May seems to be a big birthday month. The May baby crew also includes my daughter who will be turning 4 this week (how is that even possible!!??). Of course, with birthday comes party! That goes without saying. However, there was something that I’ve noticed with these cute giggle filled parties. Who knew the whole preschool party scene is so cutthroat? Between claiming your party date and figuring out who made the cut for the guest list, navigating through a popular birthday month can be brutal!
For my daughter’s first birthday, there weren’t many kids attending that were her age there. It was filled with our friends and relatives and her older cousins. The next year was filled with little friends we made at a mommy and me class. The year that followed was with her friends from dance class. Then she started preschool this past fall. So this year’s party invitations went out to dance friends and some friends from school. Yes, I said some.
I remember when I was younger, my parents would invite all my classmates to my birthday party. It was standard to invite everyone as to ensure no one was left out. However, that was when we were all old enough to comprehend the feeling of being left out. Now some may argue when that age is, but at the ages of 2, 3 and almost 4, I can’t help but think it’s for the parents’ feelings of being excluded versus the children’s.
When I started planning my daughter’s party, I wrote down a list of her friends. Some of them were from her dance class and some were from her preschool. Then I began to wonder if I should invite everyone from both classes. I didn’t want to exclude anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. After expressing my concern to other moms, all of them said it’s way too early worrying about inviting everyone, I decided I wasn’t going to do that. I asked my daughter who she wanted at her special event and she rattled off a bunch of little girls’ names. And that’s when it really hit me.
Why would I invite people that my daughter wasn’t going to interact with at her own party? Shouldn’t the day be about her and who she wants to spend the day with?
Sure there would be a time to be polite and extend the party invitation to more people. But at this current moment, my little one spends such a small amount of time at school, doesn’t want “yucky” boys there and can only really focus on a handful of other girls! So as much as I don’t want anyone’s child to feel excluded, that time isn’t now.
To the mom who actually tried to make me feel guilty for expressing her shock over there “being no invitation for her child”, I’m sorry. But our children don’t even interact for the hour they spend together a week. I’m sure your daughter, who doesn’t even know there is a party, won’t mind not attending. And let’s not forget…..it’s about the kids.