“Am I being unreasonable?” a mum asked on the very popular parenting forum Mumsnet. She’d thrown a birthday party for her child and noted, “I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. I was quite taken aback by the behaviour of so many parents and some of the children too.”
She then went on to document a multitude of birthday party sins – and we’re guessing most parents have experienced similar.
They included non-responders, guests who didn’t RSVP, late RSVPs, no-shows, parents doing the drop-and-run without so much as a hello, kids rudely demanding party bags, kids refusing to sit down and eat, and extra sibling guests not cleared with the party hosts.
“There were also 2 kids crying for their mum, two kids hurt themselves, and one wet himself,” she concluded noting that those things were not rude, “but just so stressful.”
“My son had a nice time but I was quite upset at the behaviour,” she admitted.
Keep it small
This mum wondered if she was overreacting or if she was right to feel a bit miffed about the whole thing. Turns out almost all the parents who commented on the thread were not huge fans of large parties.
Most suggested sizing parties WAY down and definitely ignoring the “whole class party” trend.
“My mum always had the rule of no more guests than the age of the child and I am doing that with my kids. It is great!” one mum suggested.
They are so stressful aren’t they?” another commenter sympathised. “I now stick with smaller parties – maybe four friends – and make sure that one of their parents is someone I know that will help out. I’m glad your son enjoyed it, well done for surviving it!”
Lost at your own party
Some commenters had their own recollections of tricky childhood parties.
“My mum always insisted on having large parties for us,” one such person wrote. “I always ended up being overlooked and it was more about the party than it was about celebrating my birthday. A lot of parents also see it as an excuse to dump their kids for a couple of hours. With my kids I let them choose a couple of good friends and we’d have a day out. They loved it.”
“I think smaller parties are the way to go,” another parent agreed. “Perhaps a couple of good friends to the cinema or bowling.”
Seems like brilliant advice to us. Keep it small to make it special.