Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Party Pooper

Yet again my daughter is swamped with invitations to birthday parties. We're now onto 6th Birthday Parties and the variety amazes me: bowling, pot painting, train rides, pony riding, High School Musical, swimming, farm animals, etc.

I try to enable her to attend them all because

a) she enjoys them
b) it's nice for the birthday boy/girl to have their friends there

Even if I am overwhelmed with work, I will take her and sit at the back of the room marking work, writing exams or proofreading reports. (Yes, I am that sad mum at the back, working)

However, recently she recieved an invitation to a party and I turned it down without telling her. What a bad mother I am.

Why did I turn it down?

Well, the party was a "Disco Party" to be held from 6.30 pm to 8.30pm at a venue about 15 miles away and my daughter goes to bed at 7.00pm. It just wasn't going to happen.

I have always had a 'thing' about bedtime. I'm quite fastidious about her getting her 11 hours sleep. It helps her to grow physically and develop mentally and it stops her from being tired, tetchy and tearful the next day. I bent the rules for my 40th Birthday meal in the hotel in the Lake District, but that was a one off. We like the routine of PJs, milk and story and then one very happy and peaceful little girl goes off into the land of nod.

So I turned down the invitation.

Did I do wrong?


Sass E-mum said...

Not at all. There's no way that party's not going to end in tears for someone.

You are more than a social secretary and taxi driver. Think of yourself more as her agent/manager. Her ultimate success (ie happiness) all depends on her making the right appearances and none of the wrong ones.

After all, you don't want her to be everywhere like Jamie Oliver.

Do you?

Strictly said...

You made the right choice, I'd have turned it down too. My nearly 11 year old still goes to bed at 7.30pm - ok, I am not really kidding myself but she still goes to her bedroom at 7.30 and winds down till 9pm when it's lights out. She gets an exception for Guides each week, which ends at 9.15pm but even then I only allow that as it is a Friday.

By the way, your 6 year old parties are very exotic, just what are these kids going to do when they are 8 or 9? My 6 year old goes to adventure playgrounds or village halls!

By the way, I replied to your comment on my database post.

Emma Louise said...

Was that a 6th birthday which was 6.30pm to 8.30pm? If it was a older child I would understand the times but for any child under 8 to have a party that goes past the time most kids have to be in bed, doesn't make sense to me!
I don't think you did wrong! :)

Reluctant Housewife said...

No you did not do wrong. I wouldn't have gone either.

My kids go to bed at 8pm.

Maggie May said...

Not if you found the party broke all the boundaries that you had set out.
Was it on a week day?
These parties seem to get more and more expensive. My granddaughters seem to have parties most weeks and there are presents to buy & wrap. Most of these parties are on Saturdays & Sundays and have been either in the morning or the lunchtime or an afternoon. These have been gym parties, art parties, theme parties and one brave parent that invited a whole class to her house and organised games!
School has discos each term and they are 4.45-5.30 for Reception & 6.15-6.30 Yr 1&2.
That would be within your time table.

Nuts in May

Kelloggsville said...

hmmmm, I think your reasons for turning it down are valid but I would have tried to discuss it with my daughter first and then influence her to 'understanding and agreeing with' why she wasn't going. However, my daughter is now 11 and memories are short and maybe I have already forgotten what it was like back then and anyway every home/mum/child/circumstance is different. Are you a bad mum? NO. If the intention is good and the thought is behind it then the parenting process is being worked on and considered. That makes a good mum doing her best at the time. XXXXX

Catharine Withenay said...

I don't think I have the right to criticise anyone else's parenting skills or decisions until I've got all of mine right.

As you ask for thoughts, mine are that one-offs are great, and could certainly include friends' parties. You haven't said whether it was a school night or not. Either way, 8.30 for a 6-y-o is late to be finishing (then transport, then wind down, then bed...) so I think it would have to be a very good friend for me to make that exception.

I like sitting on fences...

Working Mum said...

Sass e mum- I like the analogy, agent I am!

Strictly - I was initially horrified by the patties, but I am now convinced of their worth in occupying five year olds without wrecking your house. We do also have church hall parties!

Emma Louise - yes, it was a 6th birthday party with five and six year olds. I'd be interested to know how many do go.

Reluctant- nice to see you again!

Maggie - the party is on a Saturday, but daughter has swimming lessons on a Sunday morning.

Kelloggsville- there's no way I could've discussed it with my daughter. As soon as she sees a party invitation she just wants to go and won't accept any reason not to. When she's older we'll discuss it.

Catharine - it is on Saturday , but daughter has swimming lessons on Sunday mornings. And no, it wasn't a good friend, it is a girl in the opposite year 1 class to my daughter. I did make an exception for her 8 year old cousin's party which was at 6 pm. I just couldn't see enough reason for her to attend this one.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

NO!!! routine, routine, routine.....

clapping hands!!!!!!

The wife of bold said...

It's a tough one because you don't want them to feel they are missing out but you also have to balance things and your routine, i'd have done the same just for the fact it was 15miles away. I did make an exception last week though, i allowed Mia to attened her first Halloween school Disco which only started at 7pm and ended at a ridiculously late 9pm!!!!!!! It was a thursday eveining too, but as it was half term and all her class mates were attending i couldn't refuse - i paid for it the next dya though x

Hullaballoo said...

You know what's best for her, WM, so don't feel guilty. One of the most important lessons for kids to learn is how to manage disappointment and from that to appreciate what they do get. Not easy nowadays, which such early messages about children needing to have it all, and mothers being bullied into the facilitation of this.

Suburbia said...

Nope! And it's not like she's not going to any others is it?! That is VERY late for 6 year olds, I bet you're not the only mum who thinks so.

We did the bedtime routine for years. Small Sprog still has milk and a story some school nights.

cheshire wife said...

I think that you have done the right thing, but I just hope that your daughter is not the only one who does not go.

Kelloggsville said...

with the extra context you have given can I say : the not a close friend, the swimming lesson the next day, all on top of the distance to drive would have swung it big time for me. you got my vote X

Pig in the Kitchen said...

sooo didn't do the wrong thing! I often do it too, who ARE these people that do late parties??! And i'm relieved you did it, my reasoning is usually, 'what, drag my 3 other kids out at all hours to pick up from a party? no waaay' and then I feel as tho i'm penalising my children for being part of a big family. but clearly, it's not just me!
I think I'm rambling.

scaryazeri said...

I used to be a lot more rigid about bedtime, but as she is getting older ( only 4 so younger than yours, right?) I am getting more relaxed, I have to admit. Culturally, back home kids stay up much later. I wonder if it has something to do with the warm climate, where nights are lighter and days are longer...who knows. But also when we travel, it is easier to just go with the flow, and pay for it later. she settles back into her routine quite easily afterwards.

Working Mum said...

FFF - yes, I'm a routine fan, too

Wife of Bold - I can't believe a school did a disco ending at 9pm for little ones. I bet they paid for it the next day in lessons when the kids were tired.

Hullaballoo - I am definitely teacher her disappointment every time we are in a shop and she mithers for a toy/book/game!

Suburbia - nice to know this bedtime lark can go on for a lot longer

Chishire Wife - yes, I was thinking whether many parents had turned it down because of the time, or whether I'm just a party pooper, hence the post. Maybe the poor girl won't have many at her party, but I don't know if the mum will know why because I didn't say it was because of the time in case she thought I was being miserable.

Kelloggsville - the extra info does help, but I will bear in mind about discussing these things with her in the future

Pig in The Kitchen - haven't seen you for ages! Thanks for popping in. Hope I've made you feel a bit better about turning down late party invitations. You're right = who are these people?

Scary - that is really interesting. Why do we English have these strict bedtime routines? I do know that if daughter doesn't get the 11 hours, she is tired the next day, but not so much in summer, maybe it is the amount of daylight. Food for thought.

Slimbolala said...

We long ago gave up on the idea of attending all of the class parties. There are just so many.

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