Throwing a birthday party for a kid can be so hard, especially if you’re on a budget. You want your child to have as much fun as possible, new medicine for ulcerative colitis medicine but you don’t always have the money (or energy) to go all out. That’s one reason why a reddit mom decided to forego sending a mass invite to her 8-year-old son’s class and opted to privately invite his best friends instead. Well, this made some parents upset, and they are still complaining to the mom almost six months later! Talk about holding a grudge!
In the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit, a mom writes about an experience that happened last April.
“So last year was my kid’s first year in ‘big kids’ school’ like he calls it, since his first grade coincided with the pandemic,” she wrote. “We are not in the best place financially; like most families, our consumer debt piled on and we are throwing every spare cent at it. So when it was time to throw him a party, I only invited 5 of his classmates, the ones he considered his friends. For the others I sent 2 dozen cupcakes and juice boxes to class.”
This sounds totally reasonable. He gets to have a party at school with his class and a more intimate get-together with his five besties. But wait — won’t the other kids feel left out? Don’t worry, the mom thought of this too, explaining, “The invites were delivered to their houses and not in front of the other kids.”
NBD, right? Then they went on to have a casual backyard party with homemade pizza, cake decorating, and water guns. “Like I said, money was tight so I got creative,” the mom wrote. “I made 9 small cakes (box cakes, vanilla, chocolate and funfetti), buttercream in different colours. Also made big sugar cookies and different coloured frosting and sprinkles. And finally bought tortillas, made pizza sauce and had a variety of toppings. I asked that the kids bring swimsuits and water guns. We had a make your own pizza station for lunch, then they played with their water guns. Then they decorated their cakes and finally their cookies to take home with them.”
It sounds laidback and, honestly, like a blast! Kudos to this mom for thinking out-of-the-box and making her son’s party awesome. The only problem? The kids had so much fun, they couldn’t help talking about it at school.
“Well the next Monday, the kids would not stop raving about how fun the party was, how it was the best birthday party ever,” she wrote. “The other kids were not happy to not be invited.”
Enter: upset parents. “At pick up Tuesday, a couple moms confronted me about not inviting their kids. I said that I am sorry, but it was a small party for his close friends only. They kept complaining about me excluding their kids.” She added that she didn’t really think too much about it, but now a new school year has started. “Almost 6 month later, and I am still getting the occasional comment thrown at me. So AITA?” she added.
I feel bad for the other kids, but what a confidence boost for the mom! She thought she was skimping with no money and a simple idea for a party, and it turned out to be the most fun, ever. That’s some serious mom goals (and maybe a reminder that it doesn’t take much to make our kids genuinely happy).
Redditors agreed with the mom. First of all, it’s not like she specifically excluded one or two kids. Out of the whole class, she only invited five kids. “NTA. You invited FIVE children,” one person wrote. “I am honestly boggled at any parents that think it’s okay to confront you about the fact their child was not invited. That is absurd honestly.”
Another commented that the whole invite-the-whole-class thing is a fairly new concept. “Maybe times have changed but when I was in school it was pretty uncommon for the entire class/grade (small school) to be invited to a birthday party,” they wrote. “Most kids just had their close friends.”
Some people were unfairly blaming teachers for putting the expectation that everyone has to be invited, as many schools have policies that you can’t pass out invites unless you give one to every kid. However, the mom mailed the invites outside of school — and also, teachers have enough to deal with without taking the blame for other parents’ actions.
“Teacher here,” one person commented. “Don’t blame it on the educators, we do what we can and what we’re allowed. We go above and beyond and have to listen to the complaints/verbal abuse of these parents as if we are both customer service reps AND therapists. It is literally the one thing I can say ‘Not my job!’ about — dealing with parent-on-parent drama. And we get paid shit for it and still get crapped on. This is solely on the parents (and I guess some TV and outside influences? Maybe?)”
Other people pointed out that a child’s birthday party should also take the child’s needs/wants into consideration. “NTA. As a mom, I was distressed that the big all-class parties were stressful for my introvert daughter,” one person wrote. “She didn’t want to have everyone over. Shouldn’t her birthday be what she wanted? Time with her besties? We ultimately went underground, stopped talking about parties and has her friends over the weekend before our after. Shhh.”
We get that the kids were hurt, but the mom did have a cupcake and juice party at school with for her birthday boy. Also, no kid is still upset about this 6 months later — it’s just the parents who can’t get over it for some reason. Instead of making rude comments, these parents should focus on rethinking their own birthday party plans. Chill is the way to go!
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