So, Miss N's sixth birthday is coming up in the beginning of March. I know that is two months away, but since we have a tiny house and need to have the party elsewhere, and venues tend to book quickly and are expensive, I have already been thinking about it. And now I am left with a quandary.
As a child, especially as a teen, I was always the one not invited. I was the excluded one. The "big" parties either invited everyone, and then I was included, or not, and then I was excluded. It hurt.
Now that I am the mom planning the parties, I do not want to inflict that pain on any child. But, this brings up a difficulty.
We have a lot of kid friends. We have school, and her class has 17 kids in it this year I believe. We have a handful of same aged friends at church. We have a group we have been friends with since toddlerhood. We have a smattering of friends here and there as well.
Last year, I invited everyone. I ended up with over 50 people at her party when you counted the parents and siblings that came. It was outdoors at a park so not a big deal, and we did have fun, but man was it stressful! I even had to hire a babysitter for the kids whose parents dropped them off - I didn't trust myself to be able to keep my eyes on that many kids in a big outdoor space.
So, now I am left wondering what to do this year. There are variables we didn't have last year, like additional cost. We won't be doing a park party in May since I will be having a baby then, so the party has to be in March at an indoor venue, making it more pricey. The venue I have chosen requires a minimum of 10 children, so I can't get by saying just two or three. I like the idea of "invite a child for every year of your life," so she could have 6 since she is turning 6, but that doesn't work for the venue she wants.
In Miss N's eyes, we could probably get by with inviting just the girls in her class and these two boys that are good friends, but what about the other boys? I know kids, they will talk. I know one friend whose parents I know was really hurt last year when a child had a party and invited almost everyone, but not her son. They had a 15 child limit at the venue and there were 18 in the class. Ouch. I don't want my child to be responsible for hurting anyone!
Then there are the church friends, the friendships I really want to cultivate, the friendships I want to last a lifetime.
So that is the quandary. How do you keep a birthday party sane and reasonable without hurting someone? I haven't decided what I am going to do yet.
I am definitely ready, I think, for the years of "invite three friends for a sleepover." What an easy birthday party! And no one can be faulted for limiting the party when it's a sleepover, right?
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