As a mum with fibro, it’s sometimes really hard to rest and recover. Often, you just have to keep going and going to meet the needs of your child. Children are exhausting at the best of times, but when they are hyped up, full of sugar and you are trying to coordinate a group of them at a birthday party, it’s even more so.
My daughter’s birthday parties always bring back memories of the break-in we had 6 years ago and so they are always a challenge to get through, but add in the fibro and it’s a recipe for a full on flare fiasco. I always end up running about like an idiot, coordinating everything and everyone and am absolutely exhausted by the end of the party. While I love to see my daughter and her friends having a great time, it’s usually my health that is secondary.
This year, my daughter turned 10 years old and she wanted to have her party at Jump-Inc; an urban trampoline park in Rotherham. Immediately my thoughts turned to noise, busyness, and bags of stress. It sounded like a 10-year-olds heaven and a fibromite’s hell. Still, I pushed through and got it booked. She invited 10 of her friends to ‘bounce with her’ and the preparations began.
After filling in a booking form and making the payment online back in September, I received an email confirming the birthday girl’s details, the age of the kids and if there were any special dietary requirements. Once all that was confirmed, I set about organising the party bags and the all important birthday cake.
Party bags are always great fun and I love putting them together for the party. This year it was emoji’s all the way. With 2 months available to me before the party, I went all out. Yellow and emoji everything! Giving myself plenty of time allows me to create unique and exciting party bags, without lots of rushing and stressing. I was able to order things online, which allowed me to get more unusual items and things that you can’t get so easily in the local shop. I was really pleased with the outcome.
In the past, I was always determined to make my daughter’s birthday cakes. While I make a great sponge cake, I am no cake decorator and as my efforts have proven over the years, they are not that breathtaking and always leave me stressed and a nervous wreck. Luckily for me, I know an amazing professional cake maker called Victoria and she has made my daughter’s cakes for the last few years so that I don’t have to worry about them at all.
I Bake a Bit is based in Sheffield and offers amazing cakes for any occasion; all made with loving attention to detail. They are works of art! I gave Victoria a very obscure brief (chocolate cake, filled with Skittles, in the shape of a trampoline with an emoji bouncing on top) and as always she delivered. Everyone commented on how fab it was, the kids loved it and most importantly my daughter loved it.
The party date arrived very quickly and on the day we headed towards Rotherham. I was a little apprehensive about how I would cope with the noise and being on my feet for a couple of hours, but my daughter was really excited and as her friends arrived, the look of joy on her face was priceless.
We were provided with our own party area. It was tucked away, and although opened straight onto the main trampoline area, was much quieter with tables, chairs and a place to hang coats and to put shoes. It was a little haven in the middle of the park, with great views of the girls playing. All of the girls were given special socks to wear which they all thought were ‘super cool’ and I got a cup of tea just for being mum!
After a short safety video, the children were led onto the trampolines by our own party host Becky. She kept an eye on the group as they bounced and played around the main trampoline area. Becky also helped my daughter face her fears and jump onto the airbag. She was constantly encouraging and supportive of the girls as they played, but also kept popping back to update us on what they were doing and to check we were ok.
Becky had already put large jugs of squash on the table in our party area and so when the girls came over to ask for a drink, I was able to give them one straight away. There was no need for me to dash to the cafe and grab something. It’s thirsty work all that bouncing!!
After an hour, Becky called the girls over to the party room, there were some sad faces because they didn’t want to leave the trampolines, but they were all very hot, sweaty, hungry and thirsty! They soon were smiling again when Becky started bringing out the food; pizzas, crisps, and sandwiches. There was loads!!
The food was great and went down a treat. Becky was on hand to fill the girl’s glasses and make sure they had all of the food they wanted and I didn’t lift a finger. Becky also sorted out the cake, lit the candles and brought it over to my daughter for the traditional ‘Happy Birthday’ sing song and candle blowing out.
All the other parents started arriving to collect their children and before I knew it the party was over. My daughter and her friends had an incredible time and were all excited and happy as they headed home. As we left Jump, I was struck by how easy the whole event had been, how pleasant and straightforward it was and how calm and stress-free I felt.
I cannot thank our party host enough for everything that she did during the party and I cannot recommend Jump enough either. I was able to sit, in a much quieter space, was able to see my daughter and her friends having fun, had access to refreshments and was not required to run around organising stuff or keeping my eye on things. I had feared a fibromite’s hell, but on the day it was party heaven.
Have you had a children’s party heaven? Or maybe a party hell? I am always looking for ideas for my daughter’s next party so do let me know!