Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birthday parties

Birthday parties comes with the territory of having children. That being said, I'm discovering that what was once a simple occasion to spend/plan is now becoming a competition of who does what and whose is better, as well as who to invite. Someone I know is planning a birthday party for their eldest, who is just a couple of weeks younger than my eldest. The party is at an attraction, and due to the cost, the parent is only inviting the child's immediate friends, and not including the younger/older siblings of everyone. It just irritates me somewhat since all the older/younger siblings play with this child too-but based on age, they're excluded. Yes I understand cost is a factor, but heck when you say just a child and parent to come, for me at least, its a difficult thing to arrange. In all honesty, I should be able to rely on my hubby to take the time off, but with his career, a young infant and a tempermental toddler, nothing is ever set in stone. All I could say is that I understood where the parent was coming from, and left it at that. It just rubs me the wrong way, since I'm one of those people that will take all my kdis somewhere despite my hubby not being able to come. Now I know that my child will have to miss out on something if/and when I can't arrange for childcare for his siblings. While someone may say, well just pay for a sitter, that's fine, but for my 2 kids its $10 an hour, and it adds up quickly when you factor its not just the actual b-day party time I'm paying for, but paying to get there early and stay late so we're not late and get home once the party is over. I figure I'd be spending $30-1/2 hour before, the party is 2 hours, and 1/2 hour to get home. Makes me wonder if its really worth it.

This just makes me think about what I'm not doing for my own child, and if I were, how it would be different. As much as I'd want a big party, I really don't think M would mind haivng it at a park, having hotdogs/hamburgers and cake, and just having fun on the playground. At that expense, I could, and really would rather, include everyone we know, vs just one parent and child. I wouldn't mind having it here either, the kids that would get to play, and I'd be more relaxed. Yet I wonder if M would think he's missing out. Heck he doesn't even know when his birthday is, yet he knows he's turning 4 sometime this year.

To complicate it further, the two youngest kids have their birthdays 5 days apart, and both are milestones #3 and #1. What will come of their birthdays-most of the kids they know are the older and younger siblings of M's friends. All I can say is the mother's guilt has started :(

1 comment:

Jilse said...

I think that anything you do to celebrate your child's birthday, and make it special for them, will be enough.

We've spent a lot of money on a birthday party one year, and very little this year and I think Miss R loved both parties about the same. What mattered to her was being around family and friends, and since we had that covered, she was happy as could be. At this age the children are not worried about keeping up appearances, or who had the better, bigger party. All they care about is having a good time, with people they like to be around.

And I have to keep reminding myself of that after each birthday extravangza that we attend, because I don't want to get caught up in the mindet of keeping up with the Joneses, or that bigger is always better.

It does suck that we've gotten to the point where siblings are starting to be excluded. As you said they ALL play together, and in my mind they ALL are friends, so when you only invite one of the kids in a family, it makes me wonder if they really are ALL friends? Or if they are just tag-a-longs to some people.

I hear you about the cost and the effort to try and arrange childcare for the siblings. If it got to the point where Mr.Man couldn't watch D, then R probably wouldn't go. Which just doesn't seem right either. Ugh. What a headache.