Dolly's blog: It’s another kids’ party and I’ll cry if I want to

A Citymother's Diary

clock Released On 4th Aug 2019

Dolly's blog: It’s another kids’ party and I’ll cry if I want to

I am so over kids’ parties.   

Even when I was a kid they caused me trauma.   Not being invited confirmed my gnawing fear that I didn’t fit in, but being invited was even worse. Had my mum bought a rubbish present?  Had we got the right day?  Why did my party dress look different?  All that enforced fun seemed very not fun from my perspective.  I loved the party bag, but what was to love about everyone looking and laughing at you whilst you tried to cut up a chocolate bar wearing woolly gloves, or woefully failed to pin the tail on the donkey.   And as for clowns...

Fast-forward 30 years and I was planning my own kids’ birthday parties.  This was what I now think of as my Cath Kidston period:  several years of self-imposed overachievement where I lost my sanity by proving (mainly to myself) that I could continue my career trajectory whilst also being a Perfect Mother with vintage floral ironed tea towels.  Hell-bent on this unachievable utopia I invited 100 people to our daughter’s first birthday party and wept because her Mini Boden outfit hadn’t arrived in time and a work crisis meant I hadn’t baked her birthday cake.   Utter.  Madness.  

My sanity gradually returned and, although I still get maternal guilt about it, our family approach to birthdays these days is deliberately low-key.  But (brace yourself for honesty) my antipathy towards parties lingers.  Particularly:    

• Spending precious weekend time in a soft play centre; sticky-carpeted, devoid of natural light and reeking of fried food and stale sandwiches.  I’m sure they’re capable of triggering depression.  

• When drop-and-go isn’t an option, having to stay until the bitter end making polite conversation, surreptitiously checking the time and wishing you were somewhere else.   Anywhere else.      

• The sheer administrative effort - even if your child is just the guest.  Failure to RSVP seems to now be A Thing, and is definitely irritating.  But is it only me who occasionally finds co-ordinating multiple invitations for multiple children (and the associated present and travel logistics) somewhat overwhelming.  I hereby apologise for those invitations I never replied to in time because - well - my inbox is packed full of many, many other emails I haven’t replied to in time.  

• The first world wastefulness of buying presents that almost certainly aren’t needed and quite possibly won’t be appreciated - then judging with the skill of a safe cracker precisely how long until you can chuck the party bag contents in the bin without your child noticing.  

• Even worse [shivers as types], the suggested financial donation instead of present approach.  Very London.  The idea makes sense but it’s just so... wrong. 

I appreciate the horror with which this honesty may be met - and am glad therefore that this blog is anonymous ;)

After 19 years of fee earning, Dolly now works in a management role in a London law firm.  Working four days a week she has three children aged 12, 11 and 8, a wonderful (though often absent) husband and a charismatic dog who keeps her sane.



Farhana Raval Farhana Raval - 06/08/2019 - 20:43

No Comments

Add Comment


We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our website. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Please read our cookie policy to find out more.