But there was something to be said for not being allowed to host children’s parties.
I’ve written about my, erm, reluctance to be surrounded by 30 hyped-up children mainlining sugar and screaming in a previous column.
But such was the absence of this ‘fun’ last year, my daughter was desperate to get back in the party spirit when her birthday rolled around again last week. And so, despite my fears of being mobbed by a swarm of eight-year-olds, being the good mummy I am, I said okay. (And then treated myself to an Aperol spritz to calm my nerves!)
Home-made balloon garlands and home-baked birthday cakes were out this year, and ease was the name of the game. I Googled ‘somewhere party kids can go mad in West Sussex’ (try it!) and the internet suggested Jumpin’ Fun in Burgess Hill.
Have you read about the mum who quit her job to deliver take-aways and has gone viral on TikTok?
A massive warehouse filled with inflatables, and party food and party bags provided – sold! You literally have to turn up to the venue, which is reminiscent of the set of BBC One game show Total Wipeout, with a cake, and if you’re sensible, earplugs.
We booked it for a Sunday, because I thought it would be quieter. Wrong! This is where everybody in the world (well, except me, apparently) spends their Sunday morning. It was unbelievably busy. Think the London Underground at rush hour, or people queueing to get into supermarkets at midnight on Black Friday and you might imagine the crowd levels.
But, once I’d got over my initial disorientation at being thrust into a bright, busy and bouncy world, I began to appreciate the beauty of a party like this.
You can literally let the kids go wild, and retreat to the café with the other parents for a well-earned coffee (well, I could. My husband might have had to chase around after our three-year-old son for an hour as he was too young to go it alone, leaving him an exhausted sweaty mess! Thanks for doing that – love you!).
So we did it. Ten children went home happy and two parents left very tired!