Tuesday, 14 April 2009

I'm Working Mum and I'm organising a children's party.

There should be a support group; "Children's Parties Anonymous".

I didn't know it would be this stressful. I thought I had it sussed (see my post Saving my Sanity). I booked the venue, they sent me invitations and I sent them out. Simple.

No! It is not!

Now I'm waiting for parents to reply.

Two parents replied quickly to say that they couldn't come because they are away (daughter's birthday falls at the end of our Easter Holiday). A few others have replied since to say they can't come because they are away on holiday, at a wedding, etc. Five are able to come. About eight haven't bothered to reply and it's a fortnight since I sent out the invitations. I have to give final numbers this week. Why don't people reply?

Now I'm starting to panic.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

A party with no children.

Not good.

Then there's the cake issue. She wants a train cake, a car cake, a Manchester City cake, a Roary cake, a Monsters Inc cake, a Barbie cake, .......... Why won't she settle on one?

Whichever I get, it'll be the wrong one!

Then there's the dreaded Party Bags issue. After talking to a few other mums we agreed that party bags are horrendous. Lots of tat to lose around the house or in the car. Sweets and chocolate that children devour before you've had chance to look in the bag and confiscate it. I suggested a parting gift of a book and a piece of cake. "Great!" said the other mums. So I purchased some lovely activity books to give to the kids and Thomas napkins to wrap the cake.

"Not great" said Izzy.

Well, what she actually said was,

"Why am I not having party bags? Everyone has party bags. Why am I the only one not having party bags? I want party bags!"

You get the gist. So now husband, who is very susceptible to emotional blackmail, has gone out in search of Thomas party bags and suitable tat to put in them. I don't know if he's doing right or wrong.

Who invented party bags anyway?!

Then MIL complained that we haven't invited her other grandchildren to the party. (They live in Yorkshire and are coming for daughter's actual birthday). We tried to explain that this party was for school friends. Not good enough. She's now sulking.

Friends and family keep phoning us to ask what to buy her, which is very kind, but remember Toy City?

I'll tell you something ..........

....... organising our wedding wasn't this stressful!!


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, it's my Twins 11th birthday at the beginning of next half term. They are only having a small 'dinner' out at our local Italian that is the restaurent of choice for pre-teen and teen parties nowadays - but I am sure some will be away - their birtday is on the inset day before half term!

I too hate party bags I order in from a company now that does 'cones' 75p each - bargain. One party, I had them all sorted, but forgot to give them out - no one - not even the kids noticed - I was worried I would be the talk of the playground but many mums said it was a relief not to have one - no sticky sweets & cake in the car on the way home.

Polly said...

Oh lordy what a nightmare. Good luck with the party bags. Ollie has never seen hide nor hair of his - they generally end up eaten by his very naughty parents.

Tawny said...

You have my complete sympathy. Luckily K is past the party stage now but I remember them with horror!

gigi said...

I'm not sure people even know what RSVP means anymore. It's a shame. I hat the gift bags, I'm not sure who started those. We didn't do them when my boys were little. But kids expect them now, that's a shame too.
Continuied good luck!

Catharine Withenay said...

Perhaps just put the book and cake in the bag?

Nicol said...

I love the idea of giving a book instead of the party bags. I hate the party bags. This year for Livy's party the party bags were used to gather the candy from the pinata. My dh insists on a pinata due to cultural reasons. (He is from Venezuela and had one every year as a child).

It really bothers me that people don't reply and I hate having to call them to find out if they are coming. I wonder if people know what RSVP means anymore.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I hate it when people don't reply. I hate it even more when they then decide to turn up unexpectedly with siblings in tow!!

Iota said...

The saving grace when you're thinking about a child's party is that no matter what, the child will enjoy it. You can't fail to create a happy memory (although it sounds like lack of party bags might be a teeny tiny hair in the gate in your daughter's case).

kimmiekat said...

I feel your agony. I had 2 birthdays back to back weeks to plan in March. No one ever RSVP's. And yet, you always seem to end up having more people that you thought would actually be there.
Don't stress too bad. It will end up being ok.

Reluctant Housewife said...

I hear ya. I had a bunch of parents not reply until the last possible moment, too. Gah. It seemed like they were waiting to see if they got any better offers - or maybe I'm just paranoid.

I hope the party went well.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

oh girl - I feel your pain- I gave up on parties two years ago - no more parties in this house! I know, I'm a meanie!

Daisy said...

nice post! i actually enjoyed reading and those animated avatars.

arrangin parties and pulling through is really a heck of a job. i know..

Suburbia said...

Sounds so familiar. I do hate it when people don't reply, it is so inconsiderate.

Regarding the cake, why not make it a surprise?!!!

Good luck, I don't envy you the stress levels, and as for party bags...........

Anonymous said...

When Amy used to have parties I found this all the time.  I used to send out invites months in advance - honestly, how sad is that!  But I can't stand bad manners and failing to reply is simply just that - in my view.CJ xx

Mummy Cow said...

Who said school holidays are relaxing?? I too chose not to do party bags, only to be subjected to my daughter's guilt trip the day before which resulted in me dashing out on the morning of the party. I found daughter's last two party bags (one with mouldy cake in it) in her bedroom last week and have vowed never to do them again! A book - in the party bag?!-sounds like a fab idea!
Hope you're giving yourself some time to relax and recover this holiday. Are you feeling any better?

Maternal Tales said...

I too feel your pain. This year is the first year of party with school friends. It's a class of 30. Do I invite them all?? Do I really want 30 children plus their parents in our house?? I think not. Am a bit mean to hire a venue though so I'm still fretting. Couple of months still to go though but girlie is speaking about it almost every day. It's the pressure of not letting them down which causes the most pain!!!

Good luck!!