Posted: Dec 26, 2012 5:00 AM
Not every mom is a party-planning maven. If the thought of throwing your child’s next birthday party makes you cringe, we’re here to help. These five tips will help you cut down on the party-planning stress. From having the party somewhere other than your own home to not doing party favors (gasp!), your child’s next party will be easy as blowing out the birthday candles!

Pick somewhere that is not your house

Yes, it's going to cost more, but eliminating the stress of having a house full of party guests is worth it. Some party locations will even provide the party favors and cake, if you'd like, so all you have to do is show up with the birthday kid.

Time of day is key to stress-free

Why does time of day matter? It all comes down to food. Having to provide lunch or dinner for an entire party of guests is far more stressful than just doing cupcakes. But if you plan your event during the middle of mealtime, you get stuck making sure people are fed. Try picking a party time that's just after lunch, around 2 p.m.

Throw a kid-only affair

Depending on the age of your child, you might be able to get away with having a drop-off party. And even though a crowd of kids without their parents may sound stressful, it's far less so than having to host adults as well! Children ages 5 and up seem to do well at a drop-off party and you'll want to make sure the invitation is clear, so parents know they don't need to linger.

Buck the trend: No party favors

Gasp! Did we just suggest that? More and more parents are eliminating the party favors portion of their children's birthday party and sending home something easy, like a balloon from the party or a craft that the kids did as a party activity instead. Stop wasting your precious time filling up the perfect party favor bag (that is full of little junk that will break before the guests even get home) and cross off that stressful item from your party planning to-do list ASAP.

Ignore what Pinterest has to say

Throwing simple birthday parties is certainly a dying trend these days -- especially with creativity explosion websites such as Pinterest upping the game. But we promise that your little one isn't going to notice the hand-sewn happy birthday banner hanging across the fireplace mantel or the perfectly tied bows on handmade party favor bags you made. Ditch 'em and all those other insane, stress-induced Pinterest ideas and actually enjoy your child's birthday party!

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