So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

I’m brought to tears when I read about children having no friends or classmates show up to celebrate their special days. How absolutely lonely and heartbreaking the joyous day turned for these kids.

I get it. We’re in the digital age where e-vites, Facebook events, and text messages sometimes replace paper invitations. But when you think about it, it’s easier than ever to respond “Can’t go” or “No” to festivities with this technology. So I must tell you if you’ve received an invitation and not responded, you were being disrespectful.

RELATED: Yes or No, Just RSVP Please

When a parent takes the time to get their child’s birthday theme selected and party planned, the very least a recipient to the invite can do is respond one way or the other. Truck printed invitations, Dr. Seuss customized family shirts, dinosaur balloons, princess gift bags, food to fit the particular setting.

This is all absolutely pointless if no one shows up.

I’ve attended parties that have clearly cost upwards of a thousand dollars with professional balloon arches, gorgeous cookies, and food to feed an army. My stomach drops because I know the family budgeted and planned for this for months. They wanted their pride and joy child to have a big party and for everyone to have a blast of a good time. Meanwhile, there are two kids and one adult sharing in the occasion with the hosting family.

RELATED: I Forgot Your Birthday

How do I know? I’ve been there. I’ve rented a bounce house only for one kid to show up on the day of the party. I’ve prepaid $600 on nugget trays, gift bags, sandwiches, and cookies only for each day leading up to the party to lose more and more attendees than planned. Party planning has to be done in advance. These things take time and thought.

So that RSVP date? It means something.

It means from that day on a family is financially preparing for x number of mouths to feed and people to entertain and thank. Also, don’t make people text message or call and ask for your RSVPthey are busy enough and this was your ONE job.

RELATED: Our Kids Don’t Like Each Other. Can We Still Be Friends?

Parents spend hard-earned money to give their kid a day they’ll never forget; meanwhile, they are deep-down saddened and faking a smile in front of a handful of guests doing their best to make sure they, and they alone, can give their kid an awesome party.

Can’t afford a gift? No problem, please come and have a good time. My 2-year-old just wants company and lasting memories. A photo of him wearing a birthday hat blowing out candles with half the party not there irritates me beyond belief.

I understand life happens, truly. I’m a parent.

But it’s in poor taste to 1) Not RSVP at all, 2) RSVP as a no and then show up, 3) RSVP yes and then not attend, and 4) RSVP yes and then decide it’s too much work to attend the party.

Communicate with the party hosts. Because when you don’t, you’re actually communicating to the child too. The older they get, the more they see who didn’t come, who chose not to, or who we never heard back from but anxiously hoped on the morning of the party would show up.

RELATED: Mom Throws Epic Target Birthday Bash For Son

My son’s birthday went from 15 to 35 to 19 to 30 and ended with 20, in a matter of the week leading up to the party. I cannot express how stressed this made me. We, especially as family members and parents ourselves, have to do better.

These viral posts about kids having empty birthday parties have to stop. Sending cards to kids who got no cards? Why? Why can’t people take 30 seconds to send a card, simply a text message, and say they are unable to attend?

Times are changing and we are going digital. However, birthday parties for kids are not tech-focusedthey are people-focused and fun driven. So please, I beg of you. RSVP to that party. Show your dependability and respect one way or the other because kids deserve respect, too.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading

My Kids Don’t Like to Read, but They Do Love to Learn

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children reading with each other, color photo

I fell in love with books during a war while my kids lost interest in reading during COVID. Between 1975 and 1990 during the Civil War in Lebanon, my mom, an avid reader, was determined to make me one despite many odds. Once every few weeks, starting when I was about 10, she and I would make the half-hour trek by foot from our apartment in Beirut to a place we called the “book cave.” It was a nondescript space—about 15 by 20 square feet—tucked in the basement of a dilapidated building. Inside, it housed hundreds of books in various...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

5 Money Tips to Set Your Kids Up for a Strong Financial Future

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Father putting quarters in child's hand

As parents, we want to see our children become independent, but the transition to financial independence has unique challenges. I get it. I have three children of my own, and each of them deals with money differently. The transition can be especially difficult if you are a family that doesn’t talk openly about money. Regardless of whether money has been an open topic in the past, as your high school graduate moves on to the next chapter in their life, it’s important to help them start thinking about their financial future. College tuition, rent, and other expenses can be overwhelming...

Keep Reading

Dear Hunter’s Mom, What I Really Want to Say

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler boy, color photo

Hi, I’m Krystal. I’ve wanted to say that every Tuesday and Thursday when I see you in the preschool hallway. I don’t know why I never say it. It might be because I’m afraid to. Maybe you just want to get the drop-off over with and get out of there. I get it. Hunter is crying . . . hard. People are looking . . . they always look. Your face is flushed, your jacket twisted. You are caught between trying to do what you are supposed to do and what you want to do. I can tell. I know...

Keep Reading