Since when did birthday parties become glorified babysitting?
My son celebrated his 8th last month. I invited his class (18). One mother stayed. Luckily I had enough family to help control the kids. One mom dropped off three children - I realized in retrospect that her son was in another class and hadn't even been invited!
I was complaining to my partner, who always throws big parties. He once decorated his entire backyard in the theme for CandyLand. Last year he switched his kids to my school. He told me that he had one birthday party for his daughter, she is in the second grade, and it was such a disaster he will never do it again. He invited all the classes - 50 kids in all, and got 40 drop offs. One mother stayed for the party. It was such chaos that it scared and angered him. One dad came to pick up his child at the end of two hours and was angry when he asked "Where is my child?" and my partner was not able to answer exactly where right off the bat. "I thought I saw her entering my study a half hour ago but now, who knows?"
We both empathized. Of course that child was found in a bedroom happily and healthfully, but how can you expect two parents, much less one (I am a single) to manage an entire party for two hours alone? Is this a cultural thing? Is it age related? When my kids were younger, I had big events with bounce houses and arts and crafts booths and all the parents stayed and enjoyed getting to know each other. I, like my partner, will never host a birthday party again in my own home.
Thoughts? Experiences? I think this is insanity. Am I the crazy one?