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To not want to commit to child's party 3 months ahead?

179 replies

MsMarch · 20/02/2023 12:48

I'm all for planning ahead, but a new thing in the DC's school seems to be that people are putting kids parties in the diaries up to 3 months ahead. Obviously, I get it - they want to plan and know that their child's friends can come but the two most recent are both for Sundays in April and May.

And with the best will in the world, we haven't planned our family activities that far ahead. eg, MIL wants to visit after Easter but we're not exactly sure when she'll be here and now we've got two weekends in a row earmarked for children's parties.

I know, it sounds like I'm just doing a version of FOMO but it's not that. It's just that there are a lot of things that we might need to organise but that we're NOT organising this far ahead and now if I agree to the parties, everything we need to do has to be organised around them and quite honestly, I don't want to have to organise a family bloody bbq three months ahead!

If I was the type to say yes and then ditch the party nearer the time, perhaps fine. But I'm not. Once we commit, someone has to be in hospital before we will cancel!

AIBU to find this level of forward planning a bit annoying?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

631 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
FrodisCapering · 20/02/2023 12:52

Well you'd then. I am about to book my child's birthday party for the last week in July.
I appreciate people letting me know if they can come so I can plan food etc.
On the other side I would rather get these dates in the diary well in advance too. It helps me plan holiday etc

Whatatimetobealivetoday · 20/02/2023 12:52

3 months is not long at all. Especially if places get booked up. And especially for a birthday that the person knows is going to happen every year.

Sounds like you need to be a bit more forward thinking with plans yourself as you’re now arranging the diaries of your children too not just yourself and family 😊

WhatAmIDoingWrong123 · 20/02/2023 12:53

I tell people I’ll let them know nearer the time and if kids parties are taking over entire weekends, which sometimes happens, I refuse one of them.

Gizlotsmum · 20/02/2023 12:54

Do you have an RSVP date on the invites? I would call the parent and explain, they might accept a late RSVP from some people. Or you could decline the party invite, or work around it if your child really wants to go?!

MusicWithRocksIn · 20/02/2023 12:55

I tend to book parties well in advance (before someone else does!) but send invitations with maybe 6 weeks notice and ask for a reply by 2 weeks before.

I wouldn't expect all of DCs friends' families to commit to coming 3 months in advance, for the reasons you say.

Youcancallmeirrelevant · 20/02/2023 12:55

Because thats how farvplaces are normally booked up! Its not necessarily parents choice.

Also, if the date is free and your child wanta to go why wouldn't you just rsvp, i think it so rude to basically say you'll only let your kids go to parties if you have nothing better to do

littleducks · 20/02/2023 12:56

Goodness I would hate that

MiddleParking · 20/02/2023 12:57

Are kids parties incompatible with things like MIL coming and family bbqs? They’re usually a few hours max. With things like that I’d just plan to divide and conquer with DH.

pikantna · 20/02/2023 12:57

YABU, yes. I can't quite grasp what is so annoying here. You sound exactly the sort of family that requires other families to engage in this level of planning though!

eighteenthirteen1 · 20/02/2023 12:57

Parties are equal or prioritised in our house. I think it's very important for them to learn to socialise outside of the classroom and learn to celebrate other people.

Just RSVP no if you don't want to go.

emilyant · 20/02/2023 12:57

So I get both sides. We always plan early (because se are very busy) and I will Whatsapp the Mum's of the kids I know she really wants there to make sure they look like they will be free - but then do the main invites about 4 weeks before the party. I also take a call on how quickly to reply based on how much I think she will want to be there! Really good friends then I will do all I can to make it work - anyone who I haven't heard her mention then I will hold off a bit before taking a decision (unless they start chasing me.....)!

geogrump · 20/02/2023 12:58

Just say 'Thanks for the invite, DS would love to come. We're having some family come and stay in that sort of timeframe but not entirely sure on the plans, so can I let you know a while closer to the party, please?' And the person will inevitably say yes and that's the end of it? Hardly a drama.

Oysterbabe · 20/02/2023 12:58

You're creating the problem yourself by saying once you've said yes you would never cancel. I see no problem at all in saying you are free that weekend if you are and then reassessing a month before. I had a few people drop out of a party on the morning of the party and that was annoying, if they'd said a month earlier that something had come up it would have been no issue.
If the other commitments haven't actually been arranged yet then it shouldn't be too hard to make sure they don't happen during the 2 hours that the party will take.

TurquoiseDress · 20/02/2023 12:58

I've noticed this a bit with some school birthday parties

But it's often a venue eg trampoline/jumping/swimming party that has been booked so I get it has to be booked early

I don't mind this far ahead as it gets us thinking ahead and we know that the kids have a party on x date in a few months so helps with planning generally

Lkydfju · 20/02/2023 12:58

I think it depends on how close the friend is; I’d appreciate it for my DDs two or three close friends as she’d be upset if we missed a party but a general one I’d be leaving responding until nearer the time and just say sorry not sure what our plans are. Most come about 6 weeks in advance round here

MakeHaste · 20/02/2023 12:58

I think YABU.

Accept it and attend or decline and ‘risk’ having a free weekend if other plans aren’t made. You can’t expect others to change how they plan to suit how you do it. It’s not really a big deal but I do know people who think like you and I find them quite hard work. 😬

00100001 · 20/02/2023 12:59

What's the problem? Sounds like you're waiting for a better offer.

Just accept the place,and if GPs visit, they can be without LO for 2 hours. Or you can cancel.

Sceptre86 · 20/02/2023 13:02

Why is it a big deal if one of your kids has a birthday on a day where your mil is over? Surely it only takes one of you to drop and pick your child and if you do have to stay parties usually about 2 hours anyway leaving you with the rest of the day to enjoy.

Oopswediditagain2023 · 20/02/2023 13:02

Oh god this would drive me mad 🤣 I am a September birthday so party invites would be sent out once we were back to school after the summer.
A girl in my class was an early April birthday and every year the invites would be sent out by the end of January. I think was a bit of a "controlling" thing from the mother's POV as there were a few birthdays round that time and she wanted to bagsy the weekend.

MiddleParking · 20/02/2023 13:03

eighteenthirteen1 · 20/02/2023 12:57

Parties are equal or prioritised in our house. I think it's very important for them to learn to socialise outside of the classroom and learn to celebrate other people.

Just RSVP no if you don't want to go.

I agree, I think it’s just part and parcel of this stage of parenting that their social life and activities are the priority at weekends.

MsMarch · 20/02/2023 13:04

@Whatatimetobealivetoday I'm not planning things like family BBQ3 three months ahead. That's just ridiculous. I'm all for forward planning, but not to that extent.

I do get why people book ahead but I think the point made by a few that it's just a few hours is actually quite important - we've reached that point now where these sort of parties are often not just round the corner and they tend to be right in the middle of the day. We have one from 10:00 - 12:00 although that's only about 20 minutes away so not too bad. And the other one is booked for 11:00-1300 but it's a good 30 minutes drive away so it does rather wipe out the bulk of a Sunday.

I suspect it's the fact that we've had two of these at the same time that's stressing me out. To be clear, I've booked DD's party well ahead - 6 weeks - and like some posters I contacted her "main" friends parents about a week before to double check the date with them first. So I'm definitely not one of those people who doesn't like forward planning!

OP posts:
TheYearOfSmallThings · 20/02/2023 13:04

It's the way venues and activities are booked - birthday slots on a weekend afternoon won't be available if you don't book well in advance.

If in doubt, just say "I'm going to have to say no because our plans for May aren't clear yet (family visiting!)". Nobody will be offended.

Lipim · 20/02/2023 13:04

It's a pretty standard time frame around here. People need to know numbers for catering and booking. Although they tend to be "hire a hall" parties so extra kids can be added later. Harder if it's a venue where each child costs extra. The forward planning suits us - we tend to book for holidays, theatre shows and events about that far ahead so we know to keep the date free.

Danneigh · 20/02/2023 13:05

So you're waiting for a better offer? Just say no, you're obviously not bothered about wanting your kids to go and have fun with their friends. Either that or say you need to check dates and get back to them as you do have plans around that time. But that's a bit cop out really.

Bayleaf25 · 20/02/2023 13:06

To be honest I like planning ahead as it’s easier to avoid clashes. I don’t really see the problem for you, accept if you want to but if you want to keep the date free for potential other events then decline.

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