When one parent has to miss child's birthday, what to do? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What should we do to celebrate a birthday DS's Papa has to miss?
Not tell DS on his actual Bday and celebrate it a week later when Papa's back 3 27.27%
Have a little celebration on the Bday and then DS & Papa have a special day together when DH comes back 6 54.55%
Have two family celebrations ~one with and one without Papa 2 18.18%
Other (please specify) 0 0%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-28-2014, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
P.J.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

What do you / would you do / have you done if you or your partner has to miss your child's birthday? My DH will unfortunately not be here on our son's 4th birthday this spring. He thinks we should just not tell him and have the birthday celebration a week later. That feels inauthentic and like trickery to me and the birthday's on a Saturday and it would feel weird to be alone with DS all day just acting like it's any old regular day. KWIM? We haven't ever had a big party ~always just the three of us and DS's aunt and grandma family celebration. I was thinking something like we can have a little celebration on the actual day, without Papa, and then when he's back on the next weekend DS can choose anything he wants (maybe the zoo? that kind of thing) and have a special day out with Papa to celebrate. Another option would be two separate celebrations (only one of which grandma and aunt would come for). The consensus and experience of my friends seems to be we should just do it a week later when Papa's there and not tell DS anything. What has your experience with this been or what's your opinion? I feel kinda confused and DH and I don't really agree what to do. TIA! :love 


Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
P.J. is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-28-2014, 12:13 PM
 
MeepyCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,679
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)

Keep in mind that your child is now old enough to remember his birthday and request repeats next year.  So if this year has two birthday celebrations, he may expect two celebrations when he's five.  And he may talk about it for months.  And be disappointed if next year falls short.  I'd be inclined to have an ordinary Saturday, and only one celebration, when Papa is home.

MeepyCat is online now  
Old 02-28-2014, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
P.J.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Wow I hadn't thought of that. Oddly enough, I am on the waiting list for a school program that, should I get into and attend, would have me miss his birthday next year! I can't believe that! So we may find ourselves in this situation again on his fifth birthday, sadly enough. But I can't decide anything based on that as it really is uncertain if that'll actually happen. Anyway if it does then I guess we'll know what to do based on how this year goes over...but yeah we don't want to set ourselves up for major double-birthday expectations do we?


Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
P.J. is offline  
Old 02-28-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would do something small on his actual birthday, like have mostly a normal day and then a special dessert, and then do the bigger celebration when his dad can be there. If you make it clear as to why you're doing this, I don't think he'll come to expect double birthdays. I don't think it's too different from having a birthday party on a day not their actual birthday, and then celebrating at home with just the immediate family on the actual day. 

erigeron is offline  
Old 02-28-2014, 12:44 PM
 
salr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
It would be weird if anyone you knew wished him a happy birthday. It sounds like he stays with you full time. I know it wouldn't work if he went to daycare since they seem to make special note of birthdays.

I would not be ok with the dishonesty and pretending involved with the not telling option. For the kid and also for me. I like to look with wistful joy at my growing kid and talk about when they were born, etc on birthdays. It wouldn't feel right to ignore it or try to cover it up. And I'm the kind of person who if my kid were taking about the awesome birthday later, I'd be likely to babble something like oh you mean on your birthday that want really your birthday. .. it's a lie you have to keep up forever. Or until you have the chance of your kid thinking it's funny that you didn't tell him.

I would be comfortable explaining that there were not two parties in later years because the circumstances are different.
salr is online now  
Old 02-28-2014, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
P.J.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Well, he's at preschool every weekday but his bday's on a Saturday this year. Still, if we weren't going to tell him...then I'd have to tell the teachers at preschool not to mention it the day before or after his birthday weekend, and I'd have to tell all our family not to call on his bday, and all our friends not to mention it. Yeah, that totally feels dishonest to me.

 

I had also already thought that by his age he can differentiate between what we do regularly and what is a special exception, so he would understand this is not every year just cause Papa can't be here this year. But I wasn't sure and I'd be sorry if he was disappointed the next year because we did it twice this year and never again.

 

Thanks for the input so far.


Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
P.J. is offline  
Old 02-28-2014, 12:59 PM
 
meowmix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)

We've missed a few of the kids' birthdays.  Once I went out of town with my husband to a conference and we BOTH missed my son's birthday.  I think I was more upset than he was (he was older, though).  There have been quite a few times where my husband has been traveling over someone's bday.  In those cases the kids and I have a special day with the birthday child and maybe have some cupcakes and sing happy birthday.  And then we might do something more special and bigger when husband is back in town (whatever we had planned on doing anyway for that birthday).  And, yes, we'll probably do a full on cake, etc then, too.  No one has ever expected two birthdays... it's no different to me than having a child's birthday party with friends on the weekend when their birthday falls midweek.  We wish them happy birthday midweek, might bring cupcakes to school or take them out to lunch.  And then they have the birthday party on the weekend.  Maybe I'm the only one that might acknowledge a bday twice?  :shy  On years the kids' birthday fell on the actual day we did something celebratory, we only celebrated once.  


Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
meowmix is offline  
Old 02-28-2014, 01:09 PM
 
farmermomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 938
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
You could do a symbolic 4 times around the sun walk and emphasize the day. And then emphasize the celebration when daddy is home. Can you Skype with daddy on bday?
farmermomma is online now  
Old 02-28-2014, 01:25 PM
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
In our family, we would do little special things on the actual birthday, and then have the party with dad/grandparents the following weekend.

That's kind of what we do most of the time anyway, since birthdays usually fall on weekdays -- we have a little mini-acknowledgement of it on the actual date, then the party on the weekend.

And yes, adding to what FarmerMomma said, FaceTime or Skype would be great for dad and kids to interact while he's away. We use FaceTime during the kids' and my annual week away at my mom's house, and they love being able to show him cool stuff they found or drew that day. Maybe your DH could make a bday sign or something to show your DS.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
Old 02-28-2014, 02:20 PM
 
newmamalizzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,653
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Like others, we always do two birthdays, so it doesn't seem so weird to me. If it's a weekday, it's just me and DD anyway, and I'll do a small gift and we'll have an outing or something. Party's always on Easter for us, so sometimes it's week's in between. She doesn't care in the slightest smile.gif
newmamalizzy is offline  
Old 02-28-2014, 03:38 PM
 
Peony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)

I missed the two year old's birthday last year and DD1's birthday when she turned 4. I believe I couldn't even attend DD1's actual party that year due to DD2 being in the hospital. And DH and has missed a couple of the girl's birthdays over the years. We try not to, but sometimes it just can't be helped. We do something simple on the actual birthday, going out for fro yo for something and then do our special birthday dinner when the other parent returns. We always tell the younger kids that it is their actual birthday. 


There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
Peony is offline  
Old 03-01-2014, 05:37 AM
 
transylvania_mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: abroad
Posts: 1,048
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I would celebrate when dh is at home.

I wouldn't be sneaky about it: I would acknowledge his birthday, I would wish him happy birthday on the actual date, but I would wait until dh gets home for the celebration.

 

Most kids don't even have the parties on the actual birthday, they have them on Saturdays and Sundays.


caffix.gif

transylvania_mom is offline  
Old 03-02-2014, 03:16 PM
 
Grover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Why not just explain the situation to him and do as others have suggested? One more minor acknowledgement/presents/something special for the 'date'....and one with the three of you later. He could choose a special outing or whatever for one of the days.

Could just say it's a very special year....and isn't he lucky!

 

We 'lied' and did our DD's 2nd birthday on a different day....for various reasons - but now, over 3, she needn't be sheltered from truths, and wouldn't be tricked I'm sure! (that web of deception would break easily, if you forgot to tell someone....or if a kid said something....or...or...or...)

 

:-)

Grover is offline  
Old 03-02-2014, 04:48 PM
 
LiLStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: WA
Posts: 3,367
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
One thing I think is kinda fun in my family is to stretch out the birthdays. Like this year: we rarely order from the book order at school but did for dad's body birthday month (arrived a couple weeks s after her birthday) when her present from her grandparents arrived a few days early, she got it immediately. Party with friends was the Saturday before her birthday. On her birthday she brought cookies to school, then we went out for dinner in the evening. I was a meanie and made her wait till after dinner for her presents! smile.gif she saw her other grandma the next weekend and got a small present from her. I think that makes it more fun when birthdays get to last. In the spirit of that point of view... What I would do is have a fun Saturday on his actual birthday. Zoo, children's museum, park, anything you could do together for fun. Maybe go out for ice cream later. Maybe open one present. Then do the actual celebration the next weekend

dd (7) ds (5), ds (2) &3rdtri.gif hbac.gif and the furbabies cat.gifZeus, Dobby, Luna, & Ravenclaw
LiLStar is online now  
Old 03-02-2014, 07:00 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
We do multiple celebrations one one the birthday and the others when my brother comes into town. We also do something with a few of dd's friends and her dad does something fun with her too. My dd is an only child and the only grandchild so she gets celebrated a lot.
One_Girl is offline  
Old 03-10-2014, 08:37 AM
 
sbarr_NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'd keep it simple and explain it just the way it is.

 

Today's your birthday (maybe a cupcake and a special dish at dinner) and your party is next week when daddy is home - aren't you lucky!  I

 

I would have the other relatives on the day with daddy, so that is clearly the "party day".

 

My ex has a big family, so sometimes we'd end up with 3 celebrations - a little something on the actual day, a friend and schoolmate party on Saturday and then Saturday night, usually a big dinner at a local restaurant.  Kids can be pretty flexible.

sbarr_NY is offline  
Old 03-10-2014, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
P.J.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Thanks for all the input! I think we're just going to do what most have suggested, and on his actual birthday have a cupcake and one present and maybe he and I will go somewhere special. Then the next weekend when Papa is back we'll celebrate with the other relatives and have that be the more official party. I think he's old enough to understand that's why we're celebrating it twice, and not necessarily remember and expect that every year.


Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
P.J. is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off