A mob of screaming kids, some you've never met, running riot through your house.
And you have to entertain them until their parents return to take them off your hands.
But for how long? And should I have invited this many? And where is the cat hiding?
Never fear! After twenty years in the business I've put together my top ten tips for having a stress free party.
1. Consider not having the party at home
There are plenty of church halls, community centres and other family friendly venues that you can take over, fill with kids and enjoy a stressful party. Most have play equipment, fully equipped kitchens and a great atomsphere.
Restaurants might seem like a good idea but, unless you're catering for adults as well are a stressful waste of money.
2. Give your party one, big centrepiece
It can be tempting to book a dozen special activities for your kid's party.
Over the years I've been to many parties where the jumping caste goes unbounced, faces unpainted and animals unpetted because the kids are spoilt for choices.
It is far better to spend that money on one special treat the kid's will remember forever.
I may be biased, but I think you can't go wrong with a magic show.
3. Don't feel like you have to invite everyone
If you've got room for 30 or 40 kids
5. Two hours is more than long enough
6. You don't need as much food as you think you do