Article by Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Senior Research Consultant – AVTAR Group
An important aspect of parenting these days is to be a part of those innumerable birthday parties throughout the year. And these parties have this uncanny sense of falling on your lap over a weekend evening putting off to all your other plans of lounging at home with a book or in front of the TV.
With every academic year passing by you realize your child’s social circle is larger than what yours and your spouse’s put together is. There are friends, then best friends, then the best of best friends, so on and so forth. And some parents really don’t use their discretion before sending out birthday invitations and just go by their child’s coherent list that tends to be longer than the number of MLAs in the State Assembly.
No matter how physically exhausted you are, even when you are brain dead, if it’s a party thrown by your child’s bestie, then forget about your deliberation skills that may have won you accolades at work. Here you’re perhaps dealing with a five year something that understands nothing but parties and return gifts. And mind you these little ones are not just tough customers they are highly unapproachable, unconvincable when it comes to attending parties. Being a working mother, these parties can get extremely intimidating especially if you have to lug your child(ren) and drive them long distances to party venues.
Here are some tips that might help you juggle between work, kids, home and social events such as birthday parties and help pull your stress levels down.
- First, cut the cost levels down by planning to buy gifts in bulk for both boys and girls irrelevant to age groups from stores or websites offering discount. This will save you from the last minute shopping which invariably lands up digging a hole in your wallet just before a birthday party.
- If there are more than one party invitations on the same day, choose the one that requires less travel from your home. You don’t want to sit through the stress of driving in the thick of traffic. And if both are closer to your home then have the heart to say NO to one…!!!
- Consider dropping off the kid at parties that are child friendly. You don’t want to go through the ignominy of sitting through an event that is full of squeals and shrills while you pretend to be social and make small talk with parents whom you have never seen before. Instead, make use of that extra time to finish that grocery shopping you left unattended or spruce up your wardrobe from a nearby store. Unless of course, if that birthday party happens to be a social event that you look forward to.
- Trash the inherent belief of you being the primary caregiver of your child and register the fact that the father is a parent too and is equally responsible to attend to the child’s need even if it means driving to a party.
- Get help from fellow mothers/fathers driving to the same party for either a car pool or pick up and drop. Always find from the host on other invitees list so that you know whom to reach out to.
- Don’t intimidate yourself on acknowledging all party invitations. It is OK to not attend a party or two in a month. Don’t be apologetic about a no-show which perhaps may give you those few hours to put your feet up and sip your favorite cup of coffee. Yes, that’s a sin in your child’s grammar, but we are allowed one or two once in a way, isn’t it?
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.