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 :(