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AIBU to think this parent is being (a bit) U?

(70 Posts)
Pedestriana Thu 07-Jan-16 14:20:45

Was chatting a friend yesterday. Her DS is having a birthday party this weekend, with a lot of school friends invited. They're all at primary school.

Friend got an email on Monday from mother of one of the children to say her DS could no longer attend the party because she was now going on a Spa weekend with family. Apparently it was only booked on the Sunday evening before she contacted my friend.

I said to my friend that in my opinion the mother had made a commitment and it was unfair of her to renege on it. Friend said that if it was a family commitment then it trumped a kids party. I understand the kids are pretty good friends, but don't know how the one now withdrawn from the party feels.

Sonders Thu 07-Jan-16 14:26:08

Is your friend out any money for the child not attending the party? It sounds slightly unreasonable of the child's mother but not enough to make a fuss over.

KakiFruit Thu 07-Jan-16 14:43:45

Shitty thing to do to the birthday child who is probably excited about having all his friends at the party. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I would feel uncomfortable doing it.

I wonder why whoever is looking after the boy can't take him to the party?

plantsitter Thu 07-Jan-16 14:55:47

Would you honestly stop the whole family going away for the weekend because one of the kids had a party for two hours on one of the days? I would only di that if it was a best frined, and I knew it was a small party.

mouldycheesefan Thu 07-Jan-16 14:58:58

I would cancel attendance at a kid birthday party for a family weekend away, yes. I don't think it is unreasonable it can be really hard to get a free weekend and sometimes you have to cancel existing plans. The Mum was honest and let the host know asap.
It's fine.

Howdoesironmanwee Thu 07-Jan-16 15:03:59

It's a kids party. Spa weekend wins. Hell, many things would win.

Alicewasinwonderland Thu 07-Jan-16 15:04:34

I hate people who do that. If you commit to something, you stick with it! (obviously, unless real emergency, crisis, or unexpected visit from cousins from Australia).

It's such a rude thing to do: people who cancel for petty reasons are really telling you that they only come to see you because they have no better offer, and show what contempt they have for you.

If I was the mother organising the party, I obviously wouldn't say anything, but would never invite the kid again if I can avoid it.

I organise weekends away around existing commitments, it's not that difficult, is it? The lack of basic manners from some people never cease to amaze me.

(on the other hand, a friend took it really badly when we recently declined an invitation to a birthday party because of prior commitments. What was I supposed to do? confused )

PerspicaciaTick Thu 07-Jan-16 15:08:10

Spa weekend wins. It isn't great, and I'd be very apologetic, but I would cancel. I'd still send the birthday child a gift as usual.

Myfavouritebookis Thu 07-Jan-16 15:24:11

I totally agree with Alice. Can't believe that anyone thinks it's OK to accept ANY invitation, involving the person who has invited you or your child in expense and various arrangements, and then to cancel because you fancy doing something else.

This is unfair on the child who was invited (as they may get fewer and fewer invitations with a parent who thinks this is OK) and the child who invited them.

Doesn't sound like the child is going on the spa weekend, so they just miss out.

soyvanillalatte Thu 07-Jan-16 15:27:15

At least she phoned. Some would have just not turned up.

Howdoesironmanwee Thu 07-Jan-16 15:31:44

Really? favouritebook et al? A 2 hour max party over 2-3 days away as a family? She gave notice, politely and it would seem, was honest.
Dd's party is next Saturday, it has involved planning and some cost (medium I'd say, more than jelly & ice cream, less than indoor ski centre wink) if this happened to me I'd shrug and maybe invite someone else.
I can't see how you could hold a grudge in this circumstance.

nocabbageinmyeye Thu 07-Jan-16 15:38:32

I can't believe how precious people are being! The child has plenty going (according to op), will hardly notice a child missing, bf or not, let's not be overly dramatic in saying one child missing will ruin it's birthday (lots of mini drama queens in the making if that is the case)

Life happens, no way in he'll would I miss a family weekend away for a two hour childs party. The last phoned, was honest and explained. I think people are getting confused with accepting a second invitation when they are like for like, that is rude but a weekend away with family v's a school friends party is not like for like

nocabbageinmyeye Thu 07-Jan-16 15:39:28

Lady phoned not last

xmasseason Thu 07-Jan-16 15:40:56

I think it's rude to back out because you have a better offer. If you accept an invitation, you attend.

Jux Thu 07-Jan-16 15:40:56

I think the mum is perfectly reasonable. Kids parties are lovely extras, but something involving the family trumps it.

If your friend is losing money by the cancellation, I would be offering to pay, but surely she can find a replacement since Monday is pretty good notice.

LegoRuinedMyFinances Thu 07-Jan-16 15:43:13

I'm sorry but there's not a chance that a school child's birthday will take priority over any other plans I have at the weekend.

Here it's regular to do whole class birthdays. DD also makes friends with other children in different classes and gets invited to their parties too (Damn you sociable DD grin). In all honesty if 20 kids do class parties and DD gets another two or three on top that's 23 weekends in a school year.

Too bloody many - and no they won't take priority - however when I have cancelled a party after initial acceptance I always offer to cover the price of my child's place. Just because it's the polite thing to do.

Headofthehive55 Thu 07-Jan-16 16:09:25

I think when you have accepted the invite, you do not plan anything else that overlaps it. That's your risk, you don't need to accept it in the first place.

I don't understand this basic lack of manners, the first invite trumps later ones, even if you'd much prefer them!

I'd make sure that family wouldn't be invited again, nor would my dc go to their party if invited.

Anotherusername1 Thu 07-Jan-16 16:12:06

Of course family commitments trump birthday parties. I can't really believe people on here think otherwise, given the responses on the thread where the girlfriend couldn't visit her boyfriend's house where people said Christmas was family time so nobody else could come over (not sure of their definition of Christmas - maybe Christmas Day but not the rest of the holidays).

If I knew the mother was going to be out of pocket I'd reimburse her and I'd still give the child the present I'd probably already bought, and indeed I did do that once when I cancelled on the day because husband and I were both unwell and didn't want to drive to the party location feeling grotty and possibly driving dangerously.

gobbynorthernbird Thu 07-Jan-16 16:14:35

I think there's a massive difference between ditching invite A for a weekend away, and cancelling because you have had essentially the same invite from a different friend. I would never upset a friend by not (eg) going out for a drink that was arranged, only to go out with another friend instead. But I would cancel for a family break.

Sunbeam1112 Thu 07-Jan-16 16:17:20

She was polite enough to let you know some parents don't even do that! I for one couldn't think of a childs party as fun so if a family occassion came up i would make it a priority. Partys are just for the kids, often its socially awkard for the parent stood watching. Also payment is most required on the day of the party at most places.

nocabbageinmyeye Thu 07-Jan-16 16:19:07

Like for like = rude
Like for something completely different that effects the whole family = not rude & sensible

nocabbageinmyeye Thu 07-Jan-16 16:21:54

Actually if a parent came to dd's party and mentioned she missed out on a spa weekend for her party I would think she was mad, the gesture of not wanting to be rude would be second to thinking she was odd (in a light hearted way)

HPsauciness Thu 07-Jan-16 16:22:21

I think this is fine, and wouldn't think twice if someone pulled out for this reason, just let child know so not too disappointed. Plus they let you know in plenty of time!

If it was the day before, or with a crappy excuse or rival event, it's not cool to cancel.

xmasseason Thu 07-Jan-16 16:24:03

For the child whose party it is, and the parent(s) who are organising it, the birthday is a family occasion, because this member of the family is important to them. So I don't think it's fair to let them down.

rookiemere Thu 07-Jan-16 16:24:32

I'm in the process of arranging DS's party.

It's going to be £15 per head and places are limited due to my budget and the size of the venue and type of activity.

I would have no objection if party was declined initially when invites sent out, but declining a week in advance for a spa is just plain rude couldn't she at least have made up a decent excuse, as it leaves the party organiser very little time to either find a replacement party goer or cancel the place.

In the case of the party I'm planning for DS there is also a minimum number of attendees so not only would I be out of pocket, it may well mean that the activity is impacted.

If you cancel with short notice for a decent reason i.e. illness or emergency situation then that's totally difference and what DS's pal who's a bit too old to be on the guest list was invented for.

For those who think it's fine to cancel last minute as children's parties are not a priority, well don't be surprised if your DCs don't get any further invites, then you might find that while they aren't a priority for you they may well be for your DC.

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