C has 10 children in her class and a number of other friends in after care.
Little L has 14 children in her daycare and 23 children in her class at preschool.
Add all those up and you have 47+ children. Add in our personal friends who have children and we could potentially be attending one or more birthday parties per weekend.
For the sake of the math, assuming we wouldn’t be invited to each and every party, let’s say that’s a potential 50 parties per year.
I try to keep birthday present purchases to anything between $10 or $15. Which, if my math is correct, means I could potentially be spending over $500 on birthday presents each year.
Now I know my kids love their friends. And I know it’s important to be involved in the school communities. But between school, daycare, and work we don’t see each other a whole bunch during the week. When the weekend rolls around I don’t want to rush to Target to grab a gift and then rush to a birthday party every day.
So it might make me unpopular with the kids and with some of the parents, but this year I’m making the executive decision to be extremely selective with the parties we RSVP yes to. If the child is a close friend or a family member we’ll go. If we’re very close or friendly with the parents we’ll go. For all others we’ll reply early with a polite “no thank you.”
It took me years to learn that I didn’t have to say yes to everything. Maybe this will be an early way to teach my daughters that they can opt out of social events if they want. Social repercussions be dammed. Family and sanity first. Social obligations second. That’s how I’m rolling this year.