There is a Learning Curve for new parents on RSVP’s, or so goes my theory. Annoyingly the organisational skills of a parent must be learnt.
Due to only being fertile in Spring (or so it turns out) in January I had to be super organised. I had both my children’s birthday’s parties to organise and as a result, invites had to be sent in December.
The RSVP’s for the 5-year-old was pretty good, responses were late, but not too late. The responses to the 2 year old was awful. So awful that in the week after New Year (his party was on the 6th) I had to ask the nursery for help. Most of the parent I didn’t know and couldn’t chase them myself.
In almost all of the excuses when I finally got the replies was that the invites had been lost, misplaced, put somewhere safe and forgotten. It got me thinking into why 8 parents of 2 year olds couldn’t get themselves organised enough to rsvp to a party and then it hit me.
This is probably one of the first events they’ve had to be organised for for their child.
Out of all the children attending, almost all of them were first-born kids so it makes sense that the parents hadn’t quite worked out their system for managing their social life. I mean, under 2, there really isn’t one is there? Over 2 is when the party invites start pouring in, the baby ballet, baby rugby, baby gymnastics start being considered.
One minute you are blissfully maintaining your calendar with your things and the next you are having to juggle everyone’s diary with complicated drop offs, pick ups, double bookings, early finishings, holidays, inset days, school holidays and parties.
The invites are tricky. You get one, but you don’t want to be too keen. You also don’t want to agree for your 2/3/4-year-old to attend a party if between then and now a close friend organises a bbq or family arrange something big and you’ve already committed for your 3-year-old to go to a manky soft play centre with a child they don’t even recognise and whom you watch rip open their gifts haphazardly at the end whilst your inner voice screams at the parent “GET A PAPER AND PEN FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHAT ABOUT THE THANK YOUS?”
So I really do understand the need to hold off a bit before rsvping. However after 5 years of this parenting lark, I have managed to work it all out for us. I receive the invite and if I’m free (and said Child is free) I put the invite on the fridge, put a diary entry on the iPhone (cc’ing hubby) and then pop a reminder about 8-12 days before to send the rsvp. Voila, I’m covering all bases.
So, new parents take note. Get a system – QUICK. Otherwise you’ll have the likes of me angrily pacing the reception of the nursery wondering why the heck you thought it was ok to not RSVP. Short of a “pushing over” child, there’s nothing else that winds me up as much and trust me…………I will remember you forever more as the parent that wasn’t organised.