"Dear Carol, all I want is a birthday party where my mom doesn't choose who I invite"
"So my b-day is coming up, and there's this one issue my mom and I *always* have: She says that I should invite my irritating cousins, this one girl I've been friends with since kindergarten and anyone else who invites me to their parties. Well, that one friend, she's sweet and all...but we're not that close anymore even though she still considers me a friend. My mom also gives me a limit on how many people I can invite. All I want is a party where my mom doesn't choose who I invite—and where I can have all of my friends that I'm actually close to."
- Birthday Blues
Dear Birthday Blues,
I hear you! Maybe you could say to your mom, "Let's have a big family dinner with cousins and cake, and then a separate friends party." As for old friends, this quandary is as common as it is hard. If it's a fairly big party, it may be easier to invite her rather than exclude her and hurt her feelings. Sure, at some point, it's OK to stop including your childhood friend in everything you do. But kindness matters, and if it would shatter her to not be invited whereas it wouldn't be *that* big a deal for you to have her, then I see your mom's point. Talk to your mom about the number of guests and make sure she knows too that you appreciate her throwing you a party. A thank you along with the protests might go a long way. Happy birthday!
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