Birthday Party Politics

Birthday Party Politics

Birthday Party Politics. I’m not talking about adults, or teenagers, they can sort themselves out and live with the consequences. I’m talking about children. Little kids’ birthday parties.

Things to consider when planning a kids birthday party …

When planning a party there are a number of things you have to take into consideration:

  • Date – is your child’s birthday in the middle of the school week. Or maybe on a weekend, or even in the school holidays?
  • Budget – how much can you afford to spend? If it’s unlimited, good for you. Realistically it’s not though. Know what you can afford and that will then help you decide on the venue, theme and type of party.
  • Your Child’s Wishes – Does your child want a big party or just a trip to the movies? Maybe they want a meal out with one or two close friends?
  • Venue – if it’s a party with lots of friends, you need to decide if it’s practical to host the party at your house. Maybe it’s better to use a venue (remember your budget). Take into consideration the weather and season too (indoor, outdoor, summer, winter, rainy season, snow.)
  • Theme – once you’ve considered all of the above, then your child (and you)  can decide on a theme.

For me, I’d say those are the top things you need to consider when throwing a child’s birthday party.

Lessons to be learned …

With that said, please read this post I wrote a while ago about Birthday Party Etiquette. I’m not going to cover that again, but there are some valuable lessons and things to consider in there too. Manners people!! Manners costs nothing!

The point of this post is more about the adult politics that comes into play surrounding birthday parties for our precious children. Anette from 3 Little Buttons wrote this post about how her four-year old daughter was not invited to a friend’s birthday party. And then had to walk past the party to get home.

My heart breaks.

When it really hits home!

This really hit home for me, because my youngest daughter has also been excluded for the past two birthday’s in a row from a certain classmate. Let me try to be fair here before I start ranting and paint the whole picture for you.

Set the scene …

My youngest daughter’s birthday falls on a public holiday (in South Africa). It’s towards the end of the second school term, in winter.

Two years ago her birthday fell on the day I was released from hospital after my first hip replacement (major surgery). I was determined to be home on her birthday regardless. But hosting a birthday party for her was just totally out of the question. Also, at this point we were still new to the town and school only having been living there for about three months. And she was only turning two. We did celebrate at home with a cake and presents and my mom was there too, but as parties go, it wasn’t one.

Nailed it – no birthday party politics on that occasion!

Moving on!

Last year (the following year), I saw via the wonderful joy that is Facebook, that one of the little boys in her class had a birthday party. Quite a few of their classmates were invited, but not my daughter. I was a bit hurt on her behalf. I tried to push it aside and make excuses to myself as to why this was; maybe it was only boys, maybe it was only family and a few friends, maybe there were budget or space challenges.

But when there is photographic evidence to the contrary, your excuses run out and you just accept the obvious. You try to forget about it whilst trying NOT to take it personally. It’s this type of birthday party politics that you need to steer clear from!! Or maybe embrace!

Fortunately, my daughter didn’t know. Clearly I am more invested than she is!

Switch It Up …

A few months later it was my daughter’s turn for her first proper party.

She wanted a princess party at home so I invited five of her little girl friends, and if they had sisters the sisters could come too. Since my eldest would obviously be there she was allowed to invite one friend too. We decided not to spend money on a venue, so I set it up in our garage. We lived in a townhouse so space was an issue and I couldn’t put the girls outside in the freezing cold weather.

There were 10 little girls running around. They played dancing games, decorated cup cakes, everything was pink and sugary. The mommies were invited to stay (because I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving my kids at someone’s house) and everyone had a lovely time. I put a few pictures on Facebook.

This year rolled round, and thanks again to the joys of Facebook, I see that the same little boy has just had a birthday party and all of their little class friend-clique were at the party, boys and girls, except for my daughter. Even my daughter’s BFF (whose parents are not friends with the family) was there. If I was ever in doubt of her being purposefully excluded, the doubt was now gone. There are two possible explanations here:

I have no idea why.

Fortunately my daughter still is none-the-wiser about being the only one of her friends not invited to a party, again. I will keep it that way.

Is it the end of the world? Am I being petty?

So what am I going to do about this?

Firstly, I’m going to have a massive Facebook Friend cull!

Secondly, nothing. What is there to be done?

This is just one personal example of Birthday Party Politics. I am quite sure this other mom has her own version, or hasn’t even given it a thought. I am equally sure that every mother/parent out there has their own story to tell about this topic. When did it get to this? Why has it got to this?

We can make a million excuses for our own behaviour and that of others but when we are trying to teach kindness, tolerance and inclusion to our children, shouldn’t we lead by example?

Maybe I’m the one taking this all far too personally.

But I am a Lioness Mama! Hurt my children’s feelings and you will hear me roar. Not that they were hurt in this instance. 

Ah to be young and ignorant.

But I know … 

I Am A Lioness Mama, Hurt My Kids and You WIll Hear Me Roar!

This post is linked up to the following linkys: 
My Random Musings
3 Little Buttons


  1. How could they not invite your child? Fortunately, parents at my baby’s school sends cake and party packets to the class. My child’s birthday is 21 December. Awkward date

    1. Hmmm … they do have class parties too,but this was a separate party for actual friends. Clearly my daughter or I don’t qualify.

  2. I invited a few friends to the cinema for my sons fifth birthday a few weeks ago. He had a great time and so did his friends. But during the trip I found out that one of his ‘best friends’ had had a party the week before and my son hadn’t been invited. But here was this little boy, watching a film I had paid for, eating pop corn I had paid for, who’s parents hadn’t invited my son to his party. All the other little boys in the group were at the party accept mine. I was heart broken. He didn’t know it had happened fortunately. But I did. And I won’t forget it either. I hate being petty. But my son calls this little boy his best friend. And the feelings obviously aren’t mutual. Or they are and his parents don’t like my son. Which is utter madness because Gus is awesome.

    1. Exactly my point … politics!!!
      I bet that if it were down to the kids these issues wouldn’t be an issue!

  3. my daughter has never been invited to a birthday party from anyone at school ever and she’s in year 7 now. I held a few parties in her earlier years and invited many of her classmates to her birthday parties but barely any turned up. When she was six not one of her school friends came to her party so we decided not to have any more and to take her out for a treat instead. I blame it on two things, 1 my daughter is autistic, although in mainstream school, and 2 her birthday is in the summer holidays. It used to bother me but it doesn’t bother her so we just have a fun day and not worry about anyone else.

    1. That is so sad. I’m feeling emotional for your daughter. Why don’t parents just do the right thing!

  4. I was going to ask you how old the children are, but then I realized that doesn’t matter. This is BS. The mother is not setting a good example for her child. If you have a party, you invite everyone-if you cannot invite everyone because you can’t afford to-then you don’t have a “party” you have a get together that you DON’T put on Facebook!!! The fact that this has happened more than once is what really gets me going. I mean, REALLY??? I have two girls-16 & 9. I have been through this scenario. That mom is rude. She needs an Emily Post tutorial ASAP. #anythinggoes

    1. Thanks for that. They are both turning 4 now (my daughter and the boy in question), hence why she doesn’t know about it. I’m sure by the age of 7 or 8 it will be impossible to “hide”.

  5. I understand only inviting a few, but inviting all but one is just nasty. Even if you hate the parent, don’t punish the kid. That lady needs to learn some manners but I love how you’ve decided to just let it alone because it’s not worth your upset. Good for you! #DreamTeam

    1. Thanks Heather. I do struggle to be civil to her. I’ve seen her a few times this last week. I also heard how my daughter kicked all the boy’s butts at soccer yesterday! Yes, I’m petty. lol

  6. Im definitely not looking forward to these sort of politics as Rory grows. I’m going to enjoy the early years when birthdays are simple #dreamteam

    1. You must do. They are far more pleasant than for the parents too.

  7. Ugh! I HATE crap like this. A few years ago, there was a little girl in my daughter’s kindergarten class who had a birthday party and brought her invitations to school to hand deliver, but only to a few girls. Mine was not one of them. The girls who were going couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks, and they actually bragged that they were invited and others weren’t. It was awful. It’s one thing for children to behave this way. But it’s ridiculous when adults do it too. #dreamteam

    1. That’s mean. I’d like to think kids don’t understand how it feels to be on the ‘not invited’ list. But some of them are just mean!

  8. I think for the most part, it’s parents that cause all of these issues. Maybe the parents who exclude a child for their own petty reasons should follow their child’s example rather than the other way around!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  9. This situation is so difficult, and I really feel for your daughter. It’s horrible being left out. I worry that we may be in a situation soon where we’re the ones being accused of doing the leaving out…but the reality for us is that we are hosting the party at home and only have a certain amount of space and budget. I would have liked to have invited the whole baby group clan, but the reality is that I can only invite half. I hope I won’t offend too many people as it’s not done to be malicious. Thanks for linking up with #DreamTeam.

    1. I think most people will understand if you only invite half. Don’t stress. My point is only leaving out one or two. It’s just unkind.

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