To think it's ok if DD doesn't have a birthday party every year?

(54 Posts)
yorkshapudding Sun 16-Oct-16 08:23:24

DD turns three in a couple of weeks. We had a party for her first birthday, which was lovely, lots of friends and family. Last year we took her to a theme park type attraction for the day then had a Birthday Tea (at our house, did a buffet, cake etc) for grandparents, aunts and uncles and their DC in the evening. This year we haven't got around to planning anything yet due to being busy with work and house reservations so we'll probably take her for a nice day out somewhere.

Yesterday DH told me he feels "really guilty" that she won't be having a party this year and didn't have one last year (buffet at our house didn't count as a party apparently because it was only family and their DC) and that "we will definitely have to have one next year". He seems to think it's a really big deal, like we're depriving her or something whereas I don't see it as an issue if she doesn't have an actual party every year as long as she has a nice time.

Part of me is also a bit annoyed as surely if it was that important to him he could have taken the initiative to organise something himself or at least told me he wanted her to have a party before it's too late to do anything about it!

I suspect this is partly because his sister's always throw their DC's a big party every year and they seem to get bigger and more elaborate each time. They usually with multiple children's entertainers, a professional photographer and/ or videographer, cake so big it looks like it needs a mortgage etc. so I wonder if he's worried we'll look mean by comparison. His parents have always blatantly favoured his sisters and are quick to compare our DD to their DC's so I wouldn't be surprised if one of them has said something. DH said it's not that but I think it's a bit of a coincidence that he suddenly came out with this after we were visiting his family yesterday.

I don't have a problem with hosting parties, I'm happy to do it as long as I have a bit of notice. I just don't think that we have anything to feel guilty about and I don't believe our DD is the only child who doesn't have a party every year whereas DH seems to think she is!

Perfectly willing to be told I am being unreasonable by the way if that's the consensus. I don't want DD to be spoilt but I don't want her to feel hard done by either.

NoahVale Sun 16-Oct-16 08:25:25

Well, i think your DD needs to feel she has a special day anyway. What are you planning?

SalemSaberhagen Sun 16-Oct-16 08:25:59

YADNBU. A party at this age is more for the parents than the child. My DD is 2 and didn't have a party for either birthday. She was perfectly happy having a day playing with her new toys and eating cake. I'm saving the party expense for when she asks for one!

NoahVale Sun 16-Oct-16 08:26:29

oh i just see you havent planned anything.
does she have nursery friends?
could they come round for some party games?

newmumwithquestions Sun 16-Oct-16 08:29:01

Well I found out recently that I only had a birthday party once every 2 years...mum alternated between me and my sibling!
I never ever noticed.

As long as you do something nice for her birthday I think that's fine.

capricorn12 Sun 16-Oct-16 08:34:03

At that age she will probably get more from a day out than she would from a party so I wouldn't feel bad about it. There's plenty of time for parties when she's older and can invite her school friends and get excited about her party frock!

user1471494124 Sun 16-Oct-16 08:36:30

I hardly had any parties as a child. Birthdays had minimum of fuss. I am bitter! My daughter is having one every year. We just had her third and she was so excited. She still remembers her second one too.

However, the parties your SIL throws seem pretty OTT to me. I don't think the kids would give a monkey's about professional photographers and expensive cakes! So long as you are doing something that makes the day special, I don't think it matters too much. The party you had for her second birthday seems fine to me! Friends coming becomes more important ad they get older though.

Wellywife Sun 16-Oct-16 08:37:23

She's very young so a little tea at home is fine. Just get some pictures next to a cake with candles to put in the family album!

Prime party years IMO are in infant and junior school, when they invite their friends and have games etc.

When the time comes for those parties my only advice would be not to go OTT and give the DC chance to make up some of their own games rather than over orchestrate it all like your Sis is doing.

treaclesoda Sun 16-Oct-16 08:40:22

I didn't do parties for them at that age because they weren't really aware of the concept of a party and didn't know other children to invite them anyway.

DS has started school this year and his birthday is coming up, I asked him who he'd like to invite to his party and he said he didn't want a party. Parties are not compulsory.

yorkshapudding Sun 16-Oct-16 08:40:59

Well, i think your DD needs to feel she has a special day anyway

Of course she does. I just think it's possible for it to be special without necessarily having a party. We were thinking a day out somewhere (there are a couple of animal related attractions we had in mind as she loves animals), nice lunch out somewhere and have the GP round for tea and cake in the evening.

NoahVale Sun 16-Oct-16 08:41:42

your plans sound perfect op

SprogletsMum Sun 16-Oct-16 08:46:02

My dc don't always have parties, this year dd1 had a party ds1 is having a sleep over and dd2 will go and play at soft play with a couple of her friends.
Now I have a car we can get to places I probably won't do a party again, but I think party tea with family does count as a party.

Tfoot75 Sun 16-Oct-16 08:49:56

If she hasn't had one before then she won't miss it! But I don't agree it's more for the parents at this age, my dd is 3.5 and totally obsessed with birthdays, she talks about her 2nd and 3rd birthday parties all the time and mentions daily about the party we will have when dd2 turns one (currently 6 months!) - that party will definitely be more for our eldest than us, although appreciate the baby won't know anything about it! She would still call family coming round for tea a party though, as long as there's cake and candles etc!

yorkshapudding Sun 16-Oct-16 08:57:13

She would still call family coming round for tea a party though, as long as there's cake and candles etc!

So did our DD! From her perspective, people came round, ate party food, there was a cake with candles...that's a party. I thought it was too I suppose, albeit a small one so was a bit surprised to hear DH thought it didn't count.

Obviously, when she's at infants/juniors I know she'll want a party with all her friends there and that's fine.

zen1 Sun 16-Oct-16 08:59:50

I have 3 DC (oldest is 13) and I can count the number of parties they've had between them on one hand. Most of the time we've just done an outing or treat with one of their friends. As pre-schoolers we had family parties for them. Round our way, most of their friends had big organised parties (swimming /soft play/ bowling - £15 per child), which were out of our price range, hence deciding to do a treat instead early on.

Artandco Sun 16-Oct-16 09:00:37

I think a party every year is nice. But a cake, some balloons and candles is a party. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, just an acknowledgement of the day.

I would just invite a few family over for dinner, with some cake, candles, music. That is a perfectly fine party at 3 years.

AlwaysWashing Sun 16-Oct-16 09:00:39

We don't have parties at home. We tend to to get friends & rels together and head over to a big soft play place. The kids can all get together and run riot then we have cake & candles and then something of the birthday boys choosing i.e. McDonalds 😞 We have on one occasion had a swimming party at a local leisure centre where they layer on food plus cake, balloons, party bags etc.
My boys are nearly 4 and 5.5 and I have asked them what they'd like to do. They have been to traditional birthday parties at people's homes with games etc and to lavish affairs with entertainers so they know their options. IME as long as there's cake they're quite happy!!
Don't feel pressured into the party circus smile

OpheliaMoo Sun 16-Oct-16 09:01:10

I think if you set the expectation of a party every single year, it's something that will be expected for ever more. YANBU, acknowledging the special day in another way is just as important.

I won't be doing a party for DD every year but I will be doing something

HobnailsandTaffeta Sun 16-Oct-16 09:03:39

I have three and alternate "big" partied, I.e. Hall and entertainment/ soft play party. It can get ridiculous otherwise!

Youngest is only two so gets cake and presents at home with her sisters and whichever cousins are around.

We then either do a birthday tea after school, or they can go to the cinema or something.

A party isn't necessary and your SILs are doing it as much for themselves as for the kids.

ThursdayLastWeek Sun 16-Oct-16 09:05:25

youre absolutely right OP.

My husband has said he feels bad about not throwing DS1 a party when we've been to the parties if quite a few of his peers. I do not feel guilty as its been me taking presents to all the parties!

MargotLovedTom Sun 16-Oct-16 09:07:25

Your plans sound good to me. You'll probably find when she starts Reception and is invited to a classmate's party every bloody weekend, she'll start asking about having parties herself. Savour this time when she's happy with a trip out wink.

yorkshapudding Sun 16-Oct-16 09:07:42

Don't feel pressured into the party circus

This is exactly my worry. DH is quite susceptible to this kind of pressure I think. It comes from his upbringing I think, always being told he wasn't good enough. He agrees that DN's lavish parties have gotten completely OTT but I think there's a part of him that still feels inadequate.

MuseumOfCurry Sun 16-Oct-16 09:07:50

I became less faithful to the whole enterprise of birthday parties when my youngest was about 8, mostly because his birthday falls over the Christmas holidays. I take small groups of his friends to the cinema or laser tag or similar a few times a year, but not for his birthday.

My oldest is a bit unsociable and has never really liked parties, for his 14th birthday I sent him and 4 of his friends to Yo Sushi and they came back for a sleepover.

I'm done with having 20 kids at a party venue. I don't want to deal with it anymore.

JeepersMcoy Sun 16-Oct-16 09:08:00

My dd is 4 and has only had one party when she turned 3. For her 4th we took her and a friend to the local planetarium and they had an amazing time. A party every year is really not necessary.

MargotLovedTom Sun 16-Oct-16 09:08:30

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