Children’s Birthday Parties: Could a mean mom be hiding in the midst?

I’ve discovered the real reasons for children’s birthday parties, at least the reasons according to some interesting bloggers and rather candid friends.

Reasons for the birthday bash:

  • So other people recognize how much you love your child.
  • A perfect party let’s you show off your creativity and/or wealth.
  • Parties allow parents to make business and social connections.
  • To rag or brag on other moms, including the hostess.

Call me naïve, but I think most people attend kid birthday parties for the same reason I do—to celebrate the milestone. Still, I had to wonder if I’ve had any mean moms hiding in the mist this party season.

My toddler attended a birthday party for a four-year old. Most of the parents had children at the same school—a school my child does not attend. But they were warm, funny, and seemed to go out of their way to make sure I never felt like an outsider.

Were there any nitpicking mamas at the party? Can you believe her daughter wore sandals instead of tennis shoes? It would be nice if she could let her daughter play instead of circling like a helicopter. I wouldn’t let my kid do chalk art at that age.

A more recent party at a local children’s gym could have spurred even more comments from other moms.

Her daughter should be seated in the music circle, not dancing. I suspect discipline problems.

But of course no one said these things, at least not that I’m aware of.

In the south, we always say, “Bless her heart,” just before we bash on someone. That makes it okay, right?

Oh, bless Karen’s heart. She must have been too busy stuffing her face with hotdogs to keep little Johnny’s hands out of the birthday cake.

So how does one cope with those invisible mean moms?

My mom taught me a long time ago that what people say about me when I’m not around is none of my business.

I can’t give too much energy to what other moms say about me when I leave the picnic table. Unless they are seriously defaming my character, my family, or my business, their idle chatter goes the way of dirty diapers—in the garbage with a vengeance.

To my readers: How do you deal with mean moms, be they real or imagined? Ever had an interesting birthday party experience? Tell the truth, have you ever gotten your gossip on at a children’s event (e.g. soccer game, PTA meeting, etc.)?

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About Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson is a Dallas-based freelance writer who specializes in college planning, parenting, women’s lifestyle, education, and self-help. But she's always hungry to munch on new topics. In addition to writing for The BookWormMama blog, Nicole provides content, copywriting and proofreading services for various publications.


Children’s Birthday Parties: Could a mean mom be hiding in the midst? — 13 Comments

  1. Birthday parties have turned into such a production! I like it better when it was just a sleepover at a friends house, now every single kid in my son’s class has huge parties at pop up the fun or chuckie cheese. They spend hundreds of dollars and its a little ridiculous to me. And the mean moms are the worst :) I have run into more than my fair share of them!
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    • I’m guilty of throwing my daughter a Chuck E. Cheese party. She had fun, but it was hard to relish the moment. I was running around doing stuff the whole time. I just barely stopped to take a photo of her smashing her first birthday cake.

  2. Birthdays were always made special when I was younger and I continue to do that in my family. Any celebration is done for the birthday person, to make them happy and feel special. It’s never been about anything else. I’m sorry there are mean Moms out there, they should learn better manners.
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  3. For the most part, parents always stay at the birthday parties I host or attend, especially for younger children. We usually throw large parties that everyone an attend–parents, siblings, grandparents! The more the merrier for us. I’m talking a backyard picnic or something like that.

    I detest all the mom bashing that goes on, online and off line. I try very hard not to judge others, because I am not them, I do not walk in their shoes, I don’t know how their life has been, and I have no idea what kind of a life they are currently living. It’s just not cool to vocalize parenting opinions at all. I don’t even respond when people tell me something snotty about my daughter, because they have NO IDEA what my child went through prior to the adoption. No idea.

    Okay, I’m turning mean.
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