Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree
When it happens to us, I've always explained to my kids that they can't make it to every single event that's happening.
This would be easier (maybe--dunno) if we weren't in a blended situation. Usually, my SD gets an invitation while she's with her mom, asks her mom, her mom says, "you'll be with your Dad so you'll need to show him the invitation" (which makes sense--it would be doubly aggravating to have Mom RSVP without asking us if we already had plans), and then by the time she does come over here and show us the invitation, she's already mentally planned for how she'll divide her time between the bouncy castle and the bouncy slide.
Years ago, we did get an "SD got invited to a party at Chuck E. Cheese near me so I'll be meeting you Sunday morning instead of Sunday night" edict (less than 48 hours notice) from Mom...that didn't go over well (especially because, yup, we had plans for Sunday); we later found out that this was a child of SD's mom's co-worker, SD had never met the kid, and (as it was a parents-stay party) SD's mom was looking forward to going herself!
I will freely admit I am not a fan of the automatic "invite everyone" party when there are that many kids in the class...it seems to have fostered this culture of one-upsmanship (at least among my SD's classmates) where, because most people can't have that many children in their house, it has to be out somewhere, and just doing a cookout (SD has a warm-weather birthday) at a park with a shelter, with a couple of games and a playground, would be the ultimate in "lame" (at least during the planning--I suspect the kids would be fine with it once they were there). So, she's been invited to bouncy places, gymnastics places, an indoor pool, a hotel waterpark, and the one park party she's been invited to has has a rented bouncy castle and a pony ride. And this is not a wealthy school.
Meanwhile, her mom cannot afford any of these places--she can afford to invite 6-8 kids to her house for pizza and cake, so that is what she does. The kids have a good time, but SD does notice that her parties aren't nearly as lavish. She won't accept our "charity" (she would see us even partially funding a party out by her as "charity" because it would be for the school friends out by her--SD's friends here probably wouldn't travel), which, OK. We're not too keen on the idea of a massive spread for a second grader (we generally stick to modest/frugal things in general, so it's not like we wear Prada and dress SD from the thrift store--our own wedding reception was at our house). (SD will usually have a small birthday event here as well--last year she asked for a trip to Six Flags with her best friend, so we did that in lieu of a party AND gifts.)