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AIBU to change DS' birthday when he's too young to decide?

309 replies

tempnamechange98765 · 25/02/2020 13:14

DS is 4 and his birthday is Boxing Day. Up until last year his birthday has always been fine, if inconvenient, but last year it really was rubbish that we couldn't do anything special on the day due to nothing being open. We're always at my DParents as we go there Christmas Day and it's not an option to not stay there Christmas Day night (two DCs who go to bed early).

This year just gone the weather was rubbish so we couldn't even go out for a nice walk or play in the garden. Because my DParents get to see him on his birthday it's only fair that we invite ILs too, who although I get along with them, they are a pain. I have a good relationship with my own DParents but they're a bit fussy/controlling on Christmas and his birthday (understandably so I guess as it's at their house!) so it's always been us/them awkwardly hosting ILs. Which was fine when DS was little but as he gets older he doesn't like too much fuss/formality, he only has baby DS so no other children to play with, so on his last birthday he really misbehaved due to being bored/having cabin fever/having had far too many presents and focus just on Christmas Day let alone more on his birthday. I felt sad for him as we couldn't make it special.

In comparison we've just celebrated other DS' first birthday, and although he's too young to care, we were able to do it exactly as we wanted - balloons, a banner and a pile of presents waiting for him when he woke up, and we all went to lunch and softplay. Simple, but lovely, and older DS would've loved that as his own birthday.

Would I be unreasonable to change DS' birthday to a couple of days later, say the 28th of December? We would be at home and all the Christmas presents would be unpacked/put away, everything would be open again so we could go to softplay/lunch/McDonald's/museum/whatever HE wants to do, and we would have control over the day with it being in our house so could make it special, no pressure on him.

OP posts:
Deelish75 · 25/02/2020 14:03

I wouldn’t change his birthday, but I understand we’re you’re coming from. My DD’s birthday is at New Year - it’s shit. We do a family party for her (with cake and balloons) and then in the summer (1st weekend after 1 July) we have a half birthday treat for her. Not sure what we are doing this year for her yet but IF we do have a party for her it will be cupcake and we won’t be singing happy birthday.

Roozy123 · 25/02/2020 14:03

@memememe 100 percent right.

Waveysnail · 25/02/2020 14:04

The day of my kids birthday is always just something they choose for dinner. Then we celebrate the nearest weekend.

yupyupyup09 · 25/02/2020 14:04

Your poor in-laws!

So not only will you never see them at Christmas, they are now not allowed to see their grandchild on his birthday, whereas your parents are.

Let's hope your son and his partner when he's grown up doesn't treat you like that.

JemilyJ · 25/02/2020 14:05

My birthday is Christmas Day.

Ever since I was a child we’ve always picked a day earlier in December to celebrate my birthday, open presents etc. That’s the day I get wished Happy Birthday (last Christmas it was lunchtime before someone remembered it was actually my birthday).

Deelish75 · 25/02/2020 14:06

Also had a friend whose birthday was Christmas Day, and she always threw a party around the 25 June. Breaks the year up for them.

sweeneytoddsrazor · 25/02/2020 14:07

Of course loads of things are open boxing day. Cinema bowling pantomime is entirely appropriate and then a party with friends at the weekend. Its not very fair to say your parents dont mind not seeing their gc on their birthday when of course they will be seeing them on their actual birthday for the foreseeable future.

BiddyPop · 25/02/2020 14:07

DD has a Boxing Day birthday.

The years that we travel "down home", either DGM hosts (if we are staying in one of our childhood homes) or we host (if we have been sensible enough early enough in the year to rent a cottage for the break) a party of sorts for whatever family are around.

DBIL's family used to have DSILs family gathering that day, a couple of hours away, so could only call in for a few minutes as they hit the road. DSIL lives a couple of hours away and is rarely home for Christmas herself (with DH and DCs). Half of my DSiblings are away and don't come "home" for Christmas, more so since their DCs arrived. My family only come quite late after the "traditional" long walk, and DPs/DPILs (well, the 2 DGMs really) don't get on so it's always a little tense (fraught!).

The years that we don't travel, we host a gathering at home. Our families don't tend to come, very occasionally a couple of them have, but mostly not. There are some extended family (DAunts and DUncles) of both DH and I living relatively near us, but they also tend to be too busy to come.

But we have a lovely road and great neighbours, so it is a great excuse for us to relax post-Christmas. We light the fire and get in a load of M&S party food, and put on mulled wine to simmer. Different people call during the afternoon, some stay a half an hour, some only go home in the early hours of 27th....and it's relaxed, they can all walk home, and can come to us after their family commitments. And DD's friend up the road comes after visiting "Grammaw" so they get some time together too.

We do a "proper party" for DD's friends at a time that works for DD. It would never work over the Christmas holidays - everyone round here is way too busy with family and travel, and needing a break from activities. So it was often the 1st Saturday after going back to school in January. But if she wants to do outdoor or adventure things, we have a party later in the year to make it enjoyable (eg. climbing wall in March, sailing in June) or we've done a "back to school sailing party" at the end of August another time, with pizza etc after getting dried off instead of a birthday party another year.

The only thing we've ALWAYS done on the day is a birthday cake - which might be just DH and I with DD. We usually buy it in M&S on Christmas Eve, rather than making it ourselves on 26th (we bake at other times - and occasionally have for her birthday - but I really prefer not to HAVE to) and she gets to choose it. Presents from people other than DH and I can happen on the day (if we've been given them in advance or we see the givers on the day) or anytime afterwards that we see them. Which can be a nice way of spreading them out a little.

But in terms of having a separate event for DPs/DPILs not on the actual day, absolutely why not?! As long as you designate it in advance and they all know which day, then being able to do Christmas and all that entails, but get a little break after it before the birthday and hosting or even managing one DM hosting the other DM and all the passive-aggressiveness that can go with that, sounds like a good idea!

Lollygaggles · 25/02/2020 14:08

My birthday is soon after Christmas, so I chose an "unbirthday" in April. I still have a low key celebration on my real Birthday, but my fake Birthday is fab! Could this work for your DS?

tempnamechange98765 · 25/02/2020 14:08

Timemarchesonneverending you're right that the in laws are a main part of the problem! The weather is also a key player as if we could guarantee dry weather, it would be fine. DS is happy with a little scoot/park visit (in answer to those who say get him used to playing at home, he does a lot, but it's rare that we don't leave the house even for a little walk. I don't think that's unusual in small children - they need fresh air and exercise).

This is giving me lots of food for thought about how we could work it. Being at my parents is a problem too, you're right. I think it would put a dampener on Christmas Day if we came home the same night (a fun part of Christmas Day is us adults having games, drinks etc when the kids are in bed!) but we could come home on the Boxing Day. It would still mean the faff of packing up everything though, all the presents etc.

OP posts:
strawberrylipgloss · 25/02/2020 14:09

My son's birthday is in the summer holidays and I'm divorced for this Dad.

He has a party with friends one month earlier (so it's term time and everyone can come)

On the day with his siblings and me

On the weekend before/after with his Dad

If my child was born on Boxing Day, I'd have his party before the 26th. I'd feel bad about it being the after the day so I'd probably do it the weekend before which is practice will probably be the day after school breaks up for Xmas.

Lipz · 25/02/2020 14:09

You can't pretend to him that his birthday is a different date. That's ridiculous!

You do what most parents do who's children have birthdays on big dates. You have a small tea party on the date and tell him you are celebrating on the 28th with an activity. You have a small shop cake and let him blow out his candles. On the 28th you keep the birthday presents and bigger cake and balloons etc for the 28th. Just three same as parents do when a child's birthday falls mid week and they arrange a party for the weekend.

JRUIN · 25/02/2020 14:10

Give him 2 birthdays like the queen, and don't be going having unprotected sex around March/April time in future Hmm

MsTSwift · 25/02/2020 14:11

My ex realised as a young adult that his birthday was actually the day before he had thought it was for his whole life. He was quite upset. He was youngest of 4 boys and think his parents just weren’t that bothered by the time it got to him. Don’t lie about that to him your birthday is part of your identity

RedskyAtnight · 25/02/2020 14:11

We very rarely do much on the DC's actual birthdays - you often can't with school aged DC (DD was in a school show on her last birthday and basically only spent about 40 minutes at home between leaving for school and bedtime).

They get presents and card in the morning and then they get to pick their favourite meal for tea in the evening.

Then we nominate another day (or days) as proper celebration days.

Never had an issue - DC's appreciate it is more practical this way.

I think you're getting overly hung up on his "actual birthday" - it's just a day. Please don't tell him his birthday is really another day - as soon as he starts school he'll be expected to know his actual birthday and get horribly confused.

MaryShelley1818 · 25/02/2020 14:13

Absolutely crazy to think about actually changing your child's Birthday. Genuinely really odd.

You seem to be making a huge issue over this where it's not needed - wish him Happy Birthday, give him his cards and have a lovely cake. Then tell him you're going to have a special day out to celebrate once your home. It's really that simple.

Serendipity79 · 25/02/2020 14:13

This really is bizarre to me... the one and only immovable thing here is the date your child was born. Everything else can move to accommodate that.

Unless you're in the middle of nowhere, pretty much everywhere is open on Boxing Day, and you don't have to be at your parents for Xmas Day and Boxing Day - this is a choice you have made.

I cant quite comprehend that rather than choosing differently about where you spend Boxing Day you want to convince your child he was born on a different date??

My sons birthday is right after New Year, so everyone's worn out form Xmas, no one has loads of cash to splash, and it means he gets no presents for 11 months of the year. But we've never struggled to celebrate it whatever day of the week it falls on - Family birthday tea on the day and this year he had his first birthday party with school friends on the Saturday afterwards. He loved it!

I really do think you're looking at this the wrong way....

SallyWD · 25/02/2020 14:13

I think it's fine! It's a good idea. My friend's daughter was actually born on 2nd Jan but my friend still feels it's too close to the excitement of Christmas so they celebrate at the end of Jan. The girl is now 7 and seems very happy with the arrangement.

averylongtimeasLangCleg · 25/02/2020 14:13

Two suggestions: both tried
successfully by my sil - ( niece's birthday also on Boxing Day) my niece loved these and the annual panto trip is still a thing now she is in her 20's.
Start a tradition of Boxing Day lunch out (child friendly places are open then) followed by a trip to the Pantomime. They always make a fuss of any children with birthdays and it could become his "special " thing. You will have to book tickets really early if you want good seats near the front.
Plus have a "party day" - for a proper children's party (sil did my niece's on midsummers day).

lilyheather1 · 25/02/2020 14:14

My sister's birthday is boxing day, and her husband's is the day after. My mother was always very clear that come boxing day it was sister's birthday only, not anything to do with Christmas. You either need to have Christmas at home so you can celebrate his birthday in a manner that you're happy with, or keep doing Christmas the way you have been and accept it won't ever be quite what you want. Alternatively, have Christmas as your parents and put your foot down about your son's birthday.

corduroyal · 25/02/2020 14:15

I know several Christmas babies who just celebrate their half birthday in the summer. A little on their real birthday, a party on their half birthday.

Jellybeansincognito · 25/02/2020 14:15

Most kids have to go to school on their birthdays so celebrate the weekend before or after depending on what’s more convenient.

Why on earth do you have to change the day because nothing is open?

Iwantacookie · 25/02/2020 14:16

Not read the full thread but having a xmas sibling my dm always said if they were born on the 24th 25th or 26th December she would have their bday on 1st July so they dont get lumped with all their presents over 2days.
Sibling actually birthday is 28th dec and has always been celebrated on that day.
Hope this helps.

myself2020 · 25/02/2020 14:16

i generally agree with all posters (you can’t change a birthday), but
Going out everyday is a slippery slop and they get used to it. is ridiculous. children should get exercise every day, they should be used to it. keeping them in all day is an emergency meassure, but mot a good thing at all!

Littlebluetruck · 25/02/2020 14:17

So you want to change your DS’s birthday because your parents are “fussy/controlling on Christmas and his birthday”? Did I read that right?

I don’t understand why you can’t just come home on Christmas night with your children and celebrate your DS’s birthday the following day at home with friends etc. You spend the full day at your parents’ house for Christmas, what is the problem with leaving earlier to ensure your children get to their bed? If that is indeed the issue.

Has your son to spend every single Christmas and birthday at your parents’ house? That’s not fair to him. No wonder he had cabin fever this year.

Are you thinking of pretending to your DS that his birthday is on another day because you are afraid that he will ask to spend it at home in the future and you don’t want to upset your parents? That is exactly how it is sounding.

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