I dont consider myself the bravest of men than consider myself the most proactive and men in finding ways to face and conquer my fears.  Many of the things and instilled in me the years of things to anyone but a must somewhat begrudgingly admit the grounds to my wifes face and shakes to her head.

For example have always been quite terrified of sharks or more specifically – being eaten by one. Whilst this is not entirely irrational fear living in Australia it was a fear of upsetting they lived a coastal town with a beautiful beach and ocean always beckoning.  I conquered I fear eventually by taking up spearfishing and later scuba-diving in both cases I came face-to-face with large sharks several times and realised that more often than not the slightest bit interested in me. I still cant sit on surfboard at the back of the waves break point with my legs dangling in the water as the sun sets…. But I can at least go for a swim without panicking.

The next fear I had to challenge was my fear of height.  Again, Im not so much afraid of heights, just falling from them.  I didnt even realize how frightened I was till I went travelling with my family and we encountered cliff walk after cliff walk.  Not an unreasonable fear again I thought, as people fall off cliffs… but again, my fear outweighed the risk and it prevented me from enjoying the moment.  So I took up rock climbing.  Luckily for my partners below me I never gave in to the urge to soil myself which seemed an ever present risk… and I never did master the actually looking down from heights part…. but I did conquer my fear to an extent.  I even fell a few times, and was saved by the rope.  My total irrational fear, is now one of respect.

But my greatest fear was one that took the most work to overcome.  Childrens birthday parties.  Especially those of my childrens friends.  Present buying nerves especially.  Namely.

a.       What if I spent too little on a present?  Would I look cheap?

b.      What if I spent too much – would other kids then expect the same value of present from my children when they came to the party?  Would I look like i was trying to buy friends for my children?

c.       What if someone else bought the same present?

d.      Dammit – what do 8 year old girls like anyway?

e.      I hate buying cheap toys like hot wheels.  The look of joy on the kids face when they are received is matched by the look of dissapointement on the parents face knowing this is a toy that will likely break within 48 hours(Yes hotwheels, Im talking about you.  When I was a boy, your products were well made and I even still have some.  These days, they are simply rubbish.  Sue me. Id love to come to court with the box of broken Hot Wheels toys and demonstate to the court how poorly made they are.)

Birthdays parties were a misery to me.  I needed a solution.

Being an internet junkie, I went looking for a one solution fits all and you know what?  I found it. A present that need not cost the earth, no one else will buy it, and its going to last more than 48 hours.

Kids love to personalize their rooms right?  So I get my child to do a bit of research as to the childs like and dislikes, and then order something from here www.visionbedding.com. Unlike your average department store with their limited range of designs these guys have an almost unlimited range to choose from, you can even supply your own.  Out of time?  Birthday too close?  Purchase a gift Voucher and let them choose it themselves.

The brownie points I have won with my custom bedding presents.  The heights of birthday party present buying I have scaled, fearless and proud.

My days of panic are over.

I would love to hear from other parents who suffer similar present buying panic and how they conquered their fears….Join the forum and share your suggestions!