I hate kids birthday parties.

Once my kids were old enough to get dropped off at school (I’m talking preschool), they became social butterflies who got invited to more parties than my husband and I combined. Granted, my husband and I don’t even like going outside to get the mail because the sun hurts our eyes, but still, I’m talking a LOT of parties.

For me, a true introvert, the idea of going to a party where I’d have to bring my children and watch them run off without me as I stood with a bunch of other parents I didn’t know for about two hours seems like unjustified torture. Now add lots and lots of other children running around on top of that. The 10th circle of Hell. Dante must not have been familiar with Chuck E Cheese.

What is Chuck E Cheese?

I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t because my kids were particularly popular. It was because if you invite one kid, you gotta invite the whole class. It’s considerate. Even if our kids barely made eye contact the entire school year — if they’re in the same class, they’re getting invited. And I can’t fucking take it anymore.

Look, I get it. It’s the right thing to do. But seriously, what am I going to buy for your kid for this birthday? This kid who my kid barely knows because they’re three years old. What am I going to talk about with you or your rando guests? After I ask you what your name is again, you’ll probably be off trying to run this gigantic kids party you decided to have, and you’ll be too busy to have any kind of meaningful conversation with me or any of the other strangers you invited.

Plus, you’re setting the rest of us moms up for many arguments with our tiny tots about why Mommy isn’t dropping $350 on her 4th birthday at an indoor theme park because she has literally four friends, and three of them are her cousins.

So, I have made a decision. Unless I’m friends with the mom of the birthday kid (where we actually text one another sometimes, or have hung out) we’re not going. The ONLY exception I will make is the rare instance where our children are legitimate friends and we’ve just never spoken. That still hasn’t happened. Because one of my kids is three and the other six, I know all their real friends and the parents of those friends.

When my kids are old enough to have many genuine friendships on their own, I’ll feel differently. They’ll go to all the parties. But for now, the name of my game is just say no.

Here is a list I’ve compiled of some of my favorite excuses to get out of going to kids birthday parties. Feel free to use them – or better yet, add your own in the comments so that I can add to my list.

KIDS PARTY EXCUSE LIST

  • Just say no with no excuse. “Sorry can’t make it, thanks for inviting us!”  — this one usually does the trick and the other mom is just grateful to get the RSVP at all. Chances are, if she’s not a complete asshole, she’s relieved that you said no.

In case they ask for further detail, here you go:

  • Sorry we have another birthday on that day. This one doesn’t work well if the party is at an odd time – like a weeknight. Because if it is, they probably purposefully did that to prevent people like you from using this excuse. You know what? Fuck ’em, here’s some more:
  • Sorry we have a Christening.
  • Sorry my son/daughter is sick — this one is only good the day OF the party, and it’s kind of a dick move since the venue may charge the parent for your kid without the parent getting another kid to replace your kid with, but it works.
  • Sorry we have a baby shower.
  • Sorry I have a bridal shower.
  • We’ll be out of town. – Make sure to post pictures of a vacation you took a while back that you never shared on Facebook so it really looks like you went somewhere.
  • Sorry I’m sick (see the third bullet, same deal).
  • We have a karate/dance/gymnastics/parkour/whatever-activity-your-kid’s-involved-in tournament. Make sure their kid, or any of the other kids going to the party aren’t in the same class though.
  • We have a wake/funeral. It helps if you show up to school drop-off and pick-up wearing no make up and not smiling that week.

Hope that helps! Happy planning. xo