Mom Defends Viral Reaction to Dropping 7-Year-Old Daughter Off at 7-Hour Birthday Party (Exclusive)

The mom tells PEOPLE what most got wrong about her viral video

<p>Teray/moderatelycomfy/TikTok; Getty</p> Teray opens up about her feelings on the 7 hour birthday party

Teray/moderatelycomfy/TikTok; Getty

Teray opens up about her feelings on the 7 hour birthday party
  • Teray and her husband debated letting their daughter attend a 7-hour-long birthday party she was invited to at a friend's house

  • The mom, who is neurodivergent, tells PEOPLE she was "in awe" of the other mom's capability to take on a group of 15 second and third-grade girls

  • The viral video ignited a debate about what rules people have around allowing their kids to attend birthday parties

One mom is getting real about the experiences people can and do provide for their kids.

Teray, on TikTok as @moderatelycomfy, shared her reaction when dropping her daughter off at a 7-hour-long backyard birthday party, where her 7-year-old would be among a group of 15 second and third-grade girls.

When they got the invite, it led to a lot of conversations in Teray's household.

"My first reaction was just like, 'Wow.' My husband and I talked about it for almost two weeks before RSVPing. My daughter was very excited. It was going to be a lot of the girls that she plays hockey with and softball with. A lot of the girls are all in the same class," Teray tells PEOPLE.

"We live in a very small community. We know the family and they're fantastic. Our daughter has had play dates there before and we know what the backyard is like. It is the go-to backyard for anybody, even adults."

"You walk into the backyard and it's a gorgeous pool, a gorgeous hot tub. They have a zipline. They have one of the trampolines that has a screen around it. A lot of times, they put the sprinkler under it. There's grass for days and a lot of different lawn activities. It's just a really good vibe," she says.

Teray's daughter was immediately interested and excited about the event, but the couple had some reservations about the experience.

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"We didn't have any reservations about leaving her there for seven hours because we did know them. Still, a lot can happen in seven hours, right? Our daughter still wears a life jacket. We were going back and forth with, we didn't want her to be made fun of, So that was the big thing that we were concerned about, the water safety side of things," she explains.

Teray decided to share the experience in a TikTok video. In the short video, the mom remarks that she "simply could never." She says she "definitely was not expecting to get the audience that I got."

"All of my videos relate to me as a mother with autism and ADHD. My normal followers could understand what I was getting at, but I didn't give enough context for the random person to understand why I was saying I could never do this. Unfortunately, because so many people don't know what I usually talk about, they assumed I was being judgmental of her rather than being in awe of her."

While commenters accused Teray of "complaining" and mom-shaming, she recognized that this was indicative of just how hard the parenting experience could be.

"Everybody has their own ways of doing things, their own practices and what they value and what their rules and routines are. I think a lot of the differences in that became very clear in the comment section. Some moms joked, 'I would have squealed my tires out of the driveway, leaving so fast to have seven hours to yourself as a parent.' There were a lot of comments saying I would never leave my child with a stranger, so a lot of people assumed that I didn't know the mom," she says.

"There were lots of concerns about that, insinuating that I wasn't being careful enough with my daughter. Some people asked why I didn't stay and said their kid wouldn't have stayed without them. It was clearly a drop-off scenario in our case. I dropped my daughter off at the same time as other moms."

Still, the party went off without a hitch. "The first thing that she said to me when she got in the car was, 'Mom, thank you so much for trusting me to go to the birthday party,' " Teray shares.

Teray once again applauds the mom for "doing such a good job with all the little details."

"The mom had this really adorable drink tray with all the cups labeled. There were fruit trays everywhere, lots of chips, lots of fun snacks. I know that the whole time, they were bouncing around from the pool to the hot tub, the zip line, the sprinkler underneath the trampoline. They had lawn games," she says.

"She did all the things you could possibly want a mom in this situation to do when they're watching your child. I can say she was constantly making sure the girls were all lined up to do their layers of sunscreen. She made sure the hot tub was at a comfortable temperature. She even offered a quiet space with a movie going for anybody who needed to decompress, so that was awesome."

Teray's daughter's reaction pleased her because "it just shows that she understands that it's not just a decision we made lightly."

"I think it was cool for her to be able to see that we trusted her to go. We trusted that she was going to make the best decisions that she could. It was just really adorable."

The mom who hosted the party isn't into social media and has no idea her backyard party went viral, says Teray.

"The whole purpose of the video was to say how in awe of that mom I am. There wasn't a judgmental part of it at all. She really did think of all of the things. My daughter did have a blast."

While Teray admits, "I don't know that it's ever going to be something that I would be able to live up to," she adds, "I think that those will always be birthday experiences that she'll have with her trusted friends. I think that that's something cool for her to look forward to, in the future."

"It's another good example so she can see that families do different things for different reasons, and she knows that her mom is autistic, so we just try to control our sensory environment a little bit more because of that. I think she looks forward to those types of experiences with people that we trust having with her. It's okay to cheer for somebody else who's doing what you wouldn't be able to do for your child."

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