30% of divorced couples in Canada have a child together that is under the age of 18. If you and your ex-partner are in this bracket, it means that although you are no longer together as a couple, you are still likely to have considerable contact with one another to look after your child. When it comes to special events, such as their birthday or Christmas, you may find that you have to compromise and be sensitive towards one another. When you are organizing your child’s birthday after divorce, it is important to remember that although the logistics might be different, it is still ultimately a celebration of a very special day.
Here Are Tips on How to Organize Your Child’s Birthday After Divorce
Buying a Gift
When you are buying a gift for your child, it is not a competition between you and your ex-partner. You shouldn’t be trying to out-do one another on the size or cost of the present. If there is something with a higher budget that you know your child really wants, then it is perfectly appropriate for you and your ex-partner to both contribute and buy the present between you. It is a good idea to also go for entertaining gender-neutral gifts such as puzzles or art supplies that encourage you to spend time together doing something creative. It is also sensible to discuss with your ex-partner what you are purchasing for your child so that you don’t buy the same thing.
Where to Hold the Party
If you are organizing a party for your child, there may be some debate about where to hold the party. If you simply can’t agree on whose house to use as the party venue, then pick somewhere neutral, such as the bowling alley. When your child is putting together a guest list, just remember it is their party and the most important guests are their friends. Steer clear of inviting extended family or your own friends and there will be less chance of contention. When it comes to hosting the party or meeting other parents who are dropping off their children, if you can work together with your ex-partner it shows great maturity. You want to be able to show your child that you can cooperate well together and in their best interests.
Living Far Apart
If you and your ex-partner live far apart, you might find yourself having to negotiate who has your child over their birthday. There are several options. Take it in turn each year or have two celebrations on separate days. Whatever you do, make sure that you are consistent and fair, both with your child and with each other. You may not be together now, but you brought this child into the world together and you are still a team when it comes to parenting.
When it is your child’s birthday, it is important to remember one thing – it is their special day. If you can, work together to make your child’s birthday after divorce memorable for all the right reasons.
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.