I'm upset my child wasn't returned birthday party invites

(51 Posts)
Rightgirlwrongplanet1 Sun 07-Oct-18 14:56:22

I saw FB photos of a daughter's birthday party and we were not invited even though we invited her classmate to our daughter’s party a month ago and she attended. I am obviously hurt.

I’m confused. Why wasn’t my daughter invited?

It's the second time in days this has happened. We invited another classmate to her birthday party (the mother didn't even rsvp despite getting the invite!) and then we were not invited back 4 weeks later.

In the above example, first mum had invited us to 3 previous whole-of-class parties, and the second mum to 2. We attended all of them, RSVPing as we went. Perhaps they thought enough of inviting children who don’t invite us back? But we didn’t have any parties to invite people back to and they would have known that via FB!

The 2 mums in the above example are similar (older) age to me and seem quite sensible so I expect them to be on a relative same wavelength.

Since we were indebted to them, we invited them back this year when things are a bit more sensible and you invite your friends rather than the whole class. One came, one didn’t. Neither invited us this year when it was time to select friends, one of which I thought was a close friend, though I’m obviously mistaken.

My daughter is the oldest in the class, so we have to send invites out first. We don’t know what future invites will be.

Last year, the girl whose mum didn't rsvp, had a party with whole-class invite except my daughter so I was even more upset then.

And last year, someone who I thought my daughter was very good friends with, wasn't invited to her party! The mother invited her friend’s daughters over her daughter's friends in a cliquey show of allegiance. She got angry I asked her daughter whether my daughter was invited to the party.

This year sees a shift from all-class invitations to a guest list which now consists of selected friends (year 3). My daughter didn’t make the cut for a 10 party guest list, despite belonging to a small cohort of children who transfer to the same class each year as part of their 1.5 form.

I don’t want to approach the mothers because to do so would acknowledge my upset, make things possibly difficult for my daughter (who, after all, is the one I’m seeking happiness, even though is oblivious to the exclusions) and make things even more awkward in future. There are no missing invites in the bottom of the bag.

We didn’t hold any whole-class parties for the first three years ourselves (though we attended everyone else's). We didn’t because we didn’t want the expense of hiring hall and entertainers for a party with 30 kids (and receiving 30 (unwanted) presents 🙈). Expensive waste of money with one or other child/parent unhappy in my humble opinion.

We are in debt when it comes to hosting a party, so I hoped to invite back those that had invited us to their whole-of-class parties in the past (excluding the boys who my daughter just doesn’t get on with). Out of 15 invitations, 5 children turned up with varying levels of RSVP from mothers. (I gave 2 month notice, some had to be prompted again to RSVP a week before).

What am I doing wrong? Must I be friends with the mums too? I try to let my daughter do her own socialising and accept who SHE chooses as HER friends at HER school and she has done a good job of it. I couldn't have picked nicer friends for her. Her school friends were absolutely lovely at her party smile

On the other hand, I'm not friends with any of their mothers except through their children. I can’t be bothered with the extra time, effort or money it takes to pretend to have bonds just so that my daughter can have a birthday party once a year. I'm just friends with some of my neighbours who take their kids to the same school on the same journey ie whoever I bump into, nothing organised.

To put it into context, we go to a state primary school. Other mums are younger and mostly school leavers. I am 10-15 years older on average, different religion and colour. Is it a race/education/ class divide? We live in a nice town of British white people and there is only one other brown face (who similarly doesn’t get on the guest list).

My daughter is overly friendly, loving and caring and I'm not just saying that as her mother. There is no reason she should be excluded

It’s a complete minefield. I am very upset and definitely over analysing.

OP’s posts: |
LittleMissCantbebothered Sun 07-Oct-18 15:06:09

When holding a child's birthday party, there is no obligation to invite the whole class / specific individuals. It doesn't work on that basis that 'I invited your child, you must invite mine.

Just accept the invitations you want to, and invite who you want when you hold a party. There's really nothing more to it. You are being over sensitive.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 07-Oct-18 15:21:14

Most people invite their children's friends. Some people invite their friends children, although this is more a thing with younger children.
On the whole I would assume that if your daughter is not being invited, it's probably because she is not that close to the birthday girl.
You've listed loads of reasons why you haven't had parties/ haven't invited groups of children, why you haven't made friends at your daughters school. Sounds like you could inject a bit more fun and a bit less duty into your life .
Could that attitude be ru bbing off on your daughter?
I do hope that racism isn't the issue, but I guess you'd know if that were the case? I do know that outside big cities people who aren't white can be seen as " other ", even if it's not overt. Has your daughter experienced negative attides/ comments?

shirleyschmidt Sun 07-Oct-18 15:37:58

There is a lot of info in your post and I'm not sure I've got it totally straight but if I'm reading correctly you've invited kids to your DD's recent party, they've then had parties shortly after and not invited your daughter. My DD isn't yet school age so I don't know the 'etiquette' but in your shoes I'd probably be a bit hurt too! If they are close enough to your DD to actually attend her birthday then it seems reasonable to expect she'd be invited to theirs, especially if it's only a short time after.
Then again, as you've experienced yourself, maybe the parents are having to be numbers-conscious and hold small parties, and have to prioritize the kids who've held parties every year? Maybe your daughter is friends, just not a 'best' friend, to the girls in question? If numbers are limited parents might stick to best friends only. Who knows? The great thing is your daughter is oblivious so I wouldn't dwell on it, at least it's less presents to have to sort!

Bumdishcloths Sun 07-Oct-18 15:44:10

That is literally the longest post ever, all about birthdays? I think you're overthinking it!

titchy Sun 07-Oct-18 15:46:50

But you've only had invited small numbers, despite being invited to lots of others so why are you expecting others to reciprocate when you don't? confused

Kids should be inviting close friends when numbers are restricted, not having to restrict which close friends are invited because you 'owe' someone an invite.

And I'm sure the other mums aren't school leavers.....

pigeondujour Sun 07-Oct-18 15:47:02

* The mother invited her friend’s daughters over her daughter's friends in a cliquey show of allegiance. She got angry I asked her daughter whether my daughter was invited to the party.*

You confronted a child about a birthday party?

Whatsforu Sun 07-Oct-18 15:47:07

My DC are pretty much past all this but I feel you are over analysing things. Stick with what you can afford/ do birthday wise. Try not to get involved with all the politics. Sounds like you dd is doing just fine.

Singlenotsingle Sun 07-Oct-18 15:48:59

This birthday party thing has got out of hand anyway! My ddil will spend £200 to hire a place, then there's the food, bouncy castles, party bags... Crazy. I know I've missed the point.

Starlight345 Sun 07-Oct-18 15:57:40

So you haven’t had a party for 3 years but you have one and everyone should invite your child.

You seem to come across as can’t be bothered to pretend to make friends , can’t be bothered with the expense of party .

It seems you have made no effort once . You do once and except everyone to reciprocate

PotteringAlong Sun 07-Oct-18 15:59:14

You are massively overthinking this

Rightgirlwrongplanet1 Sun 07-Oct-18 15:59:43


"confront" isn't exactly the word I wold use. It was part of a conversation. The little girl started talking about her birthday party in front of us. I asked her if my daughter was invited. It was a natural thing to ask at the time as they played together at playtime and my daughter spoke fondly of her after school about the kind things they did for each other.

I know you shouldn't expect things but surely if you spend time playing with someone and support each other, it's correct that makes you friends? Or am I completely socially inept to make that supposition?

OP’s posts: |
tumericmasala Sun 07-Oct-18 15:59:50


ADastardlyThing Sun 07-Oct-18 15:59:51

We invite people to parties because we want them there. I think that's how parties generally go.

You have got way too much angst over this op.

tumericmasala Sun 07-Oct-18 16:01:26

Ffs. Seriously - this is the only stuff you have going on in your life? Get out. Get over it.

Cupoteap Sun 07-Oct-18 16:01:53

You went to three years of parties without wanting the expense yourself and are cross not to be invited this year - are you cross because you feel you wasted your money this year by having a party?

ADastardlyThing Sun 07-Oct-18 16:07:35

Tbf I think more absolutely fine to go to parties but not want the expense of throwing your own. The 'payment' (as it appears to be a transaction on mn grin) is the gift you give so op shouldn't feel bad about not having a party before. And if the other mums haven't invited because of that then that's rather shit and very immature.

But still, way too much angst.

CaramelAngel Sun 07-Oct-18 16:08:04

This year sees a shift from all-class invitations to a guest list which now consists of selected friends (year 3)
I think this is why your dd wasn't invited, because they've changed to only inviting friends that the child has selected.

HopeGarden Sun 07-Oct-18 16:10:07

I think you’re overthinking this.

Most birthday party invites aren’t a reciprocal thing. As a general rule, unless it’s a whole class party, the children that the birthday child is friendliest with will be invited. And just because your DD plays with a child, it doesn’t necessarily mean that child considers your DD to be one of her best friends. It’s not great if your child rarely gets invites because they’re friendly with everyone but not best friends with anyone, but it’s rarely about people deliberately excluding a particular child.

And as an aside, it’s a bit cheeky to be getting worked up about people not reciprocating your party invite this year when you’ve not reciprocated party invites for the last 3 years.

Rightgirlwrongplanet1 Sun 07-Oct-18 16:13:25


I feel a bit attacked by your reply but hey ho, serves me right for expecting a bit of support. (I was seeking validity of my feelings which someone earlier did empathise with - thank you @ShirleySchmidt smile You understood perfectly )

The reason I explained about the number of parties held ie once versus their three times was to perhaps explain the exclusion.

Now we ARE in a position to afford and it makes financial sense to hand select a group of friends. So we held a party this year. Why was she not invited to a whole class last year? Why was her invites not returned this year within a few weeks after her birthday? We obviously cared enough about those children as they spend time with her in class all day. All we hoped was they cared back.

It hurts me that my daughter is socially excluded. I wish you could see things from other's perspective.

OP’s posts: |
youarenotkiddingme Sun 07-Oct-18 16:14:01

I think you need to stop thinking of party invites as being indebted to each other.
These are fickle 7/8 yos who will invite the first people they think of!

They want people they are friends with and to have fun. They don't think of the people who aren't coming. Especially as they see them for 30+ hours a week anyway!

DianaT1969 Sun 07-Oct-18 16:14:43

Is this for real??

Starlight345 Sun 07-Oct-18 16:15:54

Does your dd have play dates ?

Rightgirlwrongplanet1 Sun 07-Oct-18 16:16:10

I think you're forgetting about expense as a party goer. We take presents which are not free

OP’s posts: |
WatcherintheRye Sun 07-Oct-18 16:16:18

You sound hugely over-invested in the complexities of classroom dynamics, which in my experience change at the drop of a hat! You say that you let your dd choose her own guests to parties which is great, but then that's probably what the other children are doing too.

If your dd is oblivious to what sounds like your elephantine memory of party indebtedness going back 3 years, take a leaf out of her book and please don't get bogged down in it yourself. You can be sure most other parents have forgotten by now whose parties their dc were invited to and who was invited to their dc's parties that long ago!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in