Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Bad Case Of OPG (Overstated Party Guilt)

I have a small favour to ask. (I know - I'm needy, but stay with me).

Can we all please just take a large, deep breath and chill out about kid's birthday parties? Please?! Recently, I was wracked by a condition I'm referring to as OPG or 'Overstated Party Guilt', caused by over-thinking the ins and outs of the final invitee list. I had a bad case of OPG but at the same time, there was also a large part of me that was annoyed that I allowed myself to suffer through this silly condition because I made some well considered choices and I didn't particularly wish to invite the entire free world to our little party. Is that unreasonable? No really, tell me because maybe it is. Dunno. I figure I've either lost my radar on what is perfectly acceptable when it comes to kid's party guest lists or the world has gone a little bit mad when it comes to the importance of who's invited and who's not. Nonetheless, instead of feeling the joy of planning a get together for a little person who doesn't especially like big group activities, I found myself guilt-ridden and annoyed.  And that was pretty annoying in itself.
Still here? Bravo.

Here's the thing though.  I chose NOT to invite the entire class to our little party. Actually, no I didn't choose - the venue set the limit and I simply complied by only inviting my child's friends. Simple as that. I excluded all relatives and friends outside of school and for a while there I was even forced to exclude the birthday girls' big sister; she was only back on the guest list when someone else couldn't attend! (Let's just keep this as our little secret though, okay?) Furthermore, I had already arranged to sell one of my kidneys to a kind gentleman in India in order to fund said party for said friends so even if I had been permitted to invite the entire free world to alleviate my guilt, our family would not have had enough organs between us to fund such an event! Get my drift?

So when I say I need a favour, can I please ask that if your child was NOT invited to my child's party this year or in future years, please don't take it personally as a parent. It's not you, it's totally me.  If your child becomes aware of the absence of an invitation, may I suggest that you lovingly explain to your child that there are many reasons for a limited guest list which in a lot of cases doesn't have anything to do with your child or how we feel about them. Sometimes it's simply a numbers game*.

Thanks for that. For the record, usually when my child is excluded from a guest list, I punch the air and offer a silent prayer of thanks. Why? Because it means some of my weekend is handed back to me in the form of feet up/ coffee/ family/ movie time. And no amount of adult-sized dancing fairies can be better than that.  Thankfully, my bad case of OPG has resolved itself with the assistance of a strong course of 'get some damn perspective' which always proves to be the perfect cure for most of my mental angst. I highly recommend it.

So tell me - are you offended as a parent when your child is left off a guest list? How do you explain limited a guest list to your child?



  1. Love it Soph. I too do a mexican wave when we 'miss' a party - good lord - the hassle.
    You should also feel free to indulge in a lot of parental white lies - it's in the contract. SB

  2. See this is such a girl thing, boys don't care as much and change friends everyday so you in fact have to invite the whole class and we have 24 in the class! Mind you give me a fairy any day I am over sports and Bounce getting offended if you invite more than half the class then you have to invite everyone is my basic rule if half or less then you can get away with it.

  3. When a student comes to school with a bunch of invitations in their hands I try to get them to hand them out discreetly that way no one has their nose out of joint. I do feel sorry for some kids who never get invited to any parties. I completely understand what you mean about being glad when your own kid dips out though. It becomes overwhelming running them around all weekend with sport/dancing class etc PLUS parties after a busy week.