Why I Won't Throw a Mega-Party For My Kids

All three of my daughters are born in May. And they all get a separate birthday party, even if one shared one is easier and cheaper.

“All three of my daughters are born in May,” I say, sheepishly, while chatting with another mom at the park.

“That’s amazing! How did you plan that?” She laughs. She points out that I can combine all their parties into one mega birthday party, easy peasy.

Another mom standing by the monkey bars quips, “I shared a birthday with my brother. We always had parties together and hated it.”

I stay silent, smiling and nodding at them both, trying not to take sides.

There’s always a mom that encourages me to throw a mega party, thinking it is the neatest idea and such a wonderful time saver. But, there’s always someone else who shared parties with their sibling growing up and hated it. I’ve yet to hear from an adult who shared a birthday party with their sibling and loved it.

Last year I had a fresh newborn and no plans to have a party for my older kids, who were turning three and five. At the last minute I organized a very last-minute party for them at a local frozen yogurt shop. Both loved it, but the three-year-old doesn’t even know that it was her birthday party. Her five-year-old sister has insisted, for many months now, that it was her party, and her party only.

By five my daughter already hates the idea of sharing a party with her younger sister, and she’s made sure to warn me that this year she will not accept a combined party. Maybe she’s being entitled, and maybe I should just ignore her and do what is easier for me, but I love celebrating my children’s birthdays and I think it’s important that they feel special on their day.

I’ve decided to take the advice of the adults whose sad eyes and mournful voices tell me that they absolutely hated sharing parties with their siblings. Sure, it’s a first world problem, and my children don’t particularly deserve individual parties, but it’s something I have decided to do.

Some years I will probably pay good money to have someone else run the party for me, and other years I may plan intricate themed parties, and grow to hate myself by the end of the month.

I didn’t ask to have three children born thirteen days apart, but neither did they, and I’m determined to celebrate their individuality each year, and for me that means throwing them separate parties.




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Brianna Bell is a writer and journalist based out of Guelph, Ontario. She has written for many online and print publications, including Scary Mommy, The Penny Hoarder, and The Globe & Mail. 

Brianna's budget-savvy ways has attracted media attention, and led to newspaper coverage in The Globe & Mail and The Guelph Mercury. In April 2016 Brianna will be featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less, alongside co-writer Brooke Burke. You can find Brianna's website at Brianna Bell Writes.