5 Tips to Survive The 4-Million Children's Birthday Parties In Your Future

**I've partnered with ReContact to give a few tips for surviving a future of classmate, friends and family birthday parties. All opinions are my own.

There's no doubt about it, parenting is full of surprises. Nearly everyday, I learn something new. The hard way. My latest lesson learned is that I have about 4 million kid parties in my future. I've already had three party weekends. THREE! What's worse, I keep being told, "Wait until you have to swing 4 in a weekend." Four? No.

Thankfully, the parents I talked to about the multiple parties, with no end in sight, offered great advice for surviving the 4-million parties, with little to no brain damage.  Below are five tips I live by for surviving children's birthday parties without breaking the bank, or losing my mind.

1. Shop Now, For Later. Keep an eye on the children's clearance racks, and buy anything that's awesome and (75%+!) off, so when the next party rolls around, you're prepared. Buy Boys and Girls toys, books, and fun activities, and don't worry about them going out of style. Remember, we're talking about the same little humans that preferred the box the toy came in for the first two years of their life.

2. Stock up on wrapping paper and bags. The only thing worse than frantically searching the Target toy section for a last minute gift on the way to the party, is having to pay extortion rates for git wrap. Eight dollars for a gift bag? Really? WTH?? Go to the Dollar store and stock up on paper, bows and bags.

3. Please, RSVP. I'm not sure why people don't RSVP. Calling in the RSVP a great opportunity to find out all the details about the party; Party theme, food (especially, good to know if you have a child with allergies), what the birthday boy's likes for gift ideas, directions to the house... and if you don't really know the parent, the RSVP is a great way to break the ice, and show a courtesy many others will not.

4. Carpool. Since most birthday parties stem from daycare or school friends, find a parent-buddy to trade off parties. It's not YOUR presence is expected, just your kid's. I have three mothers in my buddy system. #DoThis

5. Keep a detailed calendar. To keep from double booking, keep track of the parties on a calendar--stuck to the refrigerator doesn't count. Especially, when you stack them up and smash them under a magnet!

Of course, there's an App for that. One of my favorites is, ReContact.  Created by a father of two, who was sick and tired of constantly doing the Target Walk of Shame. Being a techy daddy, he built an app that turned out to be so awesome, all of his friends and family, and co-workers, wanted it. Now, ReContact is free to all on iOS!

Recontact pulls in your Facebook friends and phone contacts, then automatically adds all shared information, including birthdays. Then you can go in to the new contact and add their child(ren)'s birthday, personal details, dog's name, hates chicken so don't cook it... There's an auto birthday reminder so you don't have to be the jerk that forgot Susie's birthday.

 Here's a short clip about how easy it sets up birthday reminders.

Do you have any tips for Surviving The 4-Million Children's Birthday Parties You Have To Attend Every Year?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com