#MomLife typically includes attending many many kids parties! Once my daughter got her first party invitation….at 2 weeks old, I was determined to attend them all. No matter how many a day…we attended! If you’re a reader of my blog, you know I am all about the party life! Also, gifts….I love buying gifts, so yay for parties!
When my daughter started ‘big school’, I quickly learnt (from other moms) that the number of invitations you receive can be a sign of status. I personally don’t mind my children being excluded (unless it hurts them, but my kids are not that way inclined), especially not after the conclusion of this post. We accepted probably every single Gr. Pre-R, Gr. R and Gr. 1 invitation. Not for status….but for Addison. Girl parties, boy parties…didn’t matter, we’d accept them all! Some days we had THREE parties on the same day! I always ended my weekends feeling cheated and tired……
So the thing with having 2 kids is that usually, not both of them are invited to the same party. When my son was 6 months old, my husband started a very travel intensive job. He would be away for a week at a time and only return home Friday evening. I don’t cope without him, so when only 1 child had a party, this would mean weekends my husband and I would be seperated AGAIN as he would be with one kid and I would be with the other. I recall one time he came straight from the airport and rushed our eldest to a party. We hadn’t even had a chance to say hello properly.
Parties became painful once I had 2 kids. I hated always being away from 1 child and my husband, so we started becoming a bit more selective. For second kid we would accept the invitation to the first big party of the year, and then try to choose only 1 on a day, not all of them! Also we tried to limit them to kids my children actually play with (though Addison insists every kid to ever give her an invitation is her friend! lol)
So at this stage, parties take time, money, schedule co-ordination….in a nutshell, a lot of effort. I was really starting to groan with every invite received….. Also humbled me for all the times I only invited one sibling to my kid’s party. Sorry moms!
Three kids = three times more chances that there will be a party invite! My son recently started playschool and off the bat, the invitations started. We accepted the 2 that came through the last month as I thought that, not only for my child, but it’s a good opportunity to get to know the faces and parents as Adam will be at this school for the next 2yrs at least. However I left the last party feeling very disconnected from most of the parents. I am older than all of them as they’re mostly first timers, so there’s that. BUT also I was hurt, as the hostess did not offer us a thing to eat/drink, despite offering everybody around us.
This was a relaxed vibe party and due to it being an open family venue I took my other kids as well, intending to be responsible for their food and entertainment. I’m not sure if she thought if she offered me something, if I’d be taking the whole plate to feed all of them? I was really upset when I left and even as I type this. I thought why the hell did I give up OUR time to be here when we’re being treated this way? Hurt as I was, this party is the reason I am writing this post and why I have come to this decision. So in fact I thank that party.
I really did not feel like doing anything on that specific day. I wasn’t feeling well and with my husband not working, we’re not financially able to buy 10 presents a week at this stage. We should have declined. Adam is 2yrs old and not at a stage where he is social and making a best friend. That will only start developing in primary school. We could have gone to a coffee shop and had the kids play there, spend some family time together. But instead I accepted an invite to a party where our presence and present was not appreciated.
This is nobody’s fault but my own I guess, but I am glad this experience has forced me to prioritise. I need to decide who the focus is and what’s important. Yes, I am more selective about invitations, but I still fell into the trap of accepting more than I should, thinking about the kids. Truth be told, if we don’t tell them about it, they’ll never know they missed it or what they missed out on. Especially not at 2. I know it seems shitty, because when Addison was 2, she was Miss Socialite…..living it up. Now the boys are bearing the brunt of hindsight. Unfortunately our circumstances have changed, and we need to think about the family unit as a whole. Also as moms and women, we say yes to things we really don’t feel like doing, because #PeoplePleasingProblems….just no more of that in 2018…. okay? I don’t say we are declining every party invite going forward, but I definitely will be accepting fewer of them 😉
What is the party policy in your home if you have more than 1 kid? Who gets preference? In our home it’s definitely Addison, being the oldest with more solid friendships (as solid as they can be at age 9) and also working around her weekend sports schedule. How do parties make you feel?
I just need to say though…..a huge shout out to the mom that does invite all the kids! I think I speak on behalf of all multiple kid moms when I say…..We always feel for you when you send that invitation and we appreciate the costs you take on to include all of us. <3