Is a joint birthday party a good idea?

Ideas for the best joint birthday party

An influential force in the village that is helping me raise my children is our preschool community, a quirky, community-minded cohort of families. For example: each eldest class in the school nominates a name for themselves, and Sawyer is a proud member of the Rainbow Penguins (#howberkeleycanyoube).

This weekend, we co-hosted a fourth birthday party with three other Rainbow Penguin families to celebrate the last cluster of children turning the big 0-4. Because we were already planning to invite the same guests, it seemed like a no-brainer to join forces.  Of course, I learned a few lessons that I want to share.

Pro-tips for throwing a joint birthday party (from an amateur)

One person needs to drive the train. Whether it is organizing location, determining theme, or choosing the menu, let someone be the boss of the plan. For this party, our boss was another mama; she kept us all on task, sent out invitations, and loosely themed the party around Rainbow Penguins. Boom.

Rainbow penguin sticker

Agree on a budget. Boring, but critical. By teaming up, does that mean we all will chip in for that $600 laser tag party that I’d never do on my own? Or are we merely sharing the load for a more fantastic bubble BBQ at the park? Either way, get on the same page before booking the fire juggler and bounce houses. (more…)

The lasts of the firsts, part two

First day at daycare

About a year ago, I wrote moodily about the lasts being harder to notice than the firsts. And as my (last) baby approaches his fourth birthday, I’m feeling it all again. Earlier this week, we had his first day of (his next year of) preschool. Oh sure, the school barely closed for a week in […]

Links rookie moms should know about: August 2015


I think I just adopted a cat. We’ve been fostering kittens for a couple of years, getting a new batch every few months and then sending them off to be adopted after they’re big enough to be immunized and fixed. But this one, who is sitting on my lap, seems to belong here. She is […]

Online photo exhibition: Not MY Family Values

Rookie Moms reader Becky Senf is a museum curator of photography in Phoenix, Arizona. She sent me a link to an online collection of photos she has assembled on Art Photo Index (API). It is a thought-provoking exhibition with beautiful images of family life around the world. Her text addresses the phenomenon of being judged […]