Make sure parents are in the know

Send out official invites with ALL the information on.  You need to say who can come (can they bring siblings if necessary), what they should bring and what they might be doing, where the party will take place and when the party will end.  Let them know if you will be feeding the child or not.  Also, make your policy on gifts clear – remember some of your toddler’s friends may come from households where money is scarce.  Parties can bring out the competitive nature of parents and lead to embarrassment at gift opening time.  Maybe adding that gifts are not necessary would be the best way to handle this.

And if someone says they will help…

Say yes! Say it loud and say it clear – yes, please help me.  Don’t be polite – birthday parties are a lot of work and you will need other adults.  You also need to realise that you are not responsible for entertaining the parents too.  If all else fails – give parents responsibilities for running games or helping you bring out the food.  You are only one person – and… more importantly… you want to experience your child’s birthday memories too.  Ask for help, so you don’t miss out.