the party to the kids since the day we received the invitation! At the time we oohed and aahed, wrote the date on the calendar, discussed possible outfit options, and then we forgot about it.

So while Team Fibro have been practising their sword fighting and perfecting their pirate speak, we have been doing nothing to prepare for the party (except that I made a guilt-inspired trip to late-night shopping to kit out 3 pirates and a mermaid last night).

Perhaps my under-celebrating is starting to effect my children's fun? Is not the 'build up' to a big event often more fun than the actual event? Am I denying them more than just the excitement of hours of plank walking, ahoy-there-me-hearties-ing, and fake tattoo selection?

The Geege is different to me in this department. For example, he has already spilled the beans about our upcoming trip to Fiji for Christmas (more on that later). He thinks he has added to the holiday by giving it a 3 month lead-time. I  think it is already driving me mad that Nugget and/or Doo Dah asks me every morning if they are going on the plane today!

There must be a happy medium? Somewhere between my chronic 'expectation management' approach and the Geege's joyous over-communication approach? I don't really want to create four Mini-me bah humbug types after all.

I certainly do not know the answer. I may just have to ask my sister.

What are you like with all of this? Do you tend to 'spill the beans' or hold your cards close to your chest when it comes to parties and other celebrations?

14 comments:

Posie Patchwork said...

Oh yes, i get my value from invitations or holidays, i drop the bomb of excitement just when they least expect it & pow, total hype & fun. As my 4 are older, i can then use the party as a potential threat to steer them towards good behaviour, it's like the gift that keeps on giving. Work it baby work it!!
Holidays, again, have to be in school holidays, they are few & far between so we pump them up. It certainly lengthens the whole holiday-we're-actually-leaving-the-house experience!! You'll get used to it, then wait until your 4 have up to 20 different birthday parties in the human breeding season that is September, then you'll groan & hope to lose a few of those party invitations. Believe me, i had to buy 35 gifts for other people's children in September this year. Love Posie

Kristy said...

Oh, wow, I am low key entertainment as well and I have an ONLY child! I'm really not into the big deal type THEMED stuff or what have you. Rather just have some (short) family time. :)

x0xJ said...

I'm a tad in the middle. Some things i will tell the kids of in advance, it's all case by case and how much preperation i think they would need for something. But i mostly tend to tell them the day before something, giving them time to get excited, but also keeping it real for them and not expecting them to wait ZOMG FOREVERRR MAWM! as i would be told by Master B, lol.

Lucy said...

I suspect I worked in hospitality too long to ever be excited by the "big days". And I am a grinch about Christmas.

But for their birthdays and the birthdays of their (local) cousins, it is ON. Homemade countdown calendars, preparations, special trips to purchase pressies, wrapping sessions, costume try ons, daily "how many sleeps until....."

But I can relate, none the less....

Maxabella said...

Oh, you know me, over the top. We celebrate something pretty much most days which I know is just as bad in the opposite direction. I just get very enthusiastic about most things... See you on Saturday. I didn't expect dress-ups (in fact, I'm providing some extras) but I'm glad you've entered the festivities! x

Kelly said...

I am a bit random when it comes to celebrations. Sometimes I go all out and other times I just can't be bothered.

I'm with you though - I rarely tell my children about a special event until the day before. Otherwise they constantly pester me about it and it drives me nuts.

DancingInTheRain said...

I like some build up but agree you dont want months of pestering. I do love to throw a kids party though so I can be thinking about it for months!

life in a pink fibro said...

Most of the time I'm low-key, but I have two children with memories like elephants. We got the invite and they began planning their outfits. I held them off until five days before the party and then off to Spotlight we went. Three months of 'are we going on the plane today?' would drive me INSANE.

Gill@OurParklife said...

oh I am also a total under celebrator.I can't help it, i came from a family of under celebrators! We like to have fun of course but we don't do big 21sts, anniversaries, birthdays etc. I am trying to change as I have come to see the value in celebrating. My partners family are HUGE celebrators and I think he has got a bit of a shock at the low key family do's with my relatives...

I did a random unit at uni years called "Myth, Ritual and Magic" (i know, odd, but hey I minored in Philosophy!) and the unit discussed the importance of customs and celebrations for a person's sense of self...At the time I was cynical, now, I see its value...

(BTW - Thanks for your supportive comment on my body image post today...it was HARD to write)

Gill xo

Gill@OurParklife said...

oh I am also a total under celebrator.I can't help it, i came from a family of under celebrators! We like to have fun of course but we don't do big 21sts, anniversaries, birthdays etc. I am trying to change as I have come to see the value in celebrating. My partners family are HUGE celebrators and I think he has got a bit of a shock at the low key family do's with my relatives...

I did a random unit at uni years called "Myth, Ritual and Magic" (i know, odd, but hey I minored in Philosophy!) and the unit discussed the importance of customs and celebrations for a person's sense of self...At the time I was cynical, now, I see its value...

(BTW - Thanks for your supportive comment on my body image post today...it was HARD to write)

Gill xo

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

I think I sit somewhere in the middle. Parties coming up I usually tell the kids the day before, not because I don't want to tell them...I just usually forget, until I look at the calendar to see whats happening the next day.
Christmas and birthdays love it. New Years and easter- pah!

Suzanne said...

Coming to Fiji - yipeeeeee!!!! Are you going to stay with us. So hope so. Let me know the details via email. Wooo hooo.

Busy Working Mama said...

Take me with you to Fiji!!!

I love a party and event. I love to organize parties - I don't do the whole themed thing well, though - but I love having people over, kids running around. I'm already planning out the holidays. The only thing that makes me grumpy about certain events is that our family is scattered all over and we have to travel...and my husband's family does NOT plan ahead. Drives me bonkers. I'm ready to start plans for 2011 :)

Happy Monday!

Nadiah said...

I think you should just go with what you're doing. You've said a lot about what's bad about not getting into those rituals, but (and I may be biased being like you myself) there are plus sides as well. If your partner is the other way, then your kids will get a balanced perspective on how to approach celebrations and events from between the two of you.

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