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For my son's 10th birthday we told him he could invite 3 friends over for a sleepover. The party was a ton of fun until the next day, ( for me that is!)

I received a text message from the mother of one of my son's friends ( whom was not invited to the party.)

She texted " so are you going to make me ask or a are you going to tell me?"

I responded with a " what!?"

She replied, " why wasn't (my son) invited? "

I told her that I hope his feelings aren't hurt and that we left the decision up to (my son) and the other reason was her son wouldn't like having to sleep in the basement and watch a scary movie.( all of which were big problems in the past)

The mother of the boy who wasn't invited told her son that he wasn't invited to the party.

She made the comment that she was more hurt than her son.

The relationship between her and I has been... eventfull. She wants us to be "BFF". I mean I like her and all but I'm not the type of person who wants to hang out with them every weekend and go grocery shopping together.

My son and her son don't really have much in common. My son is big into sports whereas he doesn't like sports. Her son plays video games daily whereas mine is only allowed to play on Saturdays.

Any input on this would help as I'm now upset with her for making this into a big deal and being yet again, more drama into my life.

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Thank you all for such amazing responses. Your time spent in responding to my situation truly are very much appreciated. I'm concerned more about how to deal with this acquaintance not only in this situation but in the years to come as she is a neighbor and our children are of the same age. So far I have no new update and I hope it stays as such! People with this type of personality are so hard for me to level with and understand. Again thank you for all the responses! Stacy –  user7056 Mar 18 at 22:44
    
this is not real drama ... the "are you going to make me ask" bit shows the parent has a problem, don't waste any sleep over it! –  PatrickT Apr 12 at 15:08
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2 Answers 2

In this situation, I think you responded in the best possible way. You deferred to your son's choice, since ultimately it was his birthday; his choice of friends. You referenced historical evidence that it would have been a problem for her son due to the activities scheduled. You've also recognized the quality of relationship your son has with his friends, which parents don't always notice. Kudos to you.

Now here is the hard part: Everything else is her problem. Her apprehensions and hurt are issues that she has to deal with. You can't do anything to change them. Don't feel bad and move on. If she is unwilling to get over it, then allow the sons to remain friends but distance yourself from the drama. You are already a parent and probably have a ton more responsibilities. Don't let someone else's insecurities distract you.

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I would focus on two aspects here:

  • three is a very small party; she probably assumed something like one-per-year and was therefore concluding her son is your son's 11th-favorite friend. Ouch.
  • she didn't know in advance

There comes an age where one-per-year hang-at-my-house-cake-and-balloons morphs into a much smaller thing. Often this has to do with car capacity or the cost of the special activity. There's no fault in you not being willing to supervise a large sleepover. However this other mother had no idea. If you want to make her (and people like her) somewhat happier, once you've decided on something like this you could mention in passing:

End of an era for me this year. [Son] doesn't want a big party, just two or three kids for a sleepover. By the way, I think [your son] isn't going to be one of them - scary movies in the basement aren't his thing anyway, right? I hope it doesn't disappoint him.

If you see them regularly you could continue with a reference to something you're already planning to do together. If you see them so rarely that you wouldn't speak to her in person between the decision and the party you could do a FB update (or whatever your group uses) that runs more like:

End of an era for me this year. [Son] doesn't want a big party, just two or three kids for a sleepover. Means some of his close friends won't be included, but I'll just have to make sure he gets a variety of friend time this month. It's his choice how to celebrate, after all.

This one is a little more passive aggressive I suppose (if it's truly only aimed at your sensitive friend) but heck, there could be others wondering why their boys are not in the in-list and not realizing how small the party was. You can probably still do a variant of this if you have a party picture to post.

For your sensitive friend, if she brings it up again you can apologize only for not letting her know in advance and for her feelings of surprise and confusion. But don't apologize for your son's choices -- if you support his power to choose his own party, stick to that position.

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WHile I think this one is very non-confrontational, I have to say Chris's answer is the one I'd vote up. That mother should just grow up and deal with it. Sorry to sound cruel, but really... –  Rory Alsop Mar 18 at 20:20
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This mother has very low self esteem and collects friends as pawns. Get me outta here! –  user7056 Mar 18 at 22:46
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