Nine years into my parenting career, I feel like I’ve been to at least two million kid’s birthday parties. And one thing I’ve observed is that while the party themes may vary from pirates to Moana, parents at kid’s parties don’t vary much at all. In fact, just like something out of Central Casting, parents at kid’s parties all fit into certain types or stereotypes.
See, kids parties are the great parenting unifier. No matter where you live and no matter what your financial status, you’re in for a ton of kid’s parties once you’ve had a little one. And because kid’s parties usually involve parents doing nothing but hovering and waiting, they bring out every parent’s true identity.
Simply put, kid’s parties show the world who you really are—for better or worse. There’s a chance you fit more than one category, but there’s no chance you fit none. So which kind of kid’s party mom are you? Sadly, I’ve been the mom who forgot the present one too many times. But, at least I remembered my kid!
The Mom Who Forgot The Present
Kid’s parties are usually two hours with a hard stop at the end of the second hour. That means you’ve got to get there on time or your kid may miss bouncing or laser tagging and you can’t have that. So you rush out there door, thrilled you remembered your kid and the address. Now, if only you’d remembered the gift.
The Mom Who Forgot The Party
This is also the same mom who shows up the day before or after the party, present in hand, wondering where all the guests are. Uh, they’re at home because the party was another day.
The Mom Who Brought Four Kids, Only One Of Whom Is Hers
God bless that mom who's willing to shlep a bunch of other people’s kids because, “why should we all suffer?” This is also the mom who's a lifesaver to the single mom who has got to get two kids to two different places or the parent whose spouse is out of town and can’t get their own to the party.
Get In The Ball Pit Mom
There’s always one mom or dad in the crowd who ruins kid’s parties for the rest of us. And that mom or dad is the one who participates. Clearly having not gotten the memo that mom and dad don’t have to get in the ball pit, the pool, or the bouncy at the kid’s party, this one willingly hops in. It’s only a matter of minutes before everyone else’s kid’s beg their own parents to get in too. See, ruined it for everyone.
Good Gossip Mom
This is the mom you always want to find at the party because she knows what’s happening at school, with the kids social life, and has the occasional juicy parenting meltdown story. This mom makes kid’s parties bearable, unless she’s talking about you. In that case, it’s not so fun.
There’s a special place in heaven for kid’s party hosts who have grown-up drinks at the party. And there’s an even more special place in heaven for the parent guests who partake. Now if you’re a cocktail mom, make sure you don’t bite off more than you can drink. You’ve got kids to drive home.
I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of being this mom on occasion, but only because I’ve got two kids each of whom seems to have 10,000 kid’s parties per weekend.
The Mom Who Sent Her Husband
There are certain kid’s parties that scream mom or dad attends. Princess parties? Usually mom takes that one. Laser tag? That’s a parenting free for all. But in every group, there’s the mom who sends dad to the princess party, the tea party, and the manicure party. Go, girl. There’s no reason why Dad can’t girl out with Belle and Jasmine, too.
The Busiest Mom In The World
She’s late, went to the wrong place, couldn’t find parking, and will spend the duration of the party telling you how busy she is. If there was a busy Olympics, or a talking about being busy Olympics, she’d get a gold. And while she remembered the present and the party, she didn’t remember that everyone else there is busy too—even if they don’t talk about.
The Mom Who Brings All Her Kids
Unless siblings are specifically invited, siblings are specifically not invited. That never stops a few parents from bringing their entire crew to the party despite not having asked the host in advance. Kid’s parties usually involve a cost per kid, not to mention hosts often try to keep the mass number of kids down, so they might not want everyone’s siblings to attend. This never stops some parents from bringing them anyway.
The Mom Who Sends Her Nanny
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with staffing out the parts of parenting one doesn’t have time for or doesn’t want to do. The sheer volume of kid’s parties one has to attend as a parent can be daunting. Kudos to the mom who sends in the cavalry.
The Mom Who’d Rather Be Anywhere But Here
I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of being this mom on occasion, but only because I’ve got two kids each of whom seems to have 10,000 kid’s parties per weekend. I love all my mom and dad friends, but I’d prefer to see them when there’s no ball pit or nerf gun ruining the conversation. So yeah, sometimes we’d all rather be anywhere but at the most recent kid’s party.
The Mom Who Made Her Husband Come, Too
Not all families are the same. But in my family, kid’s birthday parties are not our family time. Unless the hosts are very close family friends, both my husband and I don’t need to take our attending child. But some parents see the party as family time, which means both parents need to attend. The plus one always looks slightly resentful and totally miserable. He or she would rather be anywhere but there, just don’t tell their spouse.
The Mom Who Brings Her Own Kid’s Food
I'll admit I'm sometimes guilty of being this mom, but only because my son has severe food allergies. But there are also those party moms who have their children on a very specific diet that they can NEVER stray from. So while every other kid dives into birthday cake, this mom’s kids are forced to enjoy those homemade quinoa cookies mom brought in a Tupperware. Yum?
The Mom Whose Dropping Off Even If It’s Not A Drop-Off Party
When your kids get old enough to attend drop-off parties, there’s a sense of liberation and freedom. But prior to that age, most parties are not drop-off. But there’s always a mom who's going to use the two hours of the party to get something done. That means she’s dropping off whether the hosts likes it or not.