Kids Birthday parties.......sigh

Updated on September 20, 2011
3.B. asks from Tampa, FL
29 answers

Recently I had my youngests' birthday party at our home. Planned way in advance plenty of notice given to all. Didn't receive ONE regret. So I was expecting close to 50 people. We spent a few days cleaning, setting up tables, shopping, preparing food, baking etc. On the day of the party, maybe 20 of the 50+ came.
I am so beyond annoyed with people. Most of who didn't show, SAID they were coming. This seems to happen more and more. Why are people so inconsiderate? I guess my real question is, how do you do your kids parties? Do you have a meal, plus cake and ice cream? Do you decorate, and bust your hump. Or go with simple cake and ice cream, done deal. My kids are young, so I guess the decorations and that are really for the adults. But I seem to be the only one who really cares. And I am just so tired of people shrugging things off. We go to nearly EVERYTHING we invited to, even if it's not "convenient". Or if we can't, I say that we can't.
Should I simplify things to save my sanity? LOL How do most momma's of younger kids celebrate their birthdays?

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So What Happened?

I didn't put regrets only on the invite. And my point is that most of the 30 or so who didn't come, DID say they were.

After sleeping on it another night and reading the responses, my husband and I have definitely decided to scale it WAY back from now on. We have a very large family, a good portion of which did not come. Which has become another big sore spot for us. Again, we go to EVERYTHING for them and our friends. So from now on, our kids b-days will be SMALL. Probably not at home, and most people will not be included anymore.Not worth the aggravation

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answers from Oklahoma City on

We always have a party. I plan on my friends coming and if anyone else shows up then it's just more fun.

I don't do RSVP's, I don't do a meal, I don't do goody bags, we have cake and sometimes I'll do ice cream. It's a party for the birthday person and they can have lots of fun without all the expense of things not needed. I am NOT going to feed a bunch of strangers or give them gifts for coming to a party.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

So sorry! I would have been very frustrated and disappointed if that had happened to me.

You may already do this, but if not, I would suggest sending an e-mail reminder the day before the party (and even the day of) -- just in case people stuck the invite in a drawer, but never posted it on their calender.

Then, if these I'd ask each parent individually ( in a feigned concerned, passive aggressive sort of way) if they were all right -- as you were worried when you didn't see them show up for the party.

Definitely let them know you expected to see them -- they should feel responsible


answers from Phoenix on

Wow. That is regrettable about people's inconsideration about other people's time/money/expense when invited to a function. You could try "Regrets Only" or "Please RSVP by...insert date here..."

You know what else irks me is people that show up a 30 or more minutes late And then there are those that you give gifts too that don't bother writing a "Thank you" note.

Manners never go out of style.

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answers from Fayetteville on

50 does seem pretty extravagant. Is it to celebrate the child or is it a status statement. My children have always attended every birthday party they are invited to. Even if they barely know the child. There has been more than once that they were the only one to show up. My children started to understand my rule after this happened a couple of times. I guess what I an trying to say is that there are a lot of children whose birthdays are barely acknowledged. I have never understood the purpose in extreme overindulgence in children. They grow up to expect the world to treat them the same way. As a result they feel constant disappointment when that does not happen. I am sure you mean well. You love your child, and I wish every child had parents that could provide as you obviously can. But children don't remember 50 people parties. They remember special times with small circles of mom and dad, family and friends. Please accept my comments in the spirit in which they are intended, with kindness.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I am so sorry. More and more it seems like parents just do not understand how important it is to attend if you say you are going to attend,

And also as soon as possible to say, sorry we will not make it.

When our daughter was young, we had HUGE parties and people attended.. They responded and we all had a blast.

All I can suggest is to send out paper invites and evites and then check back with people on the actual week of the event.. I call this "breast feeding". You literally have to do all of the work because some people are just self centered and clueless.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

People have so many activities that they pick and choose the one's they want to attend. If you would have had it at some fancy venue like an indoor play place, a small amusement park, water slide park, or Chucky Cheese, etc, betcha they all would have come. And I can't tell you how tacky I think it is, to tell someone you are coming, then not show up! You did too much work to be treated this way and for your child to be disappointed. Unless they had a really good reason, I wouldn't invite the no-shows again to anything.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Well, most invites state "RSVP", which means "Respond, please", in French. It means, get off your lazy arse & response whether or not you are able to come. Just give me an answer. This is why I hate entertaining, to be honest. People are inconsiderate & seem to forget the time, energy, money, etc. that goes into a party. This is why I was beyond excited to go to Disney for DD's b-day instead of dealing with the party.

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answers from Honolulu on

Gosh I have never had that happen, personally.
But that is really rude.
I would think, most adults, would think about the ramifications of them just deciding they were not coming, at the last minute. That is time and money... and not to mention any goody bag costs, for the Host family.
And especially, in disappointing a child, on their birthday. By not showing up. When they SAID they would.

Really, beyond, rude.

There is no excuse for that. Once a person commits and says they are coming, they should. OR if unforeseen circumstances comes up, then they SHOULD call the Host and tell them they cannot come,

For my kids parties, I send an invitation with my phone number AND e-mail. And an RSVP due date. For attendance or not.
ALWAYS I put a deadline on it. And I specify.... "Johhny and 1 parent is invited.." kind of thing. (to deter people from just bringing too many people to the party who were not invited, and it keeps budget in check). And then I also specify, if it is a drop-off party, or the 1 parent can attend too with their child.

That has always worked, for me.

It really is a disappointing thing, for the Birthday child... when people are so flaky. And no one shows up, who promised they would.
Very very, rude, to say the least.

I also, well my Husband and I, do not ever have kids' Birthday parties, that are that many people. We only invite, THEIR close friends. Never an entire classroom. And only our immediate family, Aunty, Grandma kind of thing.

But regardless of the size of party... people are RUDE, to just not show up, when they said they would.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Simplify. I'm not sure why 50 invitations went out for a kid's party, to be honest. That's huge. The birthday boy or girl would frankly be lost in a sea of people who are busy visiting with each other (the adults) or getting into everything (the kids). I go for maybe 10 kids, tops.

And yes, it seems that for kids' parties, a lot of parents of invited children think it's acceptable not to acknowledge the invitation either way, accepting or saying "We can't come." It's rude but folks seem to forget these invitations -- probably because they are too busy and receive too many of them. Some friends complain about a birthday party nearly every weekend at some periods of the year. I hope they at least reply to all the invitations.

You should not feel obliged to, as you put it, "go to nearly everything we're invited to, even if it's not 'convenient.'" Why? Are you obliged for your child to attend every single classmate/neighborhood pal/church buddy/park friend birthday party? Save yourself the stress and accept the ones you get earliest and/or the ones for close friends. Don't ever put off a family event for a kids' party unless your family and that kid's family are truly close.

I don't know how old your child is but as he or she gets older, you will find the glow wears off these celebrations. Send your kids to the ones you can and send regrets about the ones you can't or don't care to attend.

For your own parties, trim that list to eight or 10 or 12 kids who are your kid's friends, absolutely no tag-along siblings, and give the party at a time of day when a meal is NOT expected; keep it to pretzels, carrots and birthday cake. The kids really will not care one bit. Focus on some good games they can play and they'll be much happier than if there are loads of people and tons of food.

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answers from Roanoke on

Sounds exhausting, mama! You say your kids are young, but a party of that size for a young child sounds a little overboard to be honest. It would be frustrating to go through all that time and effort and then not have everything you planned for..but did your child have a good time? That would be the most important thing. Next year, I'd scale down..a lot. Save yourself some time, effort, and money, and focus on having fun.

On a side note, you shouldn't feel obligated to go to every function you're invited to. If it's not "convenient" for you, don't force it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We should be friends! LOL! I have this same issue! I can tend to go hog wild with birthday parties, but if people say they're coming I expect them there b/c I bought food for them. It irks the hell out of me too!

I do the same as you with family and friends, a meal and cake and ice cream. Although, this may be the last year I do it this way. My son is turning 2 on Sunday and next year when he's 3 I may just do a friend party for him. My daughter's birthday is today (woo hoo!) so I may just do a combination cake and presents party for the family for both kids and let each kid have a separate "friend" party. We'll see how it plays out but I'm with you, I'm ready to be done with it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

A friend put "regrets only" and only 2/19 knew what that meant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I never liked big birthday parties as a child, so I don't have them for my children either. That may not be fair to them, but they seem to love birthdays the way we do them so it seems to be working. I do LOVE birthdays, just not the stress of big parties.

When the kids were toddlers/preschoolers we just had family over to celebrate. We cooked out, had cake, and the cousins all played. Even then there were only four kids. Then as they got into elementary school, they invited one or two kids over to spend the night on a weekend night near the birthday. We still celebrate with grandparents and have a special dinner. I always have a special breakfast for each of my boys on their birthday, too.

This works well for us. On the actual birthday the birthday boy is made to feel special all day, then he gets a special dinner with family, and he gets to have a fun sleepover with friends. If he wants to go to play lasertag, go to a movie, or something, we do that in addition to the sleepover, but usually they choose to hang out at the house. This is all stress free for all of us and we can relax and celebrate birthdays together without worrying about the details of a party.

However you decide to celebrate birthdays in your family, I hope you enjoy them. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I agree...It's become very frustrating for me too. I've switched to having simple parties, which still always seem like lots of work. Every once in a while I'll order pizzas, but sometimes I'll just have cupcakes and ice cream. As for decorations, usually just balloons. It's not that I don't's just that other people, like you say, just sort of shrug things off and don't appreciate, don't show up or cancel at the very last minute, etc. Trust me, if you decide to simplify, your kids won't notice. I'm sure they'll still love it.

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answers from Washington DC on

When my son had a Tae Kwon Do party at the Dojang. The theme was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I invited like 50 people. Only 10 RSVP'd that they were coming. The other 40 did not respond so I had to plan on them coming. Day of the party only the 10 that RSVP'd showed up. I had 40 extra party masks, and rings. We didn't order pizza until the party started so we didn't have that much extra.

When I have parties at home we end up with 40+ people. I have several tricks.
1. Everything is single serve - canned drinks, juice boxes, bags of chips, single cups of ice cream, etc.
2. I keep receipts for ALL party supplies
3. I wait until I see how many kids show up before I put the goody bags together.

This way if I 'NEED' to, I can return any unused items. Most of the time I don't have to because its stuff that I can use sometime in the future.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It's frustrating, to say the least. Not only are we expected to plan the party, send the invites, buy everything, set up AND call everyone we invited to see if they're going to show up!! :-/ I get a few regrets or acceptances, but for the majority i don't hear from I call them and get a feel for the outcome. I also do NOT plan on someone coming if I don't hear from them or can't reach them to ask and it has never been a problem with too many people showing up. And I "simplify things to save my sanity."

For younger kids the parties are really for the adults and older kids, so make it easy on yourself and just have a small family party. You can do a meal and cake and ice cream, but a few balloons is all you really need to jazz your home up. Whether you go big or small keep the decorations simple, serve hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, don't go expensive or gourmet, just serve something your family won't mind eating after the party if there's extras. Go with single serve bags of chips, cupcakes, ice cream cups, Capri Suns or juice in pouches, easy to serve at the party and later.

And if there's an amusement park or cool restaurant nearby make it very easy on yourself and take the money you would pour into a party and take your kids, a couple of their friends if you like and spend the day/afternoon there. We've done a small amusement park nearby and plan to do Knott's Berry Farm for the little guy when he turns 3 in April. Probably 4 adults and 5 children and everyone will be happy. Parties should be fun, not stressful, and bring to mind good memories ; )

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

In my family, birthdays are generally celebrated with family only. Not matter what, the birthday person gets a gift of choice and gets to choose where the family goes out to dinner. The gift may be modest, but the dinner is generally a no-holds-barred event. Then, the following weekend, we usually have a "birthday breakfast" at my in-laws, who live about 45 minutes away. We cook up a feast and top it off with birthday cake. Occasionally, depending on the state of the checkbook, the weather and how we're all feeling, we do a special activity, ranging from a bookstore run, to a movie, to mini-golf or a museum trip.

Parties for friends? At most, a handful join us at the local pizza parlor for a few hours of arcade games, pizza and cake. No decorations, minimal clean up. I do send out invitations but it's always a hassle to get RSVPs. With a pizza party in our one horse town, a few extra guests is fixable in 20 minutes with another pizza. No shows mean more food and quarters for everyone else.

My youngest loves the pizza parties. My oldest has spent his last 3 birthdays at Catalina Island Marine Institute with his science class. Frankly, that's the best birthday I can think of! For me and my husband, we like taking the family out to dinner for our special days. He and I rarely exchange gifts, so there's no "must do better than last year" pressure.

Bottom line, we make birthdays extra special family time and skip the party scene. But, I freely admit that we are very unusual in this regard. If it bugs my kids, they have kindly chosen not to tell me (they're teens now, so they're fully capable of complaining). My husband and I chose this path to avoid the party stress, drama and over-indulgence in useless gifts. Instead, we choose to gift our children throughout the year for whatever reason seems fun at the time or for no reason at all.

It works for us.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

We, pretty closely, follow the guideline of one child for each year (so a five-year-old invites five kids). That's all. With that few kids, we can call each family and make sure if that child is coming or not. If not, sometimes we invite another, if there's still time. Moms attended when the little ones were too young for drop-off parties, but now we do drop-off parties. I couldn't handle a party for 50 and I'm sure my daughter wouldn't truly enjoy it, either. The only time I did a party that big was for my two oldests' high-school graduation open houses.

I know different families have different expectations for birthday parties, but we've not had any disappointing parties! We save the big whole-family gatherings for christmas and an annual or semi-annual camping gathering at my sister's lake house or a camp ground.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think this may happen more often when a whole family is invited, vs a child-only birthday party where the kids get dropped off. When you have a whole family to wrangle and get in the mood and behave properly, etc... it can fall apart pretty fast. I'm not saying it's not rude, cuz it is, I think it is just more frequent with bigger parties with whole families -- if their dynamic is not happening (feeling sick, tantrums, what have you) it's much more likely for them to tell themselves "oh, there's 50 people invited they won't notice if we don't show up."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I feel your pain :( So sorry this happened to you and your little one. Unfortunately, I usually have this problem with family. We used to invite all the family to my children's baptism and their birthday parties and now I've cut it down to immediate family only because the last time I had a big party, I expected 65, ordered and paid for catering for 65 and... maybe 30 showed up. No one called to say they couldn't make it. The plain truth is that people are just downright rude. As far as kid parties... my daughter is turning 6 this year and we've had a kids party since she was 4. There were only 4 other girls in her class each year and of the 4 all RSVP'd and attended except for one little girl. Everyone in the class stopped inviting her because we all knew she wouldn't come or even call to reply. We decided this year not to have a kids party. Maybe next year.

I just read your "So what happened" and I just wanted to say again how sorry I am that this happened to you. You sound like you have a very caring and kind heart and that you worked very hard on your child's birthday to make his/her birthday amazing. To the person that responded after me, I'm sure she had good intentions but to comment, "Were you wanting the praise that comes with an extraordinary effort you were making" is very cold. My thought were, "wow.. this mom obviously really loves her child." I know that when I plan my kids parties its for them... all for them. I want them to feel special, loved and as if they're the most important person in the world even if its only for the short time frame of the party. It's very difficult when planning a young childs birthday party because you also have to take their parents into consideration. It's not a simple drop off/pick up party. When you invite 10 kids, you suddenly end up with at least 20 people assuming only 1 parent will stay with each child. In my kids cases, usually both parents stay because its a weekend and they figure they'll just hang out together. Even the largest houses suddenly feel very small. As a party planner, you need to take all that into consideration... snacks and drinks for kids as well as parents, seating for kids... and parents... etc. It's a big undertaking. I aplaud you for trying to make it all work and be wonderful for your child but for your own sanity I'd say, simplify it. However, that's what I did this year by not having a kids party and now I'm regretting it. Oh the woes of being a mommy. We never run out of things to stress and worry about. I hope your little one still enjoyed his/her party anyways!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Some people are just rude and don't consider anyone's feelings past the end of their own nose. You sound like quite opposite. I try to make it stuff we are invited to. I actually respond. I have seen people on this board say "rsvping is a thing of the past"!!?? All I can say is wit til THEY try to plan a large party. It's rude--plain and simple--NOT to rsvp or to rsvp and then renege on you promise.

For a kid or family party I usually have a meal, assortment of beverages, cake and ice cream.
Sorry your party didn't turn out as you planned.
I have found it better to pick up before the party and clean after!
I decorate minimally, some balloons, a banner, plates, napkins and cake. Just not a fan of over-the-top decorations.


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sorry that happened, that really stinks. I agree with you, scale it all back going forward. We've had one birthday party in which we invited my daughter's class and it was that party that we had people who said "yes" but didn't show in the end. (Personally, I think if you don't "know" someone, you don't seem to garner that much loyalty) Otherwise, we keep it to close friends and immediate family (grandparents, uncles aunts and cousins) and everyone that says they are going to come has always made it. I know from first-hand experience how butt-busting getting your home ready for a party is, esp. if you provide a meal. I'm seriously considering doing all future parties from 2-4 p.m. and having games, cake/ice cream and presents. This is what I grew up on in the 70s and I think somewhere down the line it just got too complicated, I don't know why. Good luck on future birthday parties!



answers from Toledo on

Keep it simple, I think.

We recently had a joint party at our house for our 3 year old and 5 year old. It was from 1-3:30. We had a bounce house-which kept the kids outside and occupied. We had snacks and a pinata. I had backup crafts in case it rained, but the weather was fine so I got to save the crafts for a rainy day. Each kid had their own cake, no ice cream (too messy; plus we had pinata candy). Only decorations were balloons, but a couple dozen wasn't very expensive plus the kids were outside and the adults don't care!

Only thing I would've done differently is food. I said on the invitation "cake and snacks", but people ate the snacks (fruit, veggie tray, chips/slasa and pretzels) like they were hungry for a real meal. So maybe I should've ordered pizza, at least for adults. The kids were so busy with the bounce house they couldn't have cared less about eating.

The bounce house was worth every penny. The people came and set it up and took back down, the kids played on it once they arrived and didn't stop until we did cake and pinata. Kept chaos pretty much out of the house, and let the adults actually talk. I had nice goodie bags with a small toy or two that the kids got, and they put their pinata candy in it.

And I didn't invite a ton of people, but the food and cake would've been the only thing 'd be stuck with if I had invited a lot and people didn't show. I had the backup crafts and goody bags for my own family's use and the candy for Halloween (theoretically!).

Good luck! So my advice would be is to have the kind of stuff at your party that you can use for your own family if it's left over.



answers from Bloomington on

I think it's best just to keep it simple. Last year, I had a big birthday party for my now 5-year-old (then 4). It was his first ever with lots of friends. Because he was born in the summer, we had a water fun day in our driveway with kiddie pools and sprinklers, and appetizers, cakes, cupcakes and drinks were in the garage. Presents were opened inside the house after everyone dried off. I put more effort into this party than I ever had, and I was even 8 months pregnant with my second boy, too. It was fun, but it was exhausting. I don't remember if everyone showed up, but I was grateful for those who did come because of the amount of work involved. This year, we had vacation and a convention that happened at the same time as his birthday. We had small celebrations with family, but when it came time for an actual party, I just didn't have the time or energy to organize anything. Some friends suggested just having a casual party at the park--no presents (I have a mom friend who always says "no presents" on her invitations. I kind of like that.), cupcakes from the grocery store bakery, that sort of the thing. He had his closest friends show up, so it was a small group of maybe 15 or so people. And, it was heaven! The only organizing I did was deciding on what cupcakes to get and what types of drinks (milk and water) to bring. The shelter at the park happened to be unreserved, so we just set up there. The kids had fun playing at the playground, and the adults got to spend that time just relaxing and chatting. And, my 5-year-old didn't seem to miss a thing. :) I think we'll keep this in mind for next year. Hope that helps!



answers from San Francisco on

Thats a big party! Maybe have a small party of close friends/family. They will be more likely to stick to what they say and let you know if they are coming or not. But yes, I think that is rude of them to just not show up.


answers from Phoenix on

Our kids are 15 (special needs), 11 and 8. Our 11 yo bday party is this saturday. we have a family party on the night of her actual bday (during the week) with dinner and cake. On saturday her and 2 of her school friends are going to see Lion king in 3d (her choice) and then back to our house for cake, ice cream and presents. We have NEVER had a big deal about bdays with school friends. the kids all take donuts, cookies or cupcakes (their choice) on their actual bdays to school so that is their "party" with their friends. We just last year started letting them take 2 friends to a place they want to go (fair, movies, bounce U, bowling, fun zone, etc). And we have a small family, just my mom local so she comes to the family dinner party the night on their actual bday. so don't make such a big deal. and if people don't make you a priority, then you know not to make them a priority. good luck!!!



answers from Portland on

I sympathize with you, 3boyz18r B. Your invited guests were rude. You should definitely simplify things to save your sanity. It's been my experience that most people do not see birthday parties as a big deal. I gave simple, small parties for my daughter and she is doing the same for her children. My daughter's friends, for the most part, didn't even have birthday parties. My grandchildren's friends do have parties but they're simple.

My philosophy is to do only what will please me so that I'm not disappointed if others do not appreciate what I've done. It's too easy to slip into the "poor me" feelings when people don't show up for a party I've spent hours and dollars on. In your case 20 people is a good sized group. I'm wondering why you invited 50 people. Were you wanting the praise that comes with an extraordinary effort you were making.

You don't say how old your youngest is but I wonder why adults would want to come to a child's birthday. If the 50 were children and their parents I am guessing that at least some of them felt that since you'd invited so many people it wouldn't matter if they didn't show up. Individuals just don't feel so special if they're one of a crowd.

The way that I'm sure that I have the most people attend any party that I give is to talk individually with everyone I'm inviting. I plan the date around their activities when possible. I involve them in conversation about what we're doing at the party. With a personal contact they're more apt to feel that they and their attendance counts.

I've always had good turnouts for the birthday parties that I've given but then I've invited perhaps 10-12 people at the most and have expected the 6-8 people that arrived. My daughter has issued written invitations to her children's classmates for birthday parties and hasn't had good turnouts or RSVPs. I think it takes the personal touch to get people to come to a party.

Later: My comment about praise for an extraordinary event is based on my question of why would someone invite 50 people to an extravagant birthday party for a toddler. If you're doing this to enjoy the social event I suggest people would be more likely to come if the party was not labeled a birthday party. It's more fun to just get together than to entertain children. Just an idea. I didn't intend to hurt your feelings.



answers from Cleveland on

sigh, yup, and it ONLY gets worse. This year my 12 year old didn't show up for his own party. No really, at the very last minute we were told he had a football game, and he can't miss 1 of the 8 games because he would get benched the next game, essentially missing two games when we paid a bundle for him to play. So yup 30 minutes after everyone was due here he had to leave, he's due at the field an hour before the game starts.

This was by far the most extreme it's ever been but I gave up on birthday parties with lots of people a LONG time ago for this very reason. close family and family friends and that's it. Cake, food if there is time and if not who cares, decorations only so far as when they were younger and we did the character plates and cups and stuff. I've never had any complaints from others that the parties aren't enough, and it keeps me sain with 4 kids and another on the way.

And for the record, we lost the game bad, and it was nice to have cake to come home to. And I'll admit those of us here for the party enjoyed a nice hour and a half hanging out and letting the other kids play and eating cake, while the birthday boy ran sprints and warmed up. gotta do what ya gotta do, it's life and stuff happens.



answers from Cincinnati on

i feel you. it really floors me how many people - including what you may consider to be 'good/close friends' - can't be bothered to respond either way. it is a big expense and takes a lot of energy to throw a party. and yes, other people say why go so all out/invite so many people, but we do the same thing for our now 4-year-old. i like to plan/throw parties (even tho they stress me out so much), my family lives no where near me, his bday is in the summer and my in-laws have a pool. so it seems like a great way to celebrate his bday and the summer with all our friends/my husband's family. it's not because i'm trying to show off.

i provide a variety of 'main' meals (either hotdogs/hamburgers/etc, sloppy joes/sandwich wraps/etc or along those lines), snacks/appetizers/fruit/veggies, cake/ice cream, maybe one other dessert and beverages (including adult). i don't think it's too much to ask for someone to reply.

what really amazed me out of all the parties i've thrown is how people said they were coming to my wedding, which i had to pay a lot of money per person for, and didn't show up for one lame reason or another - and yes, the thoughtless jerks told me what those reasons were. that really bothered me (obviously - i've been married 7 years).

someone once told me to figure on 20% of 'yes' responders not to show up, even for your wedding. i just didn't believe it could be true. anyway, the trick is to get to the point where you're doing it because you want to do it and if people don't show up, screw 'em. as another person said, make stuff you can use to feed your family/freeze for later.

tho i will admit that every once in a while, i let a response fall through the cracks to someone else's shindig and feel horrible about it.

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