The Rule of Birthday Parties

As a mom of a 4.5 year-old and a two-year-old, I am new to planning social events for the second child. My son just turned two and planning his birthday party caused me to consider so many things that I just didn’t know how to navigate. My husband and I go all out and host large parties for the first birthday celebrations, but second birthdays, I feel, are more for just the friends.

But how many friends does a two-year old have?

For my son’s party, we chose to have it at a local farm because he is obsessed with animals. The farm allows you to feed the animals, play in sandboxes, slides, playhouses, and more, and even go on train rides and hay rides. It’s the perfect venue. The catch? They charge per PERSON, not per kid. That can really make a party add up, especially if you just want to do something fun and not pay a small fortune.

We chose to invite just a small group of our closest friends with kids that my son also plays with, but that excluded significant people and left me with mom guilt. We didn’t invite:

-Aunts, uncles or cousins with kids older than 5 years old (the older kids are basically over toddler parties)

-Friends that have kids our daughter plays with

-Other friends of ours with older kids

Social media can make things like this very awkward. Do you hide the fact that you had a party? Ask those that attended not to post anything or be honest that you really didn’t want to spend money on a big party and only invited kids that your kid actually knows?

We did invite other family members over for cake at night, which was a nice alternative but our house is a little cottage and that doesn’t make it easy to host parties.

Afterwards, I asked one of my dance mom friends, who has an older son as well as a daughter the same age as mine, about the rules for parties.

Do you invite your first child’s friends to a sibling’s party just because you are friends with the parents? What are the rules?

My friend told me that everyone does what they can and don’t have #momguilt.

Of course I do, though, because we love all our friends and family, including that mom who I didn’t invite but fessed up to so things didn’t seem awkward among my beloved dance mom squad!

Lesson learned from this post: Birthday parties will only make friendships awkward if you let them. Be honest and real friends will understand.

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