BIRTHDAY PARTY TIPS: How to survive co-parenting drama and enjoy your child’s special day

( – Holy mother of beejeszuz! Whose freakin’ idea was it to make moms have a heart attack planning birthday parties? I mean, like seriously! Whose idea was this mess?

The cake? The goodie bags? The guest list? Yep, it all falls on mommy’s shoulders! If you are like most single moms, the child support check ain’t gonna cover this one – if the check even comes.

Here are a few tips to survive on a barely there budget!

Bake your own cake, find a place that let’s you bring it in, buy balloons from the dollar store and make an awesome sign for the party!

As for the politics of the party, consider this excerpt:

A child’s upcoming party, once a cause for simple and joyful anticipation, can work single or divorced parents like Mandy A. into a lather. “My son’s fifth birthday is at the end of this month and I’m not sure if I should celebrate it with my ex or not,” says this Circle of Moms member — and that issue is just the tip of the iceberg.

Like many parents who are going through divorce or live in separate households, Mandy wants to shield her son from the stress she feels about her split by keeping his father out of the celebration she’ll be hosting. But she’s unsure whether this is actually in her son’s best interest or not.

Some parents prefer to have two separate kid’s parties – one hosted by Dad and another by Mom…and let the competition begin. Some invite their ex to co-host the celebration. But the emotional whirlpool kicks up when they try to bring the grandparents, aunts and uncles and extended families into the mix.

This begs other questions: Who’s house? Who should be invited for keeping the “happy” in your children’s birthdays after a nasty break up, deadbeat parent drama or divorce.

A Shared Celebration or Separate?

Many moms say they’ve made pacts with their exes to celebrate their children’s birthdays together. Kids generally prefer this approach, but it obviously only works when the parents – and their extended families – can be cordial and respectful to one another, as Jennifer O. stresses: “For my step daughter’s next birthday we are having a party on our side of the family and inviting her birth mother’s side of the family as well, and everyone is completely on board with this,” she says. “I think it would be such a positive thing to have everyone all together, getting along, to celebrate. I know everyone will behave themselves.”

If parents do decide to hold a joint party, many moms suggest holding it on neutral ground, like at a park or recreation center where you can rent some space. And, as Chrissy C. suggests, it’s a good idea to inform both sides of the family in advance that they are all going to be there, “to minimize the tension.”

How do you handle birthdays?


One thought on “BIRTHDAY PARTY TIPS: How to survive co-parenting drama and enjoy your child’s special day

  1. Of my daughter’s 6 birthdays she’s only had one that included her father. After so many times of standing her up for visitation, I stopped going out of my way to invite him to her birthday party. I mean what kind of shiggity is that anyway?! I’m inviting you to your child’s birthday party? Yet if she asked me to, I’d reach out again. Since she’s not asking me to and this fool knows exactly when she was born…. I’m going to let sleeping dogs lay.

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