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Just curious....

Simpleton21's picture

I am just curious about how other moms handle kid's birthdays. What birthdays do you think are a big deal/special age? Personally I had a big party for each of my boy's 1st birthdays and just small parties for the other birthdays so far and feel like 13 and 16 and 18 are big ones. When I was growing up my parents didn't go all out with expensive elaborate parties on our birthdays and it never bothered me. I guess I'm asking because SD's birthday is coming up and she will be turning 10. BM is making a big deal out of the fact that she will be 10 and throwing her a party at a gymnastics facility. When she turned 8 she paid over $400 for a party at Skyzone (and expected my SO to pay half). He told her after that he wouldn't be doing that again b/c that is way to much for an 8 year old's birthday party and if she wanted to do parties like that she could but he wasn't contributing. My son just turned 10 in February. I can't afford big parties at amusement places or anything elaborate. I do try to still make it special but within reason. This year I told him he could have an indoor swim party at the local YMCA or he could have friends over to the house. He decided he wanted the party at home which was great and saved money! I was okay with that. He was perfectly happy with the party. I really don't care that BM wastes her money on these parties b/c that is her choice. I just feel like it gives SD the wrong idea about what really matters and adds to her spoiled/entitled attitude. Am I wrong, are 8 and 10 big landmark ages?!?! Also please not that I think it is ridiculous when I see my friends do this for every single bday as it isn't just the BM that bothers me!


stepmomof1biomomof1's picture

My SD just turned 13. We drove 3 hours away and went to Dave and Busters. She picked it. We spent about $300 on everything..gas,food, tokens. My son is turning 13 in a few months and I will spend about the same.
We usually spend a few hundred on birthdays. That includes gifts, cake and decorations.

Simpleton21's picture

I guess I don't understand why people think 10 is a big deal. I get 13 because it is the first "teen" birthday. I'm pretty sure BM will find a way to justify making every bday a big deal. $300 including cake and gifts and decorations isn't that bad. $400 for just the venue and not including anything else seems excessive to me! I also have friend's that go all out to and I don't get it. One of my friends set up an entire "carnival" in her backyard for one of her daughter's bdays. I think she was maybe turning 5 or 6?!?

Simpleton21's picture

Yeah, I guess that makes sense, neither of them are in middle school yet though. They are in 4th grade and their elementary schools go up to 5th grade. 6th grade is middle school/jr high. My son really wanted a party at home (trust me I actually tried to get him to choose something else so I didn't have to clean up, lol) but it made him happy! LOL, about true!

Simpleton21's picture

Aww, well I can see why you would have a big one in the 3rd grade with that reasoning.

My son is perfectly happy with having friends over, playing games, and having pizza. I just think having big parties all the time might turn them into those people at work that still take off work on their bday and expect people to celebrate it for like a week or month! Hahaha! Maybe I'm wrong. I just think it is overboard!

Simpleton21's picture

I like this idea, thanks. I would do this since my son's bday is in February and we live in OH so the weather is crap. My younger son's bday is in July so we just go to my dad's pool and have family or a park and just have family.

KittyKatMomma's picture

In my house-DD13 is SN
She only wants to have whatever she wants for dinner-and a birthday cupcake.
No guests
no cake
no singing
no gifts
We did a big first birthday-with all the trimmings

That was the last time.
When she turned 10-I had many people show up without even being invited-and she told
every body to get leave and stay gone, when they did not leave fast enough for her-she ran to her room
and hid out lol.

Luckily my family understands.

As far as BM goes-we only did ONE co-birthday with her-when SS turned 5-I was turning 30 (WE SHARE A BIRTHDAY THIS IS IMPORTANT)
Her and I and DH got along great-that was when her and Big Man first started dating-everybody was getting along EXCEPT for BM's boyfriend (Big Man) he didn't approve of the ex husband and his wife getting along with the ex wife and her family.

If you took him out of the equation-it was a HUGE blast-everybody had a great time-we all chipped in like $100 and made the best of it.

The boyfriend threw a huge fit over the next several months because we (BM/Myself/DH) always included each other in everything-and now here we are 5yrs later-we have very little contact with BM and NO contact with her boyfriend.

Whatever party BM wants to do-she better work the corner or work a 4th/5th job (yes she currently works 2 sometimes 3 jobs)or something because we will no longer share costs with her or share parties with her.

Simpleton21's picture

The BM in my case is very controlling and has provisions for co-holidays like 4th of July and Halloween. That isn't the rule with the bdays though. The only reason we do go along with her on the parties is b/c my SD and BS are very close and she always wants him to be there (we also invite her to BS party if it isn't our weekend to have her).

If BM wasn't so nasty sharing parties wouldn't bother me. I don't like that she wants to have a big extravagant party every year and expect us to pay 1/2....nope...not happening...that is what she gets CS for. She is usually civil at parties though b/c she has her fake "perfect" image to keep up too! LOL!

KittyKatMomma's picture

see we don't have a CO
BM is really flexible with holidays and stuff-but she does feel the need to keep birthdays for HER.
the kids are 15 and 10.
They're old enough to say
"I rather be with dad and Kat"
Especially my ss because we share a birthday.

When he turned 10, she said she wanted him to stay with her because it was a "big birthday"
He lasted 2h with his mother before he got dumped on my porch and she was peeling wheels.
All he wanted was to be with me for our birthday=we have our traditions and she was fine with it
so i'm not sure why this particular time she felt the need to behave the way she did.

In my situation-it's not even BM but her boyfriend and his father/sister.
They don't agree-never have that BM and I got along-or that us 3 (Bm/DH and myself) did things together
with the kids. In their minds it's not normal and it causes more hell then it's worth.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

First year for DD1... we had it at MIL's because she insisted. I, at the time, still wanted MIL to like me so I gave her the honor of DD's first birthday. Second year, I did it and the set-up was really exhausting. Third year I was a week within my delivery of DD2 so we just had a low key one and took her to the playground and out to eat.

I might do another one this year, but more as a setup for a playdate with the other kids.

I only do it at the insistence of DH--mainly because in my culture, we don't traditionally celebrate our own birthdays. Our birthday is technically mother's day. That morning we're supposed to bring our mothers two hard boiled eggs for breakfast (eggs were expensive in rural China) and kneel to her and thank her for giving us life. If our mothers are deceased, that day all of our food cannot be heated up and is all vegetarian. These days I send my mom a card/flowers or call her because often they're traveling. When we were little, my parents didn't want us to feel left out from our friends so they would at least take us out to a favorite restaurant or something.

But DH is caucasian so birthdays are a big deal. We've melded it where in the future, he will have our DDs thank me, but we also do a party for them.

Simpleton21's picture

I think having a few friends and cake and food is reasonable. It is the paying huge amounts of money for a venue that I don't get or spending lots of money to make a "carnival" in your backyard is just overkill.

I respect the Chinese culture for how they treat their parents/elders. That to me makes sense. Mother's are the ones that gave the kids life! I guess that is why we have mother's day here but I like what you culture does too!

Maxwell09's picture

A few hundred dollars seems to be about right. I know we've spent atleast 300$ on both SS and BS's first birthdays. SS's fourth birthday was his "Golden" birthday so we went to Disney World which was obviously way more expensive than a birthday party.

Simpleton21's picture

I guess I don't make as much as other ST moms! LOL! I know my parents were poor too so maybe that is why I feel like big parties are overkill! I couldn't afford Disney World for a bday but I would love to take my kids as a family to do something like this!

Disneyfan's picture

I did parties for my son(Chuck E Cheese, laser tag, roller skating, putt putt....) until he was 8 or 9.

I never considered them big parties. They were just normal parties. Price is subjective. $400 for a patty venue sounds pretty darn low to me. But I'm basing that on what it would cost here on NYC.

Simpleton21's picture

Yeah, I think NYC is a higher cost of living than OH. I've done Chucke E Cheese before too but that place gives me anxiety! LOL!

I guess because of how I was raised I feel like having some friends and cake and ice cream and food is sufficient and for the special bdays, 13, 16, 18, etc (whatever your family considers special) then spend more on a venue/etc.

Rags's picture

My parents never threw elaborate parties for us and we never did for SS either. Birthdays were special mostly family events and if there was an actual party there were usually only a relatively few friends in attendance.

If you keep it small and family oriented then all of them care special.

IMHO of course.

Simpleton21's picture

^^^ This! This is how I was raised! I agree Rags! Having friends and family should be what makes it special. Not the gifts and venue!

Simpleton21's picture

I like the pool parties. I wish I had an inground pool! I would do that for my son but his bday is in the winter. My younger son is in the summer so we can do that. My SD is in the spring so if it were up to me we could go to a cool park with some of her friends or something but it isn't so I just let it go!

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

I am really really good at winning contests on the radio . But I spend hours and hours of the day five days a week calling and switching stations. I also sit at a
Desk at work and can listen to the radio. I am a poor person. BM spent $1000 taking SD17 to universal studios Halloween horror nights for her birthday. I won six tickets for Dd8 'a birthday last month and spent just the gas to get there . In my purse right now I have legoland, sea world tickets, and Busch Gardens tickets. We went to aquatica for spring break on my winnings as well as the county fair. I just won Ariana grande concert tickets and Muse and Incubus ticket concert tickets. I failed to win laser tag tickets today. But I won a pizza gift card. I have all my coworkers winning. So I do fun expensive things for their birthdays and Christmas and I don't spend a dime. I also sell things I won. I am going to get $150 for Welcome to Rockville tickets I won and that I hope that will cover a hotel room and we can do sea world and legoland and have summer vacation. We do have to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bring refillable water bottles on these free theme park trips but I get creative . I picked up 10 free skating passes. I did the cake at home and we all traveled to the skating place with the 9 guests for my daughter's 9Th birthday .

I am also in a Florida so there is a steady stream of theme park be caller 10 contests. But I paid a lot of money for a gymnastics party in my day but now I have Dd2 and a huge childcare bill and no more overtime. I think there are ways to give them a special day without spending a butt load of money . I have four kids and I do it all the time . I am
Also screwed when Dd2 turns 3 and she is no longer free. Most of These contest tickets come in packs of four with a packing pass.

Simpleton21's picture

Wow! You are good at winning stuff. I sit at a desk all day also but have only one a radio contest once and that was pre kids! LOL! I like how frugal you are and still make it happen! Props to you! Smile

I'm not saying we don't ever do anything special with all the kids. Just not big huge bdays. We do get season passes to Kings Island and take them as many times as we can during the summer. We do it as a family and I like that.

I think living in Florida would make a difference too b/c you can probably do a lot more outdoor activities/parties than I can with stupid harsh OH winter!

Acratopotes's picture

21 - that's about the only one I cater for, more because it's my freedom lol.....

my kid never grew up with parties, he had a choice, big fancy party with friends or expensive gift... he always took the gift, he does not like the party thing.. maybe because I never did it, no idea...

Aergia's birthdays - I'm not involved at all, I could give a shyt.... BM did a huge sweet 16 thing, cakes you name it... week later I dumped the cake in the bin, after I took photo's of it, actually BM surprised me it was very nice, Aergia mentioned it taste like shit... I simply told a friend what a shame I had to trash the cake and showed her the picture.. ( }:) the friend told BM)..... all hell broke loose and BM had a go at Aergia for being an ungrateful little brat blablablabla (guess who raised her this way)..... now nothing will happen for Aergia...

SO does not believe in elaborate parties either..

Simpleton21's picture

Sounds like we have the same train of thought on most of this. I do offer my son to take 1 friend to a venue or have a party at home with friends. That way if he wants to do Skyzone or Scene 75 (video game/laser tag/go cart place) he can. I just can't afford for him to bring 8 kids along and SD and other BS. He usually chooses more friends at home and I'm okay with that!

LOL, about Aergia, sounds exactly like something my SD would do. I'm sure she will be very similar when she turns 16. She doesn't appreciate anything....just expects it and she is only turning 10!

Since I have joined this site I have read a lot of other's experiences and I try not to worry about what BM is doing and try to disengage as much as possible from SD after realizing that SO doesn't get that he is being a Disney Dad (and can't even afford to be one). The fact that she is having a big party this year doesn't really affect me and she invited my son so he will enjoy it too and since we told her 2 years ago we weren't going in on this crap she is paying for it all. I think the joke is really on her Wink

zerostepdrama's picture

With my BS it depends on what we have going on. His birthday is 4th of July. Sometimes I do something a couple of weeks before. We went to a fun center place. I think that was his 9th birthday and I did that because we were going to be out of town for a wedding on his actual birthday, so the day was going to be more about the bride and groom and not him. Plus I had the time and money.

Another time he has his friends over and we did water balloons and a cook out, fire pit, glow sticks, etc It was basically like a big sleepover with cake. I think that was his 10th birthday.

We've had big 4th of July parties and then just incorporated his birthday too.

So really I have no rhyme or reason for when or why I let him have parties other then if I feel like dealing with the kids or not. Dirol

Simpleton21's picture

Ha, that makes sense! He actually has a cool birth date! I would like to have fireworks every year for my birthday Smile

Simpleton21's picture

Ha, that makes sense! He actually has a cool birth date! I would like to have fireworks every year for my birthday Smile

Tuff Noogies's picture

ours were always fairly low-key. one year we went to chuck e cheese, but it was just the very smallest birthday package since we had less than 10 people. any other birthday was either dinner out with the family and maybe a friend, or having 3 or 4 friends over for a sleep-over with pizza and a cookie-cake.