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to not be hospitable to parents who stayed during a child's party?

(202 Posts)
in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:23:05

dd's 6th bday party today - for one reason or another 4 of the parents stayed (without prior warning). I don't know any of them at all, and when they asked if they could stay I said 'sure - as long as you don't mind being ignored by me' then offered them a drink and left them to chat with each other/their dcs as I hadn't expected anyone to stay. They were right in my kitchen while I was whizzing around preparing the food, dealing with the various crises (someone wet themselves and needed to change and borrow clothes etc etc). I didn't really offer them party food or anything, but as one was leaving they grabbed a few buns and said 'I'm starving'! So now I wonder - should I have offered them food? Tried to be more 'hospitable'? They could see I was crazily busy, and I offered them nothing beyond the initial cup of tea as I just had to focus on the party...

rookiemater Sat 11-Jun-11 22:25:53

I know its hard to be put on the spot but you might have been better placed to say that you would be very busy with childrens games/food etc and hadn't expected anyone to stay and do you think it would be ok if you were to come back at <<insert time of party finishing>> rather than being so passively aggressive about the whole thing.

Shoesytwoesy Sat 11-Jun-11 22:25:58

they should have helped

worraliberty Sat 11-Jun-11 22:26:11

I think they were very rude.

When my eldest was about 4, he was very clingy and I used to explain to parents that we'd have to decline the invite because he'd get hysterical when I left (even though he'd really want to go to the party)

They'd always tell me it wasn't a problem if I stayed..even though I felt bad. But I would never have just turned up on the day and expect to come in and stay.

flumposie Sat 11-Jun-11 22:28:46

I wouldn't worry about it, you weren't expecting them to stay so am sure they weren't expecting food. They could probably see how busy you were - if I was one of them I would have just been grateful for the drink!

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 11-Jun-11 22:29:21

I think you made them as welcome as circumstances allowed. I'm sure they didn't expect to be fed.

ooohyouareawfulbutilikeyou Sat 11-Jun-11 22:29:24

you should have asked them to muck in

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:29:46

rookiemater: wow - I don't think I understand what passive agressive is if that's what I was. I was literally too busy to 'host' them but was sort of bemused and a teeeeeny bit irritated rather than annoyed that they were there. Most of them were there as they thought their dcs might be nervous without them (including one with special needs), and a couple because their dds were so late arriving it wasn't worth their while going home. Now I think of it, actually 5 parents stayed!

DontGoCurly Sat 11-Jun-11 22:30:20

Wow...what a lazy lot !! No way, should you have catered for them!!

They should have at least helped.

piprabbit Sat 11-Jun-11 22:32:21

I can't imagine doing this to somebody who was holding a party in their own home. Usually people think through the numbers they can cope with very carefully and most houses don't have room for an extra 4 adults to hang around while a party is in full swing. For this reason, I am always very clear on my invites that parents are not expected to stay.

Parties in a large hall are a different matter, if there's space for parents to stay then why not? They shouldn't expect food and drinks though.

harecare Sat 11-Jun-11 22:32:44

You should have given them jobs to do so they felt useful and you were less stressed. If it was a typical 2 hour party round a kids teatime then I wouldn't cater for adults food, but would offer cake.

lookingfoxy Sat 11-Jun-11 22:33:27

I would have offered to help.
I had ds's 6th birthday party a few months ago and quite a few parents stayed, I think at that age some of them still want their parents around, however it was in a hall and not my house, so really not a problem, I just told them to get up and help themselves to food and drink.

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:33:28

sorry - there was a party entertainer for about half the time so there wasn't much to help with. And one did pull another child off her dd! And I did ask them to round up everyone to come in for cake. So this isn't a moan, more that I suddenly realised I had literally ignored them all, even the one following me around trying to make conversation!

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Sat 11-Jun-11 22:33:50

OOOh, interesting,
things here seem to be assumed that aged up to about 6 or 7 parents seem to stay unless they pre arrange to leave them,
DS1 is only 7 but I have always just assumed that someone would stay so have biscuits tea and coffee by the kettle and say please make yourselves at home.
There is almost always a lull in proceedings to chat and a spare pare of hands is usually welcome.

You mention that a couple of the kids wee nervous and one had special needs, I am not suprised the parents stayed if like you say you dont know them.

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:35:09

piprabbit - how do you tell them not to stay on the invites? And no, not a hall, in our pretty small house and a bit of a squeeze (we had wanted to invite more kids but felt we couldn't due to space)

Jaspants Sat 11-Jun-11 22:35:49

I get parents who stay to be the judge in the party games to get me out of being the baddie who has to tell people they are out grin

DS has SN so on the few occassions where I have stayed I've been making myself useful - pouring juice, stopping squabbles, clearing up etc, def not getting in the way.

peggotty Sat 11-Jun-11 22:36:22

Speaking as someone whose dd WOULD NOT be left at parties at people's houses, I can tell you it's actually very awkward to be hanging around in a strangers house. Although I would always offer to help out. I do think you saying 'as long as you don't mind me ignoring you' was really a bit rude. If it was me you'd said that to I would have felt awful and totally in the way.

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:37:15

ByThePowerOfGreyskull - good tip on the biccies etc - and only 3 or 4 of the kids had been in our house before. Will know better for next time!

BeerTricksPotter Sat 11-Jun-11 22:39:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:39:24

peggotty - was that really rude? I said it in a very jokey and apologetic way. oh no.....maybe I'll say it was nice to meet them and sorry we didn't get to chat on the birthday thanks thing. Would you normally tell people you were planning to stay in advance?

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 22:42:26

BeerTricksPotter - 'snarky'? WTF?
I did say something like that to them - as I said, I was apologetic about not being able to chat. And as I also said, I was asking if it is unreasonable or might come across an unreasonable if I was unable to cater for unexpected guests? Not sure what 'Common Courtesy' has to do with it

piprabbit Sat 11-Jun-11 22:43:31

I generally put a note on the back along the lines of:

As DD has invited lots of friends we won't have room for grown-ups to stay. We hope this won't cause you any problems. Thanks Pip.

peggotty Sat 11-Jun-11 22:44:18

If you said it in a jokey way, then not rude, no. It wasn't clear in your op that you'd said it like that. Well I always went to parties with dd in the hope that it would be the party that my dd would allow me to leave her at smile so I wouldn't tell parents in advance. But when it became apparent that she wouldn't let me know, I would apologise and ask if it was ok for me to stay. They should have offered to help though.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 11-Jun-11 22:45:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ruddynorah Sat 11-Jun-11 22:45:44

On Dd's invitations for her 5th birthday party I wrote drop off 11am pick up 1pm. No one tried to stay. One little girl was a bit teary as her mum went so I just whisked her in and said bye to the mum. Done.

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