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.

 

 

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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