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Don't Miss the Kid Parties
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Don't Miss the Kid Parties

Dear Parents:

I get it. I do. You just want to treat this birthday party like school or day care: drop the kid off and get a 2 hour break. Even if you are only dropping off one of your kids, it’s at least a reduction in little people who are constantly calling you, asking you questions, and spilling milk on the floor/wall/your clothes. We get very precious little opportunity to have a break, especially when we are stay at home parents. So the temptation to go on cruise control and let another parent take the wheel for a couple hours is all too easy to say ‘yes’ to.

But please, even though it’s so easy to do nowadays–don’t miss the kid parties.

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Don’t just drop them off and run. Let your guard down and walk in with them. Allow their giddy piss-their-pants excitement transfer to you, let it drum up those memories from your childhood of parties with friends. Those memories of hot dogs and soda and cake and pinatas. Of running around our parents’ legs with our friends. Of it being the BEST DAY EVER because we were seeing our friends outside of school and got to stuff our faces with candy and our parents didn’t mind because they were having a good time too, talking with their friends.

Kid Parties | Motherhood | Mom Life | Parenting | Family Time

I know it’s loud because kids equate fun times with screaming. But stay anyways. Because your kids want you to. We can’t cruise control during this precious time when our kids actually want to be around us and want us to meet their friends and want us to be a part of their lives. Because all too soon they will be teenagers who will shut us out and not want us anywhere near their friends because we will suddenly be embarrassing. Then we’ll realize that our time is running short and oh shit we better pay attention because what if our kids are getting into trouble with these other kids that we don’t really know and suddenly look super sketchy and are certainly going to lead our kids to drugs and prison.

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Instead, you could just pay attention now.

I know that Susan’s kid is a whiny, disrespectful little shittake mushroom who always cries when she can’t blow out the candle because it’s NOT HER BIRTHDAY and who tries to open the presents even though it is NOT HER BIRTHDAY, and they drive you crazy. But if you stayed at the party, it would give you the chance to realize how awesome your kid is in comparison to Susan’s shitstorm of a kid. You would see your kid be kind to the quiet, shy kid. You would see your kid grab pinata candy for their little sister who was getting blocked out by the big kids. You would see your kid being polite to the hosting parents when all the other kids were acting like over caffeinated monkeys locked in a cell with one banana. And you would get to have a proud parent moment that you so desperately need, affirming that your sleep deprived work is not in vain.

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You wouldn’t have to hear all the stories about the party afterwards, because you would be living all the exciting moments right next to them. You would be there when they won the first game and made their first dent in a pinata ever. You would be there to help guard their candy stash from the thieving kid who keeps “forgetting” which bag is his (and also to steal some, because that’s the right of the parent). You would turn your kid’s memories from, “Then I did the most awesomest jump in the bouncy house” to “Mom, remember when Dad and I did the most awesomest jump that made the bouncy house fall over?!” It would be a memory of you showing up instead of dropping and running.

Kid Parties | Motherhood | Mom Life | Parenting | Family Time

And equally important–you would get to know the other parents. The ones who are sitting in the trenches with you. The ones who know exactly what you are going through: the beauty and frustrations, the glory and the mess, the bliss and the lack of sleep–all of it–because they are going through it too. You would get to build up your community, your tribe. You would find your people.

Kid Parties | Motherhood | Mom Life | Parenting | Family Time

We so desperately need each other, because parenting is too big a job for us to do on our own. It certainly takes a village. But you won’t find your village if you won’t stay to meet them.

So I know that you could get your errands done kid free (or kid reduced, at least). Or get the oil changed. Or clean your house. Or whatever, because the to-do list is never ending.

But that’s just it–the to-do list never ends. But your kid’s golden years of childhood–when they actually want to spend time with you and tell you everything and be involved in every part of their lives–does end.

If you miss it, you’ll never get it back.

So please, don’t miss the kid parties. Their day will come to an end, and our kids will be teenagers going to parties on their own and we will be up anxiously waiting for them to come home, wondering all the while what they’re doing.

Be there for them now. And meet some people who can become your friends so you aren’t up waiting until midnight on your own down the road.


This post a part of  Mom Life Mondays Blog Link Up and Hump Day Hype Link Up

Mom Life Mondays Blog Link Up

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Join the discussion 32 Comments

  • Nikki says:

    Great read! This is so true! I just threw a birthday party for my little girl last month and was expecting this new Mom in school to attend. It would’ve been great to get to know her and socialize but instead she “dropped and ditched” sad. There’s a lot of great pointers on here! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Exactly! It’s so hard to make fellow mom friends, and I can’t help but feel like we’re making it even harder with this “drop and ditch” habit of our culture. Thanks for reading : )

  • Amanda says:

    Definitely agree! I love watching my kids at parties to see them enjoy themselves! I’m sure we have many more years ahead, so it’s best to enjoy where you are rather than look back and regret missing those memories. 🙂 thank you for the post!

  • I agree! I think you should really share in the joy and experience as often as possible. They grow up so fast!

    • Amanda says:

      Way too fast! My oldest just started kindergarten and I’m all, “What?! Already?? Where did the time go?!” Thanks for reading!

  • Andi says:

    My kid is Susan’s little shiitake, haha! And I’m dying over the throwback of me holding Ary. Also, I loved this post. We just went to a kid birthday last weekend and it really magical watching the party through their eyes and getting to interact with other parents. Also the piñata candy and cake are reason enough for me to show!

    • Amanda says:

      Haha! D may be a shiitake mushroom, but I love that kid! While I was scouring through pictures of the girls’ parties throughout the years, I came across that one of you & Ary and had to use it. It’s one of my favs.

  • These are great points! I love watching my daughter interact with other kids. We aren’t at the birthday party age yet, but I will remember this when we are!

    • Amanda says:

      Kid parties are just such a fun way to build community between families. Trust me–you won’t want to miss it!

  • Allison says:

    Great read, some times the things we’re not looking forward end up providing the best memories.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, exactly! It can be so tempting to drop and run, but these years are so precious and will go by so fast. Thanks for reading!

  • Lindsey says:

    Love everything about this! Kids’ parties stress me out as an introvert, but I go anyway…and am always happy I get to witness the joy of my daughters with their friends!

    • Amanda says:

      I feel you mama–I’m an introvert as well. But I never regret pushing myself out of my comfort zone when it equals me showing up for my kids.

  • Danielle says:

    Love this! Now that my kid is getting older, I know that parents aren’t “expected” to stay, but I totally want to. Not really for the party, but so I can socialize with adults (and offer any help that may be needed). Of course, growing up, parents rarely stayed, and don’t remember being overly sad about it. But that leads to the question, do you state that parents are welcome to stay?

    • Amanda says:

      I feel like most parents now a days expect the parents to just drop their kids off. My 6 year old went to a birthday party at the beginning of the month and I was the only parent that stayed. That was the first time I was meeting the hosting parents, but when the party was over, that mom was practically hugging me goodbye because I had helped her throughout the whole event. I feel like our culture undervalues relationships, and it’s sad. Thanks for reading!

  • Betty says:

    Great post. Definitely want to be there for all the precious moments, they grow up way too fast!

    • Amanda says:

      My oldest just started kindergarten this year, and that milestone really opened my eyes to just how fast this precious time is flying. I don’t want to miss it. Thanks for reading!

  • kirstin morabito says:

    This is a beautiful reminder! It’s these little moments we need to soak in!

  • This is such great encouragement! Thanks for reminding us to get messy with them, celebrate, laugh, giggle, listen to them and experience life. To not be as overwhelmed as we feel because we are get down on their level with them and experience life…life is less stressful and much more fun!!! This was great for me to hear!! #humpdayhype

    • Amanda says:

      Life is so much funner through the eyes of children. I’m so glad that you found encouragement in it. Thanks for reading!

  • Bethany says:

    Great blog! I agree! Such a sweet time! ❤❤❤❤❤

  • Sheila says:

    I love this! Especially the part about the never ending to do list needing to just wait while we spend time with our kids. I constantly feel like I should be up and working on something even when I’m trying to spend some time with my son. I hate feeling that way. I’ll definitely keep this post in mind!

    • Amanda says:

      It’s something we all struggle with. We get to a point when we’ve gotten so good at multi-tasking that we can’t turn it off. But sometimes we have to force ourselves to stop and just spend time with our kiddos. I’m glad you found encouragement in this. Thanks for reading!

  • I love this because I actually like going to birthday parties. My kids are 5 & 8 but they have so much fun at these things and its great to see them enjoy it!

  • Fi Morrison says:

    Such a great post. We aren’t up to the age of kids parties yet, but I’ll definitely be remembering to stick around for all of them. This time of their childhood goes way too quickly that we don’t want to miss out on any of. Couldn’t agree more that it takes a village to raise a child, but we need to step out to meet that village – they aren’t necessarily going to come to us! Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda says:

      Exactly! It’s already so challenging to make mom friends; why make it more difficult by further isolating ourselves? Thanks for reading!

  • Love it and yes I am generally at the parties. As my kids get older they want me to stay less but I also like to meet the parents and the kids my son talks about at school. It is sometimes hard to stay when you have back to back activities for both kids and don’t want them to miss out so you have to juggle and drop one or the other but I totally agree with what you are saying. It is so different watching them with their friends and how they interact. And yes it is great to meet more crew that your kids are friends with too.
    Special days when they are young.

    • Amanda says:

      I have not yet encountered back to back events, but I can see how that would be crazy! Obviously in those situations, you can’t be in 2 places at once. And of course, as the kids get older, they won’t want their parents hanging around. That’s why I am making such an effort to be there now, as mine are all 6 and under. I know those days when I’m not welcome are just around the corner. Thanks for reading!

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