Where to have a birthday party when the families don't get along? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH's parents are divorced. If we have DS's party at his mom's house, his dad's family won't come. If we have it at his dad's house, his mom's family won't come. It'll be a hassle to have separate parties, especially since we're totally broke and our entire birthday budget will pretty much be the cake - ONE cake. I've looked around and venues in this area cost $120-150 and pretty much assume it's a bunch of kids. DS will likely be the only kid there, so that wouldn't really work.

Where can we have a cheap birthday party that everybody can go to?

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#2 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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Is there a family friendly restaurant that you guys like? You could take care of the cake, and the guests could take care of their own meals. Or maybe you could ask a good friend to host it at their house. Have your MIL bring some dish to share, and FIL bring drinks. Again, you just take care of the cake. You could even make cupcakes pretty simply. I made the cutest monkey cupcakes for DS's first birthday that were sooooo easy - I am not a cake decorator at all!

Good luck figuring something out. I know our family is so fragmented, it makes events like birthdays very complicated.

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#3 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Honestly I'd have it wherever you want to and let the adults decide if they'd like to act like adults or spoiled brats. We don't play emotional blackmail games in this house....which is probably why some of our more immature family members no longer speak to us.
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#4 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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Family counsellor's office?

Honestly, I don't think you can win, although I like the friend's house suggestion. I think you might have to just say "look guys, we can't afford a neutral venue, and hope you can join us as XX's house."

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#5 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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who is this party for? Is it for your dc, you or the guests. In most group situations you can't please everyone. If the GP are too selfish to "grow-up" and show some muturity, then they should just stay home. This event is ALL ABOUT THE BIRTHDAY CHILD!!! not the GP! Just host the party where you dc will have the most fun!
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#6 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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Well, my ILs and my parents are like oil and water, so what we decided to do is swap years. This year, it's my ILs turn to come to the kids' birthday party; next year, my parents can come. I especially like this b/c I am not stressed over who will offend whom, or who will try to hog the grandkids or buy the biggest/best present, or take the best photo . . .

You could have the ILs draw straws or pick a number between one and ten to decide whose turn is first, or go in alphabetical order, or oldest first . . .

Good luck. It sucks when grownups behave so immaturely.
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#7 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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i had my son's bday party at a church hall. big enough for everyone to avoid each other if need be.

good lucK!

D, wife to an awesome man, mommy to 2 awesome boys!!
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#8 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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Community centre, church, school room? Do you have a friend in a condo or apartment complex that has a community room? Sometimes they rent out these venues fairly cheap or for nothing at all. I'm kinda inclined to tell them to put on their big people pants and deal with it (unless there was something serious like abuse involved). But if you're not as mean as me, hopefully some of those suggestions can come through for you.

Don't trust anyone under 5! Mom to 3 boys under 5. Blogging to save my sanity.
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#9 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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if u live in an apartment complex maybe the club house... we usually do 3 or 4 parties..(one at mil, one at fil and step mil, my parents house and then our house....
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#10 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Honestly I'd have it wherever you want to and let the adults decide if they'd like to act like adults or spoiled brats. We don't play emotional blackmail games in this house....which is probably why some of our more immature family members no longer speak to us.
+1. These people's problems are not yours. Don't shoulder them.

Dad to DD 9/2008
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#11 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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Why not at your house? I think I must be missing something.

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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#12 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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Why not have it at your house. Just serve cake and coffee/juice. If someone doesn't like it they can stay home, or they can host their own party for your child and buy a cake and invite YOU.
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#13 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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Throw a party wherever you want. This is not your responsibility. If they can't handle it, they don't have to go.
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#14 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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Could you do maybe a breakfast with some (candle in pancakes), then the rest for a party later with cake?

Paige, mama to three girls, (10), (8) and (3)
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#15 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why not at your house? I think I must be missing something.
Not only is our apartment tiny, but we just moved and there are boxes everywhere. We're thinking about a Burger King near here that has a playplace. Everybody can get the food they want, DS can have a veggie burger, and DS and the few other kids we know will have somewhere to play. Anybody know how much a party at BK costs?

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#16 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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I would have it at your house and have anybody who wants to show up. I went through this with my oldest and went back and forth and finally decided it wasn't worth it. Birthdays aren't about how the adults get along, they're about the kids. So we do what the kids want and if everyone comes great, if not, their loss.
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#17 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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Minka, I'd just call the BK and ask to talk to the manager. It shouldn't cost anything for a big group, but you might be able to snag some extra freebies and they'll probably be able to tell you when the best time to come in is so you can get a group of tables together!
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#18 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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I would have it at your house and have anybody who wants to show up. I went through this with my oldest and went back and forth and finally decided it wasn't worth it. Birthdays aren't about how the adults get along, they're about the kids. So we do what the kids want and if everyone comes great, if not, their loss.
Yeah - really wherever it is, just don't choose based on this. I've been in a very similar situation. I have one of the more dysfunctional families in the world. I've learned that the longer you feed the drama, the longer the drama is there. Just say, "I'm planning a party. Whatever problems you have are between you and him (or her). I'm not going to get involved in that." And keep up with not getting involved. If people don't respond, the drama dies down at least somewhat. The more people work around them (which looks a lot like taking sides to those involved), the more drama there is, and therefore the more reason they have to continue the behavior.

Just plan the party wherever you want, and repeat continually to whoever complains, "This is not my problem. I'm just planning a party. Do what you want."
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#19 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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CiCi's pizza maybe? What about just going to a fast food restaurant like Chick-fil-a that has a playground. Everyone can pay for their own food, it won't cost you a thing.

I've found Buffalo Wild Wings to be a VERY kid-friendly place, even though it looks like a sports bar (it sort of is) everyone there has a bunch of kids with them in the early evening.
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#20 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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We have this issue as well. We live in MD and ALL our family is in NJ. We had DD's party in NJ. ALL our parents are divorced, so 4 sets of grandparents and there are no other kids (well now there is a 6 month old cousin, but she wasn't born yet!). I also looked at having the party out somewhere and it was ridiculous, pricewise and the idea of it all. We ended up having the party at my MIL and SFIL house. They have the most space. FIL and SMIL didn't come since it was at the ex's house and my dad didn't come since my mom was there. It is sad really, they are all so petty. We saw my dad the next day for breakfast and he gave DD her presents then and FIL and SMIL came to visit at a later date to share gifts. This will probably be how things go for many years to come for us. I just wish they could all get along for like 2 whole hours.

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#21 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 07:55 PM
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Sorry, I have no advice. Good ;lick in working something out, though.

We have the opposite problem on our family, coming up again now at Christmas. FIL & MIL are divorced, and have new partners. All have children. At Christmas they all insist on getting together. MIL and SFIL, FIL and SMIL, 2 SIL with old partners/new partners/kids/stepkids, SMILs exH and his new partner, SMILs children and grandchildren, various friends at loose ends, sometimes SMILs dad and step-mother, and at one point SMILs exHs new partner's sister and her partner! No, they never meet or talk really at other times (except their own grand-children's birthdays), an usually don't have a lot to say to each other. So people sort of just sit around in different rooms, while FIL and SMIL go around pretending we are all one happy family, who all love each other very much.

DH detests it so much he had refused to come to family Christmas (while living 10 min from his parents) for many years before I met him.
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#22 of 22 Old 12-19-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Honestly I'd have it wherever you want to and let the adults decide if they'd like to act like adults or spoiled brats. We don't play emotional blackmail games in this house....which is probably why some of our more immature family members no longer speak to us.
:

Are you going to do this for your child's entire life? If it were me, I'd stop the madness now. I'd call the relatives and be frank: "I know you and so-and-so don't really get along, but we love you both and would like you to be there to celebrate our dc's special day. I hope we can all put aside our quarrels for dc's sake. See you there!" If they choose not to come, it will be their tough luck.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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