Mummy, why haven’t I been to a birthday party before?

(Last Updated On: August 7, 2018)

“Mummy, why haven’t I been to a birthday party before?”

I felt my heart sink when my 8 year old asked me recently.

The fact is, she’s been to a birthday party before. When she was 4. Yes, just one. And it was obviously so long ago that she can’t even remember.

I have mentioned how my husband and I are considered young parents. We aren’t that young anymore but relative to other parents with 8 year olds, we are quite young.

The other day, we bumped into Husband’s colleague at a restaurant. His colleague asked how old our daughter (who was in school) was and when we said 8, he asked “How old are you kids??” {Apparently, people at my husband’s workplace think my husband’s around 21}

The last time we took Ally to a birthday party, I should have apologised because we must have stole the attention from the birthday girl {just being a little dramatic here}.

These baby formulas are best for gassy little ones

There were already 5 pairs of parents when we arrived. They all stopped to look at us, whisper and mutter their what-nots. The host parent finally broke the silence and said “Wow, you guys are so young!”, having probably expected to see a pair of 30-something parents (as most of the other parents were).

They awkwardly asked if we wanted to hang around. We politely {awkwardly}declined.

These days, it’s not a matter of taking Ally to birthday parties and being stared at.
These days, it’s the lack of birthday invites.

The other day, my daughter said Anna* told her that they weren’t real friends because she and Hannah* were real real friends as their parents hang out and their families go out together outside of school.   {names have been changed to protect the children’s identities 😉 }

I don’t know. Besides another mum whom I have briefly chatted to just once, I haven’t actually spoken to any other mums. They are all in their own cliques and I am used to getting stared at. Maybe they wonder if I’m a babysitter as I look relatively young and Ally & I have literally different skin colours. Maybe they wonder how old I am exactly.

And believe it or not, I think especially in a small town, my mingling or lack of mingling with other parents can actually affect my daughter’s friendships.

Ally said she wasn’t invited to another child’s birthday the other day and she said the mother of the birthday child was passing invites to other mums whom she obviously personally knew. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and I really couldn’t be too bothered about kids’ birthday parties.

It’s just a little sad when I realise that my daughter is starting to think for herself and starting to wonder about things – more specifically, if her parents have something to do with why she’s not been to birthday parties (kind of) or even been invited.

Maybe a fellow blogger {Sorry Victoria but we didn’t exchange details in our 5 minute convo; I would love to know but you didn’t tell me your blog!} I recently met at the NSW Blogger Brunch put it aptly when she told me she blogs about being a young parent and asked me: “Do you feel like you get judged more when you are a young parent?”

Yes.

Could it in turn affect your child? Yes, quite possibly.

Just a story from the other side of the coin….

Also Read: Why babies can wake up crying

 

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18 Comments

  • Wow, what a sad story, I really feel for you and your daughter. I can’t believe how judgemental the parents in your area are! I have mother friends who are all ages from 20 to over 40 and everyone gets along fine, age doesn’t even come into it. I am so sorry that this is happening to your family. I sincerely hope you find some parents who are willing to be inclusive with their kids’ events, even if they don’t know you personally. If you’re ever in Perth, come over!

    • Hi lovely, thanks for your message. So sweet of you to invite me over haha I will visit if I’m ever in Perth! I don’t think the mums do it purpose actually. I don’t know, maybe there’s always that awkward moment when they realise I have an 8 year old. But anyway, I’m just sad that my daughter is somehow affected x

  • I’ve noticed that this happens more often than not. We aren’t parents yet but I notice that my sister and her husband get those same looks.

  • I get this. I happened to have a baby just when my daughter started school. My husband did the drop off for a few weeks. By the time, I started taking her, all the little mum ‘coffee cliques’ had been established. I just felt left out and I think it affected her friendships and play dates too.

    We’ve now moved to a completely different town so I’ll be starting all that over again too. Oh by the way, I got the whole ‘young mum’ thing with my first two and I wasn’t even that young (had the first at 22). People used to ask me if I was their baby sitter.

    • Hi Alex, thanks for sharing 🙂 Funny how the clique thing doesn’t leave even after high school! Just sad that it has to affect our kids too. I hope you settle in wonderfully in your new town with your kids xx

  • I can relate to this both as a young mum (altho not so young anymore!) and as a mum who doesn’t have time for schoolyard politics. I felt right out of place at antenatal classes as a 21-year old single mum, it wasn’t until I was 27 and having my 4th child that I found mums in my Due In group were a similar age – and having their first baby!

    • Thanks for sharing, Emma. There’s so many different instances from different walks and situations. I know of mums in their 40s who get judged too. I can’t be bothered about schoolyard politics too. I just wish it didn’t actually affect the kids x Thanks for visiting!

  • Argh. Small town life can be partly to blame, I feel and it’s hard not to try to guess what goes on behind the scenes. As the mother of a boy who lives ‘outside the square’ it can be very hurtful to miss out on invitations, especially when you or your child think of another child as a friend. People can be very stupid. Strength to you both!

    • Thanks Twitchy! I agree, it’s quite a small town thing. We moved here from Sydney only about 1.5 years ago and are still getting used to the way things work here. I’m happy I have friends over the internet and through blogging etc. I just feel sad for my daughter yet I don’t want to sulk or complain because well, people have the right to invite who they want to invite! 🙂 Tricky situation. 🙂

  • I have a few young parents as friends and all I can think about it is, How lucky they will be to still enjoy their freedom as a couple once the kids leave home! I will be in my early 50’s once my kids finish uni/school so I feel very old haha. Don’t let the judgey people get to you, they obviously have lived very sheltered lives x

    • That’s a nice way of thinking about it! My husband actually sees it that way – he tells me he can’t wait to travel around together once the kids are old enough and we’ll still be relatively young 🙂

  • Oh that is hard to read, I feel for you Mandy. This past year I’ve become good friends with a mum because we have kids in school together, her second, She actually had her 1st child when she was 19 and she said life was hell, people were so horrible to her and quite frankly it shits me to think people are such idiots – who cares how old you are. I also feel sad for you princess, and hope that things swing in roundabouts for her xx

    • Hey Emily! It is annoying why people can’t control their mouths sometimes. They don’t realise how much it can affect someone else. I feel sad for my girl too, maybe things will change for the better. Thanks for your nice words xx

  • Aw, this post broke my heart a little…It drives me a bit crazy how society constantly judges people who are conceived to be a bit…different. Either from youth (or lack of), skin colour, speech, yadayadayada.

    I’m so sorry, hun, I’ve often thought that parenting is such a tough job, but things like this just add a needless layer of complexity!

    *sending you big hugs*

    • Hi lovely, it bugs me so much too how people can be so judgemental. I actually couldn’t care less about school/parent politics but it does saddens me when it affects my daughter. You’re right, it’s all the more complex with all these extra but unnecessary stuff! Thanks for your hugs 🙂 xx

  • Mom cliques suck! Sorry to be so blunt but they do and they are the reason I stay far away from PTA meetings! When did motherhood become a competition? Aren’t we all in this together and supposed to support one another? I am on the opposite side, I am the older Mom at 45 (oldest is 27, youngest is 5) but I don’t judge on age or looks or race. The personality of the mom, yes. My guess, the “perfect” moms, their lives are a lie. Happy, genuine people don’t act that way! You probably make them nervous and you’re pretty. Not only are they moms, they are women….like feral cats! Hang in there! It’ll be okay.

  • Well I’m a young mum, and I don’t notice it so much in BJ’s class, cause there are a few (with their first children) around my age or just slightly older, but it’s very noticeable in my 10 year old’s class. Thankfully, parents tend to not hang out there so much these days, so that’s ok, but I get what you mean. What’s even weirder for me, is one of my Taylah’s best friends is the daughter of one of my old school teachers. That just feels all kinds of awkward

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