It’s birthday party season again. That time when kids (and their parents) are invited to countless parties eating into every weekend and spare minute of family time you have.
I shouldn’t say that. Parties are wonderful for the kids. A time to get together with their friends outside of school, where they can play, eat and generally be on a two hour sugar high. Great, huh?
It’s just that the end of the summer somehow warrants those born in both July AND August to schedule their parties just at the point where life is beginning its frenzied scheduled chaos. So, for some reason, it feels like a lot after a spring that was relatively party-free.
But seeing as the kids look forward to it and many of the kids are my daughters’ good friends, when is it okay to turn down a party invitation?
- First, ask yourself how close are they really? If dd1 was invited because the whole class was invited and you know your kids don’t really hang out, take that as a free pass to turn it down.
- How busy are you? If it means you’ll have to go from dance class to picking up dd2 from football to your hair appointment and then to the party, I think it’s safe to say that you’re busy. Don’t stress yourself to the point that you’ll resent being there the whole time.
- Check if you can share the pick up/drop off with another Mum/parent. Even better, if your kids are at the age when you can just drop them off, this is definitely the best option. It gets more complicated when you’re expected to stay and help supervise but still worth a shot to take it in turns.
- Family time always trumps birthday parties. If weekends are your only days to spend as a family and this is at a premium, it’s okay to turn it down. Spending time as a family is important and children crave that time (more than time with their friends-despite what they might say). Otherwise the weekend can just fly by. Alternatively, make it a family event. Enquire whether siblings are welcome and come with your whole brood!
- What’s the activity and is it difficult to get there? Again, check how convenient it is for you and whether your child will actually enjoy it. If your child hates heights and they’re headed to GoApe!, it’s probably a miss for her.
- Make it enjoyable for you! Yes it’s a party for the kids but heck, you’ve given up your afternoon as well so if beer or alcohol is on offer, take it! You deserve it!
Hopefully this list helps to reassure you there are legit excuses to turning down a party invitation… Send me your ideas and what’s worked for you! Good luck!