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Anyone else with birthday party anxiety?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Just looking from BTDT experiences...

For the past years we've been celebrating ds's birthday at home. It's a lot of stress for me, mainly because I fear that the kids won't come... Usually it's just one or two kids who don't show up, but last year ds had only 3 guests.

Every year the birthday parties are a great success; everyone has fun and that's all that matters. But I can't stop worrying for a month before the party.

This year I decided to organize the party at an indoor pool. Ds's two best friends just moved away from our city so they can't come. When I ask ds whom he wants to invite from school, he names four kids that he invited the previous years and who didn't come.

We still have options, like inviting kids from his team, or some other kids from his class, but I'm still stressed they won't come.

 

I guess I'm not really looking for a solution here, I know we'll be fine, and ds will have a blast, and the party will be great, I'm just looking for people who can commiserate...

post #2 of 35
Yes! We had DS's party at a bounce house last year and I gave out invites like 6 weeks ahead of time and then was worried that I sent them out too soon cause I wasn't getting any RSVPs. Then I had to send reminder notes about the party and still was waiting on RSVPs. Then I was worried no one was going to show. We had a decent turnout but I hate when people say they are coming and then don't show up. That really annoys me.
post #3 of 35
post #4 of 35

To be honest, we've only done family parties as of yet, with no plans to change at least for this year.

 

A friend of mine with 4 children says that she does big kid parties only  for certain birthdays, and organized it in a way where she only has one big kid party a year. It keeps costs and expectations down, but also gives kids the opportunity to host their friends.

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks for replying. Neera, thanks for the thread. It helps to know you are not alone.

 

I also do family parties when the kids are toddlers, but we have no family nearby, so it's usually just me, dh and the kids.

I also keep ds's friend-parties pretty low key, this is the first time we organize it outside the home.

I make the cake myself, I don't organize any games, it's just one big playdate.

But I still stress about it :)

Crazy, I know...
 

post #6 of 35

Ur v. welcome.

post #7 of 35

We generally do small parties at home, I don't think my kids handle big parties well.

 

There is always an issue of how many people we should invite, too many and we won't fit everyone in, too few and we don;t have enough to play games and stuff. One things which has worked well for me it to chat with the parents of a couple of DDs best friends before we send out the invites, that way I've been able to pick a date & time that will work for a few of us and at least make sure we have a couple of people coming.

 

Some years we've had lots of children and have tended more to big games and playing outside, other years we've only had a few and I;ve tended to focus on doing a couple of crafts or cup cakes, something I wouldn't attempt with more children around.

 

A pool party sounds fun, I'm sure you'll have a blast even if there are only a couple of families.

post #8 of 35

I definitely feel this way. I don't want to host a huge party, but when DD only wants to invite a few kids, I worry no one will show up. We definitely had a party (at home) where only one family showed up due to really horrid weather and my eldest was very disappointed.

post #9 of 35
Ahhh... We just had our first birthday party for DD. She turned 5 on Saturday and we planned a party for her at our house. I was almost in tears the whole morning, thinking no one would show up. I thought I was being insane. I am sooo relieved to know I'm not alone in my birthday anxiety. (She had 4 little friends come over and it was awesome.)
post #10 of 35
I don't do birthday parties at home because it's more stressful. I'd rather have someone else do all the work.

I find it's worse though when the kids are younger because the parents just show up with extra kids (siblings) sometimes. That hasn't happened since my older one got over about 6. But when they were 5 and 4, there always seemed to be a parent or two who assumed I was planning to have sibilings there, and then would get upset when there wasn't a goodie bag for the siblings. Very frustrating.

Also, older kids tend to tell the birthday kid if they're going to be there. They've talked it over iwth the parents and know what's up. I try to confirm with the parent anyway, but if I don't get any calls back, I've got a reasonably good idea of who will be there.
post #11 of 35

I hate throwing birthday parties. I now refuse to have them at my house, I'd rather pay the $80.00 to have it at the pool or gym then to clean all day, and then spend all night cleaning again after the party. I hate putting together goodie bags. I stress that no one will show up. We always seem to have very poorly attended parties due to no fault of our's, weather, conflicting parties. etc... One year no one showed up for DD1's 5th birthday party, another time only two families showed up out of 12. Another year there was an epic girl fight during DD1's party between jealous friends. Last year another friend (age 10 BTW) had an hour long meltdown. So yeah, I dread every single birthday which seems to be often since I had four children. 

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I don't do birthday parties at home because it's more stressful. I'd rather have someone else do all the work.

I find it's worse though when the kids are younger because the parents just show up with extra kids (siblings) sometimes. That hasn't happened since my older one got over about 6. But when they were 5 and 4, there always seemed to be a parent or two who assumed I was planning to have sibilings there, and then would get upset when there wasn't a goodie bag for the siblings. Very frustrating.

Also, older kids tend to tell the birthday kid if they're going to be there. They've talked it over iwth the parents and know what's up. I try to confirm with the parent anyway, but if I don't get any calls back, I've got a reasonably good idea of who will be there.

I hate that too. For dd's last birthday we had to specify that the bday party was age specific as they were going to do a craft for their age. Well, recently we attended a 6-yo's bday party and at least 3 moms that I knew showed up with siblings. One came with 3 siblings, one with 2 and one with 1. One mom who has 2 kids just came with the invited kid.


Edited by Neera - 1/31/13 at 6:08am
post #13 of 35
I always ask if siblings are welcome if it's not specified on the invite.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelawareMom View Post

Ahhh... We just had our first birthday party for DD. She turned 5 on Saturday and we planned a party for her at our house. I was almost in tears the whole morning, thinking no one would show up. I thought I was being insane. I am sooo relieved to know I'm not alone in my birthday anxiety. (She had 4 little friends come over and it was awesome.)

I`m right there with you :)

 

Re: siblings at birthday parties; I once specified on the invite that siblings and parents were welcome, only to have one family refuse because the mother thought she couldn't just drop off her kid. I didn't mean to say that parents had to stay, but oh well... And I've heard about it through a common friend, so I couldn't tell her that her son was welcome with or without his family.

post #15 of 35

Nightwish, reviving this old thread. I am wondering how it went after all. Guess what we are having a party again and I am going thru the same anxiety. It's crazy. I think this will have to be our last party.

post #16 of 35
My DS was invited last year as a special birthday guest and it was great! His friend could pick anyone to spend his special day with, they had pizza, ate cake, opened a few presents, went to a game place, had a ball, and it was NO stress for the parents.
post #17 of 35

Not sure how I stumbled upon this thread but, I just wanted to assure you all that it's SO much easier when they're older.  My kids are 10 and just turned 12 and they've developed close friendships with a group of kids - they spend time out of school together so I know the parents.  It's so much easier!  But, when they were younger and we were inviting  so many kids that I didn't even know - let alone know their parents - it was so stressful!  And in classrooms where there's no class roster, it makes it even harder.  One time we passed out invitations - hardly heard from anyone - didn't have a class roster so I had to hand write out reminders and pass them out.  It's so rude!    But once they're older and you no longer have to invite the whole class or groups of kids you don't know, it really is so much better.  But, I totally understand your stress! 

post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neera View Post
 

Nightwish, reviving this old thread. I am wondering how it went after all. Guess what we are having a party again and I am going thru the same anxiety. It's crazy. I think this will have to be our last party.


Last year's party was actually great. Almost everyone came (there was only one kid who didn't show up). The party was at an indoor pool, they just played in the pool for more than an hour, then we had cake and some snacks and opened presents. We had a party organizer who helped set the table and entertain the kids, but we had nothing organized, it was mostly free play. The kids had fun, they were exhausted by the end of the party (which is a good thing :thumb). I don't know what I would have done with a bunch of energetic 8 y/o boys at a home party.

 

Amcal, you're right about things getting better as they get older. This year ds made some new friends in the neighbourhood and a couple of them already confirmed that they were coming. We are planning to have the party at an indoor playground, hopefully that will keep them busy, and I won't have to stress to much about what to do with them.

 

Neera, how old is your child? For my now 9 y/o I was thinking of having a couple more parties, then just inviting a couple of friends over, when he starts middle school.

 

Another question: do people throw parties for 12 y/o or older? Just wondering...

post #19 of 35

We started at age 9 not having parties any more for DD1. That year we took 2 of of her friends bowling. The next year was lunch and a pedicure with another two friends. This year was lunch and sledding at the resort with two sister friends. DD1 is only 11,middle school is next school year for us. We know a lot of older kids because of DD1's sports and we've been invited to their birthday events for years. It has never been a "party" more like lunch or dinner out, a movie, fun day at the hot springs, bowling, etc...

post #20 of 35
My DD turned 12 last week and we had a party. We took a group of her friends to the YMCA (we rented out 1/2 the gym) and they played volleyball, had pizza etc... We also invited some of her close friends for a sleepover.
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