Every parent wants to make their child's birthday special. But if siblings have their birthdays on or around the same date, should you celebrate them with a combined party? Circle of Moms member Sierra W. says her boys are three years apart but share the same birthday month, so she is conflicted about whether to have their birthday parties together or not. "Birthdays are a pretty big deal in my family and I don't want to minimize the occasions by having them share," she says. "But I also don't want people to not show up because there will be two parties within a few weeks."
When your children's birthdays fall in the same month, Circle of Moms members say, there's a lot to consider before booking a joint birthday celebration.
Host Separate Parties
A birthday is a special day. For that reason, several Circle of Moms members say parents shouldn't combine a celebration. For instance, a member who calls herself "mommy hayden" says, "everyone is special and should have their own special celebration." Michelle M. echoes those sentiments: "Personally I think a child should have their own party because this is their special day."
On the other hand, some members provide instances in which a joint party can be fun and memorable.
Keep reading for more factors to consider before making your decision.
Weigh Your Finances
Often, finances dictate whether you are able to host separate or joint birthday parties for your children. "If financially the family can't do two parties, [one combined] party is probably better than none," Valerie M. reasons. Vicki M. agrees. "If your budget is tight, or extended family would prefer, or whatever your reason, it is OK to make that decision [to have a joint party]," she says. As a parent, you love all of your kids. "Giving them separate parties will not change any of that, and may actually stress you out more: extra time, cost, kids comparing one party to the other, logistics. Make the best decision for your family as a whole, and teach your kids deeper values for life than whether or not they get their own party," she says.
Gauge Your Guests
The list of attendees also might influence whether you host joint or separate parties. Julie H. says four of her five children have birthdays within 10 days, so she always hosts one large party between the two sets of birthdays. "Most of our family lives out of town, and it doesn't seem fair to make them drive all the way a week later for another party," she explains.
Experienced moms say younger children generally enjoy having joint birthday parties, whereas older kids may not. Brenda C. recalls she didn't mind sharing her birthday with her brother who was born one day before her when she was younger, but "as a teenager, I somewhat resented not being able to have my own party," she says.
Heather M. also finds that's the case. Three people in her family have birthdays in March, so she organizes a family party but also lets her older children have their own parties with their friends. "The older kids like that better anyway because they get the family thing done and then get their friends over a different night for the whole night," she says. "The younger kids don't care yet."
Ask Their Opinion
If budget is not a factor, then Chris K. suggests parents ask their children what they think about sharing a birthday party. "If they are old enough to care or object, they are old enough to make the decision," she reasons. Tiffany S. says there's a six-year age difference between her two girls, and their birthdays are two weeks apart, so she never would have thought of combining parties. "But somewhere along the way one of them suggested having a party together, and it turned out they both liked it that way." She still has a special dinner, cake, and presents on each girl's actual birthday, though.
Use Your Intuition
Moms recommend parents use their intuition to help make a decision on whether to host a joint party. "If the kids want a party together, then let them have one together. If they need something individual, that's fine too. If they are too young to express those wants, decide by what their needs [are] by taking into account their personality types," Sarah S. says.
Make it Special
Whether you host a joint party or not, make sure each child feels like their birthday is special, mom Jennifer T says. She celebrates her daughters' birthdays — which are two days apart — together, but gives each a wake-up happy birthday cupcake on the actual day of their birthdays.
Kristine S. says she and her sister have birthdays six days apart and always had joint parties. "I always enjoyed it, and so did she. As adults we still celebrate together and her oldest daughter and I also share a birthday. My parents always made our party special, we each had our own cake but everything else was together and we have very fond memories of them. On our actual birthday though we were the princess for the day. We picked the meals for the family, always got to sit in the front seat, etc."
Kimberly J. says her twins always share the same party, but it's special to each of them because they invite different friends.