Birthday Parties — The Bump
Pre-School

Birthday Parties

Our circumstances do not allow us to have birthday parties in the home-our house is small with no finished basement and our daughter's birthday is the middle of November so not exactly outdoor party weather.  To top things off, I am due to have DD#2 4 days before DD#1's birthday. 

So, I'm trying to plan a party for DD1 and the best option I see is the Saturday after Thanksgiving-the 26th.  It gives me time in case the baby is born late and a few days of recovery in the hospital plus a good 4 or 5 days at home.  I really don't want to push it into December because it is 3 weeks after her birthday and one of my best friends and her little boy wouldn't be able to make it to the party because they are going to Disney.  She only has like 10 that would be able to make it, so I want to try to plan it so as many can come as possible.

Well, I was figuring on invited my family and friends who have young children and then girls from DD's dance class.  I was planning on having a separate little party for just family-grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins with just some cake and ice cream.  this is what we did last year. Well I told my MIL, who thinks my daughter is her best friend and vice versa, that I was planning the Chuck E Cheese party for that Saturday and then doing a separate party for older family members and she got bent out of shape and asked "Well who will be attending if not the family?". I was polite but I listed kids and their parents who my daughter plays with and said I didn't think my husband's 80 year old grandfather would want to come to Chuck E Cheese and that they aren't allowed to open presents there. I went on to say that if they wanted to come they could, but like I said, she won't be able to open their presents.  

Her response was cold and said that my husband's 23 year old cousin's BIRTHDAY PARTY is always the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving so they probably wouldn't be able to go to the 12 noon party anyway.  

 Am I missing something? What do you all do when it comes to parties for children and the family when you can't have a party in the home?  I thought I was being accommodating by having a separate party so they can avoid Chuck E Cheese and watch her open her presents and thank them personally.  I don't get it. I wonder how much Nana just doesn't want to share her best friend with other kids....Thanks for reading if you made it to the end!

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Re: Birthday Parties

  • I am a firm believer in separate parties for family and friends.  Your MIL will get over it :)  Most kids parties I've been to have not included family outside those that live in the house.  The one I went to on Saturday was so loud and rowdy I imagine grandparents would have been uncomfortable (and your MIL would probably have been judgmental about that too!).  
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  • Is this her first birthday party ever? What have you done for the past 3 birthdays?

    I don't find separate (family and friends) parties weird at all, but maybe your MIL is just used to only family parties.....

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
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  • I think she is realizing that my plans weren't that crazy-she is being a little less cold about it.  I tried to explain it politely and offered for her to come to see her granddaughter enjoying her bday party, but that we would still have a separate party for family so she can open their gifts in front of them. 

    The first birthday we had a combined party on a farm because she didn't have "friends" other than my niece and my friends' children.  Her second bday we had a combined party for friends and family at my MIL's house which is much bigger.  She still didn't have too many of her own friends yet and it was a little awkward. Last year was the first time we had a separate party for little kids at the movie theater to see Rapunzel with a separate party for family.  That seemed to work well and then there were only a total of 5 children and their parents at the movie theater.  This year, the plan was sort of the same but at Chuck E Cheese. 

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  • I personally don't do a big party for family for my kids birthdays - we have dinner and get a cake and that is with my ILs, DH's siblings and my sister and kids who are in town.  My family is out of town so we do a small dinner and cake it we happen to be together around the birthdays but if not, its not a big deal.  I would not call those a big party - they get gifts, we have cake but overall, it is no different than our getting together for dinner at a normal time and the same thing we do for each family member - a basic birthday dinnner at home or at a restaurant.

    As far as the friends party, I always include the grandparents and let them know they don't have to come but they are welcome to come.  My parents are out of town and have only made it to one party but my ILs have made it to all of my kids parties.  I personally find it helpful to have another set of adult hands around to help cut cake or take kids to the bathroom or whatever.  They stand around and watch for the most part but its important that they be included - I don't invite anyone else from the family to the friends party with the exception of my sisters kids (and only because they are kids).  A few times I did a joint friends and family party and it was way to big and so not needed.  

    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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