A self-hosted birthday party lets you and your child build a wonderland that is uniquely your own. You get to go on a planning adventure together, adding every piece of magic until you have an event that expresses both of your personalities. The result is not enjoyed solely on the day itself, only to vanish in the aftermath of candy wrappings and leftover red velvet cupcakes.  Instead, the organizing phase creates a new bond with your child and memories that don’t disappear quite as easily as a single day at the local picnic grounds would.

Control, Creativity, and Simplicity

Children often have more fun with their gift wrappings than their gifts. For them, life is all about the fun, not the cost and frills. Filtered into party philosophy, that means they only want to feel treasured–and do plenty of splashing and bouncing. Keeping things simple is unlikely to spoil the fun and nor are mistakes. Lack of caring will, though, and that’s what party hosting companies are good at.

Breathe deeply and remember that planning is a complicated odyssey for every mom. When you’re going the home route, you have the power to make the party as small or daunting as your whims allow. Your cost and space issues are within your control, because the sheer enormity of the party vending industry means even the smallest and simplest razzle-dazzle can be ordered, paid for (economically) and forgotten about until the day arrives.

False Economy

Your purse is one of the first things that is going to start heating up in your pocket when you think about hosting a home party. The general, but false, consensus is that hosting at a restaurant is lighter on the bank account. This is not always the case. Your restaurant has a menu with prices that don’t change according to your preferences, no matter how sly your strategizing is. If you’re committed to saving, a self-hosted party will morph to your budget through Scrooge-worthy planning.

Decorations and snacks are your primary cost concerns. Décor is an easy hurdle to leap over. Bedazzles and a week’s worth of art projects can whip up enough tissue flowers and streamer decorations to make even a seven-year-old girl feel she’s had her share of Technicolor and glitz. As for the snacks, no mom gets away with offering an empty smorgasbord, but when planning, remember how your kids spent their last party: odds are that the attention was on the water slide, not the party favors. Many a mother has ended a party wondering why she baked more than one cake. Focus on the fun and penny-pinch on the things that were ignored at your last party.

Building the Fun

When you find an outside host for your child’s birthday party, someone else creates the landscape, atmosphere, and games. Your home party is your opportunity to sparkle, and your child’s enthusiasm will be your inspiration. If you want a magician, you’re the one with the ‘abracadabra’ that makes that happen exactly as you’d like it to. If your child is a water baby, no restaurant manager with a face like Voldemort’s is leering over you saying, “Well…no.”

If you’re looking into the mirror and noticing your lack of resemblance to Martha Stewart, there are ways to kick your intimidation to the curb. You needn’t stuff your own invitation envelopes or bake your own shortcakes. That’s what vendors are for. Rentals and planners are all a terrified mom needs to replace her Xanax:  Today’s businesses do everything from delivering the jumping castle to creating the entire scene, theme and all.