A couple of weeks ago, I was questioning whether or not it is acceptable to consider asking parents to pay for their child to come to your child’s birthday party. In that post, I mused briefly about the why it is so difficult for people to respond to party invitations but how that is a whole other blog post. Well ta-da! Here is that ‘other’ blog post with a bit of a rant from me as this is a subject I feel very strongly about and also offering a possible solution to make organising party invitations a whole lot more manageable.
When it comes to children’s parties I always ask the question, what has happened to our manners? This isn’t the first time that I have asked this question. Sadly, it is something that concerns me a lot lately when I am constantly faced with situations in the car or out of it, where a certain amount of patience or an ability to acknowledge or apologise would go a very long way. Recently though, I have noticed a new breed of rudeness; one where parents think that it is acceptable to ignore party invitations and I find this outrageously rude as well as being pretty unfair.
We are all busy. As parents, we all have too much to do and too little time to do it in and the demands of modern parenting mean that most children do have more than their fair share of party invitations. But that is no excuse not to respond. There are exceptions of course. some children lose the invitations before they get home or scrunch them up in some unrecognisable form at the bottom of their bags. There are times when there is a lot going on and you may forget. However, natural emergency aside, there really aren’t that many other excuses, are there?
It might be that perhaps the parent of the birthday child isn’t really your cup of tea or not in your ‘social’ circle at the school gate? Maybe your child doesn’t particularly like the child in question? That happens. You don’t have to ignore the invitation, it is perfectly reasonable to say no. These days, you don’t often even have to physically respond. Most parents put mobile phone numbers on the invitations, so a simple text message would do. Better than nothing certainly.
Over the last 10 years or so, we have organised quite a few parties for our three youngest children. Leading up to all of those parties, I have become increasingly frustrated by the fact that some parents have failed to respond. Parents that can stand next to you in the playground, who can smile and say ‘hello’, but who can’t be bothered to say ‘thanks for the invitation..; would love to come/can’t come’.
I admit that, as the organising parent, you could rally round and ask people to try and finalise numbers, but why should you have to do that? It’s a party for children, not a compulsory military boot camp. A few years ago, we organised a disco for our youngest son and he didn’t want to invite many children and so a week or so before, I was starting to get a little worried as we had only had about six replies. So I did start asking people, but this didn’t sit well with me as I then felt like I was begging people to come. Most people were fine and seemingly had forgotten. One mum looked at me like I was completely insane and told me that her daughter was busy. Well, why did she not tell me that earlier?
Recently, I have heard and been told of parties where very few and in one case no children arrived at the party. If that was me I would be horrified, really horrified. In all of the cases, very few of the parents of the children invited had bothered to respond and then you are left in limbo as they may or may not come. Apart from the fact that parties are quite costly, what about the poor children whose party it is? What a great way to destroy a child’s self-esteem if only a couple children came to their party or even worse no-one at all? Birthday parties are meant to be fun, happy times and every child deserves that don’t they?
As the boys have got older and my daughter has just passed her eighth birthday, parties are becoming less of a thing. The boys prefer to do something with a couple of friends and even though my daughter is still a party queen, the reality is that we probably do only have one party a year to organise and that will only be for a few more years. We are really lucky that the parents of kids in her class are really lovely and all respond quite quickly to invitations which is so helpful.
As for me, if I do get invitations from others I always try and reply straight away; whether it is a yes or a no as for me, however busy I might be, it is simply good manners. It is okay to say no for whatever reason and parents just need to know, it isn’t going to cause more offence to ignore the invitation than to say no because you are busy. I sent a text response a couple of months ago to a mum and didn’t think anything of the fact that she hadn’t replied, she looked slightly perplexed when I arrived on party day but didn’t say anything and it was only later that I realised that I had sent the message to the wrong number. I was mortified. She must have thought I was so rude, but I did text her immediately to say sorry and she was lovely about it.
When it comes to responding to invitations, things can go wrong. Lost invitations, wrong phone numbers so it might seem that people are being rude and that isn’t always the case. So how can we make the process a little easier?
Mini-Epic might just be the solution we are all looking for. Mini-Epic is a fun and fast way to send online animated party invitations for kids’ parties. Designed by parents for parents, you simply pick a video template, add your party details, upload a photo and within 60 seconds your personalised invitation is ready to view. Once set up, you can email it to your guests and then track your RSVPs or you can even download your invitation to share via WhatsApp. All that for just £9.99.
There are differently themed invitations to choose from such as a Unicorn Invitation:
Or a Football Invitation:
To me, these Mini-Epic invitations are just what busy parents need to make the invitation process much easier. The invitations are fun, unique, they embrace our love and our children’s love of technology, they won’t get lost at the bottom of school bags and they make it easy for parents to R.S.V.P. Hallelujah to that!
This post was written in collaboration with Mini-Epic.