I’m Too Afraid Of Rejection To Let My Kids Have Friend Birthday Parties
As parents, I think it’s only natural to want to shield our children from some of the more unpleasant things in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about learning life lessons and by no means am I crafting a world of rainbows and puppy dogs for my kids, totally free of disappointment. However, I think there are certain lessons that a child does not need to learn until they are a bit older and the fact that some parents are assholes who RSVP and then no-show is one of them. I have gone to a number of kiddie birthday parties over the years and I have been to several where only a handful of kids showed up and I also once heard of a party we were unable to make where only one kid showed up. It makes my heart ache and I can’t even imagine if that were my child’s birthday party. The bottom line is that I am too afraid of rejection to let my kids have friend birthday parties.
I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous and you can all stone me for it but I just cannot with the friend parties yet. Claire turns seven next month and I am trying to psych myself up for it- I think it is probably time that I let her do this, despite my fears. The problem is, after seeing it happen so many times, I have myself convinced that we will invite the whole class and barely anyone will show up, effectively breaking my child’s heart (and mine). Up until now, neither of my kids has really seemed to mind that they haven’t had a friend birthday party. At this point, we have low-key parties that mostly involve family and a few close friends but I know it won’t last much longer and they are going to beg for friend parties. For Claire, I have a somewhat legit reason other than my own paranoia to not let her have a friend party yet- she has a mid-September birthday. The school year has barely started and I feel weird already sending invitations home with her entire class. She is still young enough that she doesn’t maintain friendships over the summer (we work and she is at summer camp all day so we don’t really do play dates) so it feels gift-grabby to invite a classroom full of kids we probably don’t even know.
I have been mulling over our options as it is late-August and the time is approaching. I am thinking of offering her the chance to have either a sleepover or a movie outing with a handful of friends. I feel like if we do that, I can personally speak to the parents and be sure everyone will come who says they will come. I think this is a good compromise between a big friend party and not having one at all. Hopefully, Claire agrees and maybe next year, I will be ballsy enough to go for the big party.