Better Co-Parenting: Throwing Birthday Parties Together

I tend to make a pretty big deal out of birthday parties. I don’t ever go “over the top”–except maybe my first-born child’s first birthday when I had a petting zoo come to our house. He ended up crying any time an animal came near him. We do like to try to make birthdays in our home a special time for our children to feel really celebrated.

But how do you throw birthday parties for your child after a divorce? There are basically two options: each parent throw a party for the child separately or throw one party for the child together. What’s best for your child is going to depend on your situation:

  • Do you live near each other?
  • Do you and your ex get along okay, or can you at least be respectful in front of the children and others?
  • Can you agree on the details of the party together?

For our two boys, my ex and I have continued to throw birthday parties together. Both of our families are invited, we both help with the cost, and we decide on the main details together.

For some co-parents, this may not work. But let me tell you, if there is any way you can get along with your ex well enough to make this happen for your children, it’s so good for them.

Here are some of the benefits to throwing birthday parties together after divorce:

  • Your children prefer it that way. Believe it or not, children would much rather see their parents getting along and spending time with all of their family and friends together than to have two separate parties.
  • It will cut the cost of throwing a party in half. Why spend $200-$300 throwing a party when you could split the cost in half with your ex?
  • Two hosts are better than one. Having both parents at the party means you can take turns having to be “host” and being able to just enjoy the time with your child. Set an agreement beforehand of who does what and when, so that each of you will have time to be in charge as well as time to relax and enjoy it. Make sure someone in charge of taking pictures gets some pictures of each parent with the child!
  • Friends of the child don’t feel obligated to either a) attend two birthday parties for their friend, having to buy two separate gifts, or b) have to choose one party or the other.
  • Birthdays are a celebration of the child you had together. It’s the whole reason you’re still in each other’s lives. No matter what has happened since that day, a child’s birthday is a great opportunity to remember that co-parenting is caring for the same child that you had together and that you both love more than anything.

How do you divide presents when co-parents throw a party together?

If you’ve been following my blog, you already know how I feel about children’s belongings after divorce. Generally speaking, we take the presents my family to our home, and the presents from my ex’s family to his house. The presents from friends we leave up to our children to decide where they want the toys/clothes to go, whether that’s our home, dad’s home, or sometimes even grandparents’ homes. That being said, if I bought my son something that he wants to take to his dad’s home, of course he is able to do so. I bought the gift for him, and it doesn’t matter to me where he wants to keep it.

Do you and your ex throw birthday parties for your children together? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Better Co-Parenting: Throwing Birthday Parties Together”

  1. I love this idea and I wish more parents could/would do this. It’s hard enough for kids after divorce, but a birthday is THEIR day! One of my kids has a friend whose parents are divorced (or separated or were never married to begin with… I can’t ever tell for sure and it’s not my business so I don’t ask) and are pretty hostile toward each other, and it breaks my heart for that kiddo. She picks up that her parents hate each other and it definitely leaks into her personal life.

    That was a bit of a ramble, but yes, I just LOVE this idea.

    1. smallstuffbigfamily

      Thank you for sharing that situation. It breaks my heart to hear children or adults who were once children that were caught in that type of situation. Honestly, that’s the motivation behind what I’ve started here. To reach the parents who NEED to hear this, so they can heal themselves and be able to put the focus back on the children’s needs rather than focusing on their hate for the other parent.

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