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Birthday party politics - have i got this wrong or should i be offended? (this is s long one, sorry)

(11 Posts)
MamaMaiasaura Thu 03-Feb-05 13:33:06

Having just read another thread in special needs about a child not being invited to a birthday party i didnt want to 'hijeck' thread, so started another if that is ok,

Bascially, some of you already know situation for me and ds. Anyway, ds is having birthday party with me at home and have invited about 9 kids from school and his cousins. One f the children he invited is slightly more exubarent than the other iykwim. Ds wants to invite him, which to me is fine.

Went to coffee at ds best friends mum's house with another mum. We ended up talking about a party coming up that my ds cant attend (already booked), and his 'other mum' said her dd wasnt going cos the child was mean to other children and parents seemed not very nice. I mentioned ds's birthday and who ds had invited and when i mentioned the exubarent little boy she was really shocked and kinda mean. Her dd is also
invited.

Anyway i bumped into this mum yesterday and asked if she got invite to ds birthday ok and she said yes and dd was looking forward to coming. Now, my dss is with his dad till his birthday which is after her dd's birthday. My xp is pretty crap when it comes to remembering bday parties and pressies. Not knowing if her dd was having a party or anything i asked what she was doing for birthday (thinking in my head, oh c#ap, xp wouldnt have gotton her a birthday present or replied) and her mum said she has only invited a few little one and ds wasnt invited, but if i wanted i could take him along on Friday. She seemed really embarassed as was i. Thing is, my ds is best freinds with another little boy and little girl. Her dd recently joined the 3ome to make a foursome which is sweet. She has invited the other 2 and my ds is going to feel excluded.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Thu 03-Feb-05 13:36:41

How old are these children? Has she just invited girls I wonder because that's who her dd wanted?

MamaMaiasaura Thu 03-Feb-05 13:40:57

They will be 5 - i believe she invited ds best friend who is a little boy.

HeyEnidYouveLostWeight Thu 03-Feb-05 13:41:59

How old? My dd has been invited to a five year olds party next week with only three other girls as thats all the little girl wanted.

MamaMaiasaura Thu 03-Feb-05 13:48:51

Right.. so am i being stupid then? I felt sad for ds as him and these 3 little ones go around and play together. Feel like he is excluded. This other mum also said she wasnt taking her dd to this other childs birthday party because of childs parents and area they lived in. MY house isnt exactly together as only moved in last year and carpets etc are cra# - think she might look down nose. I might just be getting all upset for no reason.

HeyEnidYouveLostWeight Thu 03-Feb-05 13:50:42

Well look at it this way, she sounds like a bit of a snob and maybe you are better off...but really, at 5 they start to break off and form their own little gangs so these things happen, don't feel bad.

MamaMaiasaura Thu 03-Feb-05 13:57:17

But they are in the same litle gang actually her dd was the last to join - it started with ds and another little boy and little girl.

Everythime i have seen her dd lately she has been crying, at school, in shop etc. Seems like a lot might be going on as well.

I dont know if you ever encountered the 'competetive parent' but she reminds me of those parents that would be there going.. 'well my child was walking before child x.. why isnt your child potty trained? my child was months ago etc etc' I thought that parenting like that stopped when they realise al kids are different.

TinyGang Thu 03-Feb-05 14:40:10

I know where you're coming from with this Awen. My dd is 6 and is my first, so all this birthday party politics is new to me too.

In her first year she didn't get invited to many parties and I felt so hurt and quite riled by it, especially if it was someone who seemed to have become friendly with her.

Her friend on the other hand seemed to get invited to virtually anything and everything that was going (still does!), although I would say that she is probably a more extrovert sort of person than my dd, and her mother seems to have much more time than me to foster friendships (ie endless people round for tea after school and exhaustive amounts of sleepovers). Her friend is an only child whilst I have been rather tied up two much younger children.

In spite of how I felt, I have always played it down to dd and to be honest, she hasn't ever seemed that bothered. She does get invitations of course (quite a few I suppose, when I stop and think about it) but I notice that like me she just takes longer to choose her friends and get to know people, which is fine. I have learned (alright, tried very hard!) this year to try not to take things too personally on dd's behalf or to compare her invitations to others. I think you could drive yourself mad with all this - it's a social minefield if you are the sensitive type, which I am I guess especially where my children are concerned! I have brooded before about why so and so didn't ask, when someone else she hardly knows did; whether the mother has some sort of 'opinion' or not about me etc. It's difficult to think your child has been excluded in any way and it does hurt because they are precious and you love them. I don't think half the time there is any malice behind it though. A lack of thought perhaps, but hey, maybe I missed someone off the birthday list when it was dd's b'day and didn't realise I'd trodden on someone's feelings (hope not though).

I would play it down with your son and try and gloss over it. He's lovely I'm sure - it's their loss and Enid is right in that friendships seem to be quite transient at this age. Next year he may have a totally different set of friends.

MamaMaiasaura Thu 03-Feb-05 16:40:33

Tinygang.. Thank you so so much. You seemed to have understood what i didnt explain very well. I do feel better about it now. ds does take a while to become real friends with people and tbh does tell me of new people he is playing with too.

I guess my fear is that he wont have a good group of friends to play with as i was a bit left out when i was little. This is really really sad and embarrassing but i do remember a birthday party i had where no-one came. The thing is i also remember really good parties too so i dont know if the invites never went out or what..

Anyway, will try to just relax and enjoy.. and not worry so much.!

weightwatchingwaterwitch Thu 03-Feb-05 16:48:16

Hi Awen, sorry, I posted and then had to go out. Sorry about your party where no-one came, that is sad I can only think the little girl was asked to choose maybe and chose girls. Or maybe the mum thought your ds would be with his dad and so not available? I agree, you should try not to be too upset about it but I know it's hard not to take it to heart on their behalf sometimes.

TinyGang Thu 03-Feb-05 20:14:08

I was a bit on the sidelines too when I was small and I have to stop myself from interrogating dd when she comes out of school with the 'who did you play with today ..?' type questions.

It's only natural that we remember tricky things from our own childhoods in sharp detail when we look at our children. Not only do we look back as adults with disappointment, sometimes anger at past incidents, but the thought of anything remotely like it affecting our own children is unthinkable. The whole social thing of 'fitting in' and 'being popular' was one of the hardest things about growing up I thought, and yet some people managed it effortlessly Just when you think it's all behind you, along comes parenting and you're back to square one with it all again, only standing in a different playground trying to grasp the rules - and fast.

I guess we have to save ourselves, ready to wade in for any big serious stuff should it come along, like say, bullying for instance. Sort of 'pace' yourself or you'll run out of steam fighting everything that comes up.

That's not to say I don't often ignore my own advice and bristle inwardly (sometimes for quite a while actually to myself ) over things like invites to b'day parties. The trouble is, the feelings you have are difficult to express without sounding petulant and a bad sport - just the sort of reactions you don't want your children to pick up on - but we're only human too and any sleight to our children, even though not necessarily intended, can seem an enormous issue at the time.

To remember a party with no guests is so horrible for you , no wonder all this has hit a nerve now you have your own little son. The whole issue of birthday parties rears up again etc.

Good job I didn't get invited to your party as a kid though - apparantly I was so shy at one I went to I sat under the tea table the whole time and wouldn't come out!

Sorry to ramble on - I was just interested to hear someone else sometimes feels the same way that I do and I've never expressed it before because stuff like this isn't supposed to be a big deal. Well it's not really. A lot of sensible people on mn will tell you that - but it sure takes some convincing on a vulnerable day sometimes, I know!

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