Birthday Party Dilemma - Los Angeles,CA

Updated on September 03, 2013
S.B. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

Hi moms. I have a dilemma. My son just started kindergarten 2 weeks ago. On Thursday I sent home a birthday party invitation with each kid in my son’s class. A few of the kids did not have their back packs there so the teacher said she would give the invitations to the parents at the end of the day. I’m not sure if she remembered to do it as I had to leave early with my son that day.

Today I got an email from one of the parents whom the teacher was supposed to give the invitations to. She wanted everyone to save the date for her twins birthday party scheduled on the same day as my son’s. Our party is 10-12, theirs is from 2-4. I’m a little upset by this and don’t know what to do. I don’t know if she just didn’t get the invitations and just happened to do her party on the same day. Or she got it, but decided to do it on that day anyway? Should I say something or let it go?

I’m concerned that people may not want to spend their entire Sunday going from party to party and the majority may choose to go to one or another, and esp since she has a boy and a girl, most may want to go to their party! Also, my son is kind of shy, and definitely not the most popular or outgoing kid in the class or have a ton of friends, and I don’t want him to feel rejected if more people end up going to the other party and not many show up to ours.

So what would you do if you were in my position? And what would you do if your kid was invited to 2 parties in the same day? TIA.

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for your input. I feel much better knowing that most people don't mind doing multiple parties in one day. That was my biggest concern that most people might choose to go to one or another and that two parties would be too much in one day. With that I'm okay with us having our parties on the same day.
The school just started two weeks ago, so we all just met. She seems like a very lovely woman. She also has an older kid so I'm sure she has experienced this stuff before and probably didn't think it was a big deal to have two parties in one day, or just didn't get my invite yet. Either way, we're all good. Thanks for your time and advice. =)

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answers from Dover on

My daugter had 3 parties one day when she was in pre-k. We took her to the first one, then hubby dropped me at home and he took her to the second one so I could get some cookies baked, and then we took her to the third. They were actually all in the same class and most made it to all three. They were a very tight-knit pre-k class and it was great! We did have to leave early from one and get to the other a few minutes late.

My guess is that this mom had that day planned to be the day of the party because that is what works for her and/or her family. She maybe even changed the time to accommodate kids attending both parties.

The only thing I would say is to reply "Johnny would love to come to the twins' party. He will love seeing his class friends twice in the same day. BTW...did they recieve thier invitation to Johnny's party? Hope they can make it."

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answers from Boise on

I get that it sucks, but calling this mom up is only going to make you look bad.

Let it go, this may be the only time they can do it.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Call her! Suggest a combo party!
At that age the kids all just want to get together & play!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Since the party isn't overlapped, it may be that she did get the invite and planned her party to not conflict with yours.

Has she RSVP'd to your party? Call her to RSVP to hers either yes or no, and mention your party.

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answers from St. Louis on

okay, I had to walk away from the computer & really think about how I wanted to phrase this..... (shaking my head here)....

(sigh) I think it's wonderful you wanted to give your child a "whole class" party. A wonderful, kind, & generous thought on your part.

BUT your child is not the only child in the class.....& it really doesn't matter if the other mother received the invitation or not. What matters is that you are doing what you want for your child.....& she is doing what she wants for hers. You are both entitled to use the day & time, even if they're in conflict.

Perhaps this sounds harsh to you, but part of functioning within a loosely-joined group is being able to accept their rights....& not fall into the emotional trap of assuming "everybody" will be there for you. Relying on close friends & family is a better bet!

As you continue on your child's school journey, you will see that classes splinter into small groups.... remaining like this until H.S. & sometimes beyond. The important key here is for your child to create & maintain close friendships with a few, & be a nice friend to all. :)

& one more thought: I seriously believe you have zero rights over the issue. Please do not assume you can confront this other mother for using her freedom to provide for her own children. And, I have to tell you, Sunday 10-12 is "church time" for many families! Not an option for my family! Sorry.....

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answers from Dallas on

Heck yeah, I'd go to both. There's enough time to go home, grab lunch, and head back out :)

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answers from Phoenix on

You are assuming that because you got your invitations out first, your party was planned first. She could have had her party planned just as long as you. I would not say anything to her. I also agree that the time you chose on a Sunday, is not the best with church. Finally, you will be lucky to get even a few rsvp no matter what time you choose. It seems to me that people just dont rsvp anymore, especially at that age. I do wish you luck, but I would plan on family and close family friends, and anyone else is just a bonus.

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answers from Grand Forks on

I would guess she scheduled the party from 2-4 so it would not interfere with your party. I would be delighted if my boys were invited to two birthday parties in one day, and so would my boys. I am not a fan, however, of inviting the whole class to the party. We only invite our kids friends to their parties, and usually if my boys are invited to a party for a child who is not their friend we decline the invite.

ETA: I didn't see what day of the week the party was on in your post, but as some others have mentioned if it were a Sunday the 10am party would not be possible because of Sunday school.

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answers from Phoenix on

I am fine doing multiple parties on a Sunday! My kiddo will go right to bed after all that fun, giving me plenty of time to get things in order for Monday morning :)
Plus, I just love kid parties. I love taking my kids, getting to meet the parents, being able to watch my son having a ball with his friends and classmates. I love throwing them for all the same reasons, plus I get to be a control freak about it and do everything exactly how I want it....mwah hahahaha!!!!!
I would contact the other mom and thank her (sincerely) for scheduling her kids' party so it would not conflict with yours, and let her know that you will do your best to make it to their party.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Did you say Sunday?

Sweetie, no one will attend your kiddo's party. Really? There's this thing called church and lots and lots of people go. If so you need to change the date right away.

Maybe you meant to say Saturday and not Sunday.

We've actually done 3 parties on a Saturday. One for a good friends girl and one for a kid at school at their house. Then the evening one, 6-8 was at the skating rink.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I love Sunday parties. No one around here goes to church. If my children were invited to both, I would think about going to both of them. If I only wanted to go to one, it would definitely be the earlier one.

So, my answer is, do nothing.

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answers from New York on

Call this mom ASAP!!

It's crazy to expect the *whole* kindergarten class to attend two birthday parties in the same day. (I'm guessing she invited the whole class too?)

Try to work something out with her. (One of you might have to change dates.) Your son deserves to have his party be as well-attended as possible.

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answers from Cleveland on

actually I was expecting the typical, no one rsvp-ed question that is asked all llllll the time, because people are rude and don't rsvp any more.

have to say, if I were the other mom and you called me, I would not be willing to combine bdays, and at this point after I sent the save the date, I would not be willing to change it -if it were just a few friends I might have changed it but not for the whole class. which I understand is why there is conflict.

sooooo that brings me to two thoughts, #1 if she isn't organized to send actual invites then as a mom of a classmate I wouldn't "plan" on attending her party until I got the actual specific details, time, place etc. I couldn't tell from your post if her email actually was a full on invite that she scrambled to email out in response to yours but was trying to play nice and call it a save the date. so that would be a vote in favor of your party because it's clear and set.
BUTTTTT #2 as someone else mentioned Sunday morning is church time, and even if it wasn't it would be family time, so I would probably decline a class party early on a sunday unless you were a super great friend and we had the option of going to a different service or something like that, so that is a vote against your party.

What I would do would be to FILE this away so that NEXT year you either have a talk w this mom ahead of time, or pick another weekend to celebrate. this year, I would probably invited a few friends from outside of school so kiddo was sure to have some pals there,

AS long as, say 3 kids show up, I doubt your child will mind a whole lot unless you make a big deal about it, and I do understand how awful that would make me feel as a mom, but I really don't think this woman had a personal vendetta against you and your kid, if you can think of it that way, it was just something that happened and maybe next year it will be different.

and finally, if I felt like it, if my kids cared enough, if I had atleast heard nice things about these kids from my own, and if the time didn't conflict with our standing obligations I probably would attend 2 parties, can't really remember those starts all lining up though.

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answers from Wausau on

Let it go. You're new to all this so you get a pass about the angst this time. You do not, and will never have, a monopoly on party dates. The other mother did nothing wrong. She probably had the date picked but was just a little later than you getting the invites out. Perhaps she even graciously changed the time of her party so as to not conflict with yours.

The kids/parents that want to come to go to both parties will do so. The ones that will choose one over the other for whatever reason will do so. Even if your son's party was the only one that day, it is highly unlikely that everyone would attend. It would be reasonable to expect 1/3rd of them.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My son attended a small, private elementary school. There were three other kids besides my son who had a birthday within the same week. Basically whoever got the invitation out first got the date/time. Several years there were 4 birthday parties to attend over two weekends. As they got older the parties usually were girls only or boys only or just a few personal friends so there wasn't a party date conflict.


answers from Boston on

I think you need to give this mother the benefit of the doubt. You're both inviting 20-some kids to a party, and including kids you don't know and whose parents you don't know. You didn't even have contact info for the families and relied on "backpack mail" hoping that the invitations would stay there and be found by the parents in a timely manner.

You put the teacher in charge of your invitations, first of all. WHAT? Do you have any idea how much a kindergarten teacher has to do that doesn't relate to education? Getting kids to the bathroom, tying shoes, finding lost backpacks, helping children learn complex tasks like "line up" and "stay in line when we walk down the hall." Most schools don't allow teachers to get involved in children's social lives, particularly not in the first few weeks of school! Something gets lost (or ignored) and the teacher gets the blame.

Whenever you invite 20 children to a party, you have to figure that some aren't going to come. Half the time the invited child doesn't know who the birthday child is, and parents get a little frustrated running around spending money on a bunch of gifts for a bunch of children they don't know. I realize that everyone "should" be thrilled that their children are integrating with a crowd of new faces, but that's not the family reality when every other weekend has a party attached to it. And a lot of families just can't afford to reciprocate with the large party venues (the bounce house places, the Chuck E. Cheese, the movies & pizza dates) and they don't like to feel pressured into it.

Then the kids get all competitive and expect their parents to spend a lot of money and "out-do" the last party. They get 20 gifts (which they don't open in front of the guests and can't write thank you notes for). And the moms are all over Mamapedia stressing out about goody bags and the expense involved - just check some of the more recent posts!

So I'm just giving you a head's up that there is a whole lot of stress and drama and hurt feelings in store for you as you enter the elementary school years. I think you will be better served if you really decide your philosophy of parties: how many children do you really want at a party (many people do the "year rule" - 6 year olds invite 6 kids)? How many weekends do you want to be taking your child to a party? How much is in your budget for birthday gifts this year? How much effort are you willing to put in ahead of time to enable you, alone, to get invitations (written or emailed) to the children and their parents in a timely manner? What is your child's expectation of a party, both as host and as guest? How will you handle your child when one of his friends doesn't invite the whole class or neighborhood, and he's facing hearing about a party that not everyone was invited to? How will your child be raised in terms of appreciating gifts, writing thank you notes, and learning how to express himself with gratitude and grace? Those are all very personal decisions but worth looking at before the situation arises.

My husband and I went through that early on and we're glad we figured out what was most important to us. It made all the other decisions easier.

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