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Do you/your children go to every event you are invited to?

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#1 ekbaby

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:54 AM

It's that time of year when there are a lot of birthday/party/end of year event invitations. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of things we have scheduled.

Obviously there are times when you are invited to two things on the same time/day- in those situations I go to the person who invited me first, and send my apologies for the other.

Do you ever decline invitations when you don't necessarily have something clashing though, just because that might be the only free time you have in a week? Or because you know your kids are going to be exhausted if you take them to 5 things in one weekend?

Eg one day we have been invited to a morning, midday and early evening thing- it's technically possible to go to all three, but would be an exhausting day running from one thing to the next, DS2 would just have a micro-sleep in the car and then be really cranky by the 4pm thing... [I am not normally too fussy about my kids sleep but usually when it's just one thing, you can compensate in other areas... eg they don't have a day sleep, but you can put them to bed early, etc]

[I'm probably a bit more stressed than usual as it's also an incredibly busy time with DP's work so she literally sees the kids about 1-2 times a week at the moment and we really need a little bit of "down time" for her to reconnect with them on her one day off, plus do all the stuff around the house that builds up during the week]

I don't want to dissapoint anyone, because I know how dissapointing it can be if you organise a party for your child and not many people turn up, and I want their child to have a happy day. At the same time sometimes I think the tradition is to invite everyone from the playgroup/mothers group etc- so that no-one feels left out and that everyone is welcome- but the hosts are not necessarily expecting everyone to come (eg a group email sent out or everyone on facebook invited). I know for example when my DS1 was younger I would tend to either invite no-one or everyone from a playgroup, for this reason, but generally only about 1/2 the people would come.

Can anyone give some tips as to what the etiquette is here? Obviously leaving people hanging with no RSVP and then "dumping" someone's party for "something better" would be a big no. Is it ok to decline things when you don't technically have a clash, but are already committed to a couple of things that weekend and need to squeeze in some other jobs [Christmas shopping etc] ? Or is that rude ? Does it depend on how well you know the person, type of invite, type of event etc?

#2 Bam1

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:59 AM

To me its pretty simple, I try to go to everything I can for the kids but there is a limit. If for whatever reason (too busy, too much etc) its not possible to go, I RSVP that we can't go.

I'm with Ferdinand as well, time is so limited on the weekends and if 2 events clash, I will choose the one that the family will enjoy more (unless its a family event)

Edited by Bam1, 22 November 2012 - 09:00 AM.

#3 SeaPrincess

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

I think it depends on how important the event is, whether that be the occasion, the person/people, whether the whole family is involved or whether we can divide and conquer..... So many things to consider.

For us, birthdays at this time of year are very important - we have a December birthday, so I'm conscious of that and if anyone is invited to a birthday party, I will take them, but if we were all invited to 3 things on one day, we'd probably not do them all.  I'm not afraid of sending DH off to something without me though, so we might do that.

Most important is to let them know though.

#4 SeaPrincess

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

Double post.

Edited by shmach, 22 November 2012 - 09:02 AM.

#5 zogee

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:07 AM

I wouldn't be taking my kids to 3 events in one day, it would guarantee a meltdown (from them and me!) wink.gif I usually try to take dd to friends birthdays if possible but if it clashes with something important that I have planned I might say no.
You sound like a very considerate person but its ok to put limits on socializing and prioritise family time (and chill out time!) original.gif

#6 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (shmach @ 22/11/2012, 10:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it depends on how important the event is, whether that be the occasion, the person/people, whether the whole family is involved or whether we can divide and conquer..... So many things to consider.

For us, birthdays at this time of year are very important - we have a December birthday, so I'm conscious of that and if anyone is invited to a birthday party, I will take them, but if we were all invited to 3 things on one day, we'd probably not do them all.  I'm not afraid of sending DH off to something without me though, so we might do that.

Most important is to let them know though.

This.    I have 4 children with birthdays in December so I am conscious of that.   We also divide and conquer.  We will often sit down and work out : "okay if you take dd to the party and on the way drop ds at basketball, then I will take so and so and so and so to their party and to the school picnic" etc then we all meet up at the end of the day completely exhausted.

#7 ekbaby

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

Ok so if you can't go to something "just because" what do you tell the host?

schmach I know what you mean about December birthdays... almost all of one side of our family has Dec birthdays (which adds to the things, but then I also know what it's like for the kids who want to have parties then, so feel bad for the little kids we know who have birthdays now)

#8 aprilrain

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:11 AM

It depends, if 2 children from the same class on the one day I would try to go to both.  If we don't go I would have RSVP'd and I send a gift. I know most people probably wouldn't think it necessary, but I like to.

I think a balance is important with family life and saying you're already committed is fine.

It would depend on how well my child knows the inviter and if your D1 is in primary I would take invites more seriously as it is an opportunity to meet parents that you might like to get to know better too, as well as I think friends and friendship groups mean more to children at this age.

For a primary child I would be happy to ask another parent to take my child with her's if I had a sleeper. Friends do these things for each other rolleyes.gif

edited for my shocking spelling and now realise that my smiling face at the end is 'rolling eyes'!

Edited by aprilrain, 22 November 2012 - 09:15 AM.

#9 vintage.blue

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

I try to go to everything, but also try to limit outings on the weekend to just one. We need down time too!

Saying that though, my sons at the moment have SEVEN invitations to parties in the next 3 weeks. Just in time for me to have our third baby!?! argh. We are going to try to get to them all just so they don't miss out.

#10 Cacti

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

QUOTE (ekbaby @ 22/11/2012, 09:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok so if you can't go to something "just because" what do you tell the host?

"Sorry, we can't make it. Hope you have a fun day!"

#11 Julie3Girls

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

Ok so if you can't go to something "just because" what do you tell the host?

I'm really sorry, but we won't be able to make it. Hope X has a great party

3 events on one day .. honestly, it's going to depend on what they are.  Can we split up and go to different events?  If I have young kids, where are the events - if one of them is a home party and the child can sleep there?

We've hit multiple parties on the one day. As an occasional thing, I do try and manage to do all of them, particularly now when most of the parties are smaller parties, rather than whole class affairs.

We had one day a few months ago - DD2 had 2 parties, 1:30-4 and 2:30-4:30. We had a big talk about it. One of the other girls who was also invited to both decided to do both parties - left the first party early and got to the second party late.  As DD1 had also been invited to the second party, we decided the DD2 would go to the whole of the first party, and say no to the second (they still got one of my kids LOL). But could still wish her friend a happy birthday when we turned up to pick up DD1.

Luckily, by now most of the school parties are ok - we all tend to have a vague idea of when parties are going to be on, for their close friends. And we do have a couple where the birthdays are within a couple of days of each other, and we have learnt to coordinate.  

Whatever you choose, just make sure you RSVP.  having someone not come can be disappointing, but it's much much worse if they are sitting waiting and you simply don't show up.

#12 Spa Gonk

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

Just tell the host you have a busy weekend and will not be able to make it.  They really only want to know if you will there or not, not that johnny down the road has a party on at the same time and he invited you first.

I are an effort for the kids to go to all parties.  But this is because I know they enjoy them.  If I thought it was too much or had something else I would rather be doing I would just say no.

#13 Holidayromp

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

We have this very thing happening on Saturday.  It is going to be a big day and one that which requires alot of organisation - as it is DD1 will miss about 30 minutes of her party.

However both girls have been warned that they could miss any further birthday parties etc because we are very busy from now right up to Christmas/New Year.

#14 Leggy

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

Ok so if you can't go to something "just because" what do you tell the host?

I just tell people that sorry, that weekend is already full. No need to specify that one of the things filling up time is a nap for the sake of everybody's sanity!

#15 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

I used to try and "kid-pool" with other parents  e.g. I would drop off mine and one or two others and other parent would pick them up or if it was a little kid's party would either try to off-load mine onto another parent or take an extra child with me. I laways felt that there would be plenty of family catch up time after the silly season finished.

#16 J*mistletoe*B

Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:49 PM

Do you ever decline invitations when you don't necessarily have something clashing though, just because that might be the only free time you have in a week? Or because you know your kids are going to be exhausted if you take them to 5 things in one weekend?
Yep absolutely.  We started doing that when they were little and out of sorts if they spent too long away from their own beds.    We just keep it up now as we like our own family time.

Its always the way though - Murphys Law I think.   You can sit at home for weekends in a row, then bang, 6 things scheduled all on one weekend.

#17 katniss

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

Of course it's not always possible to go to everything. But as the PP's have said, the most important thing is to RSVP. You don't need to give a reason, just as long as you let them know. I'm still astounded that so many people don't RSVP. A friend of mine ATM is still chasing up people for her DD's 1st birthday this weekend. So rude.

#18 EsmeLennox

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

Why do people think they need to give a reason as to why they won't be thre ? I just say 'sorry we can't make it.'

My kids generally go to any parties they are invited to unless the invitation is from a random kid whom they have every little to do with, and it's an 'invite everybody in the class' party, or if they must don't want to go which sometimes happens.

Edited by Jemstar, 22 November 2012 - 07:12 PM.

#19 libbylu

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

We are invited to so many things - DH particularly because he has a large social group, but myself as well and we turn down more things than we attend.  A lot of them are casual invites like a friend texted me tonight - she is going to a show on Sunday evening, would I like to come? (I know I will be too tired, so texted back to say so), Another sent a group email about going to a Japanese bathhouse on Sunday afternoon - again, I can't go because we'll be at my parent's place.
With kids things there are less, but we often get a message on a weekend morning from one school friend or antoher asking if we want to join them at a park or playcentre for a quick play and often have to turn it down - often simply because we have something on that afternoon and it get's to overwhelming to have appointments back to back.  Birthday parties we will always try to make it to unless they completely clash or we are away for the weekend, or DS is sick.
If I really don't want to go or just need some quiet time and need an excuse I usually say 'we've got a family thing on".  Which is true in a way, as we will be doing something as a family.

Edited by libbylu, 22 November 2012 - 07:18 PM.

#20 Elf Ianthe

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

if there is too much on I will decline. It has taken me a long time to be ok doing that though. My 3yos preschool party is on a Fri night at a disco. I thought initially he could go but then decided that he is not really a party kid and that he doesn't need to go. We then got an invitation for something else though so luckily I did say no.

#21 mez70

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

We do try to attend as much as possible but also are fine with the fact that sometimes things happen and you can't be in two places at once. This year I am really clamping down on Dec I am not doing 3 and 4 things in a day (we have done in the past). A couple of years ago I had 1 Saturday that months out I planned to have a dinner for my Birthday on a group of girls and I were going out for a nice meal and catch up..... Well in the weeks leading up to it we then ended up with 2 very close friends kids parties and DH's work Christmas Party all on that day.. I swear we spent more time in the car going between venues than we did at each function and by the time I got to dinner I was ready for bed lol...

Now I have a set limit on things and have already bailed out of one thing ( I was attending a gingerbread house workshop with the kids, but will grab my kit and we will do it at home) as it has fallen on the same day as a friends surprise birthday thing and DH's work kid's Christmas Party. I have purposely kept the following day free, then the following weekend I know there are 2 things on DH will take the kids to one and I will head to the other on my own once again keeping the Sunday free. What with Christmas and sport break ups I already have a fullish month so will be not taking on much more especially as my DD has been really ill recently so I don't want to run her into the ground.

Last year I noticed that with school not finishing until Dec 22 the older 2 were so fried and overwrought by Christmas that this year we are really pulling back on everything and DH and I were even mooting running away for a few days with the kids camping before Christmas just to veg (trying to work out a time we can though and not miss important stuff at school.

This year the priority is Family, school/ sports, inner circle of friends and then extended family and social circle. The main thing is to RSVP and no you don't need to say why just say can't make it or prior commitments. My aim is to reach Christmas as calmly and mellow as I can..

#22 *LucyE*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

I only attend events I want to attend, even if I have no reason to not attend except that I don't want to.


And as PPs have said, you don't need to justify yourself.

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