There are many ways to get consumed with birthday party preparations for your child and let it push you into paralysis. What food to serve? Where to get it? What type of cake? Goodie bags, or no? How long should the party last? What’s the best day for everyone? 

Here are a few tips to take the stress out of the planning, ensuring that you, your guests, and your child can focus on the fun and celebration of the day.

1. Plan ahead

This is the most important element of your strategy. It will be best to begin thinking about your child’s party several months beforehand and actively planning it several weeks before. Invitations need to be mailed or emailed, food and other items need to be ordered, and goodies need to be purchased. Like most things in life, the more lead time you give yourself, the better off you’ll be.

2. Set a budget

Many of us are always trying to maximize our dollars to get the most bang for our buck. If you can take advantage of the time to prepare and determine what your costs will be, you can get a good idea of how much money you’ll need for the party and plan accordingly. That will be a major stress reliever and give you time to save up or find ways to pay for the shindig.

3. Remember that it doesn't need to be perfect

This might be the biggest stress reducer of all, but remember that you’re not responsible for creating the perfect party. Whatever your planning is for kids to enjoy, after all. Sure, some of your friends might be there and you'll want to impress them, but that cannot be your focus. It’s not out about making the perfect appetizer or having a spotless home. Be kind to yourself and remember that no one should be judging you. 

4. Keep it simple

We’ve all been to kid birthday party’s where the decorations, goodie bags, and activities seem way over the top. Sure, it’s fun for the kids, but it looks like it took a ton of work, planning, and money to pull off. It also might look like the host wanted to go a little over the top. Remember that you don’t have to do this. It’s ok to be low-key. Snacks, drinks, and pizza are fine. A bounce house is fun, but a backyard full of games or other activities is fine, too. Kids are kids, and they’ll have fun just being together. 

5. Enlist some help

If you’re planning a party with 20, 30, or more coming to your home, make sure that you have a designated person by your side to help you get the food ready, host activities, and keep the party moving. Maybe a family member or friend can fulfill that role. Just having that extra person ready to assist will alleviate a lot of your worry and anxiety.