20 August 2013


Welcome to the July edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Celebrations cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about keeping things simple with our kids. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.


Picture the scene if you will, a very large room with a high ceiling, twenty or so excited children running around, the noise levels are high and in we, my eldest and I, walk to a birthday party for one of his friends the first he has attended.  To the children present this is their idea of heaven, to my eldest the epitome of hell.  It was a truly awful experience, the mother of the birthday boy could not comprehend that a child could attend a party and not want to join in the games.  We did not stay for very long.

I knew that he would not enjoy that party but he desperately wanted to go.  We had attended Christmas parties that the nursery he attended held, the first year he sat on my knee though the whole party, he was little and not yet walking.  The next year the noise and bustle actually made him shake with fear, we left soon after arriving.  Despite this when he received an invitation for the party I mentioned at the beginning he really wanted to go, the child had become a good friend and they played often at each others houses and at nursery.  It was really no good explaining to him what the party would be like, he was three nearly four at the time and he had no experience of birthday parties and could not remember the Christmas ones he had hated, my words of explanation meant nothing to him.  So we gave it a go.

We went to no parties for several years after that until he was six and a very good friend he had made invited him to his house for his birthday.  The first thing my eldest said to me was are there going to be games, even though he was very young he clearly remember the experience of the awful party.  I doubted it but did check for him, it was just going to be food and play nothing structured at all.  He loved it.  We have been to other parties since, some ok some not so, where there are games, noise or unfamiliar children he usually sits in another room on to one side often reading a book!  Luckily for us there is no longer any coercion to join in the games so he is totally accepted into the celebration whatever he chooses to do.

When he was coming up to his seventh birthday later he announced that he would like to have a few friends round to play on his birthday.  He was very sure about what he wanted for the day, no games, no singing happy birthday but he did want a cake so he could blow out the candles!   So at age seven he had two friends over for the afternoon they were the first children to celebrate his birthday with him.  He has told me that this is how he wishes to celebrate his birthday for now.  He is a winter baby so it is hard for us to go outside and celebrate as it is often wet and cold on the day.  I know that he would love to be outside in the woods or somewhere similar for the day perhaps when he is a little older we will do that but for now he is content with what we are doing.


Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living and parenthood. We hope you will join us next month when we discuss Money Matters!

  • Parties - sustainablemum explains how and why she keeps her birthday celebrations for her eldest a simple affair at his behest.
  • Simple Birthday Celebrations - Birthdays are kept simple at Living Peacefully with Children. Mandy shares how her family celebrates birthdays without the stress and expense.
  • Countdown to a Simple Christmas - Start now to prepare your house and home for the holidays. Steps to take each month to enjoy a much simpler approach to Christmas.
  • Simply Celebrate - Jorje has tried celebrating kid birthdays BIG and small... which one do you think was more simple? less stressful?
  • That's a Wrap - At Parentwin, Darlena describes her experiences with wrapping gifts and how she has changed her ideals when it comes to gift giving.
  • Simple Celebrations - Laura at Authentic parenting shares how her family keeps celebrations simple.


  1. Sounds like your son's birthday was a lovely affair. My son only wants to invite 2 or 3 closest friends this year and go out for the afternoon and do something with them.

  2. I love that he is not pressured to join in. His own birthday celebration sounds wonderful. I am not a fan of huge noisy parties, so I think I'd like the same thing too!

  3. it is lovely to give him the birthday he wants. my little boy doesn't like groups or noise either, it takes him ages to get used to new places and faces - he is the total opposite of his sisters!

  4. My oldest daughter is a lot like that. At a birthday party for one of her dearest friends, she literally ran screaming across the park because kids were running around with foam swords playing rowdy. The squeaking sound and the commotion put her over the edge. She usually opts for a fun day with just one other family for her own celebration day.

    It's so lovely to be able to support them where they are at and honor their individual preferences.


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