We have 6 birthday parties a year.
You heard that right.
We have three different birthday parties for each kid each year. Six times the cake, the sugar crash, present opening, and lugging home carloads of toys.
You see, my parents are divorced. It wasn’t a civil one, and unfortunately, no one can put their differences aside for 2 hours to celebrate.
My two daughters, on the other hand, love it!
Three birthdays? Heck yeah! They love the attention they get from each side of the family. Each set of grandparents each have their inside jokes with the girls and all get them different things every year.
It’s kind of nice, in a sense, because we don’t have to host a party with 40+ people and a boatload of awkward conversation, tension, and division. In fact, we only host one for my in-laws. That birthday is small and intimate – and is usually on their actual birthday. My mom’s side hosts one party and my dad’s side hosts the other. And it’s usually right around Thanksgiving and Easter, so there’s a plethora of food, family, and fun.
No complaints from me, except for the month-long commitment to their birthday. Every weekend is booked with birthday parties.
It’s just easier to have birthday parties this way.
Truthfully, I long to plan and host a themed birthday. I want to go all out and watch my kids’ face light up when I make their birthday dreams come true. But, I’m also an empath and I know that I couldn’t fully enjoy myself knowing that I’m making two families, who don’t get along, come together for a few hours of cake and presents.
It’s fun now, but I do wonder what will happen when my daughters are old enough to understand why there are three birthday parties. Will it always be fun and special, or will questions arise why grandma and grandpa can’t come together for them?
I hope they never feel like anything was ever their fault, or that they were not worth it.
It makes my mama heart hurt that we can’t all be together and that their themed birthday dreams are half-hearted. Maybe someday we’ll pursue a new tradition where we will go away as a family and go all out in our own way– a water park, trip to the beach, or the zoo.
So for now, while they’re little and oblivious, we’ll have a total of six birthday parties a year. It’s a compromise I’m willing to make (for now). It makes the kids happy, keeps the two families civil, and relieves me of planning massive birthday parties every year.
Those are things that make it worth it.
Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive Cedar Rapids Moms posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms events and promotions!!