“Let’s get together next weekend?”
“Sorry, I can’t. I have to be at my mother’s birthday.”
“How about mid-month?”
“Again, sorry. I have two of my kids birthdays that weekend.”
“The weekend after?”
“No. I will be sleeping. For awhile. Call me in the spring.”
This is an example of my conversations with various people starting early December until the end of February. Having three or more kids with birthdays squished together in a three-month period is tricky. Add in Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, other family members birthdays (husband, mother, aunt, close friends) and Valentine’s Day and well, you get it. For the most part it is manageable with a good Excel spreadsheet and someone who works well under timelines. The hardest part of the last three months was this past week. My mother’s birthday, Valentine’s Day and Elizabeth and Audrey’s birthdays. Yes, we are those parents who seem to have their kids all around the same time.
I spend a little time full of envy for those who have three or more kids who have birthdays separated by a month or a couple of months. Even a few weeks would be great. Having two girls with birthdays two days apart is a little nuts.
The bright side is that after this past weekend, I am free. No more planning, no more balloon bouquets to purchase and no more cupcakes to bake at midnight. (Okay, to be honest I did that for one occasion but not them all!) Not until December when it starts all over again.
How does a parent of three or more kids survive when birthdays are so close?
- Checklists for each kid
- I like to use Excel but any spreadsheet option works. It helps keep track of multiple invites, RSVP, dates and contact information.
- Party City
- This is my go to place. It could be any party supplier. It could be the dollar store. At Party City I can get decorations, balloon bouquets and loot bags if I want. One stop shop. I can also place orders ahead of schedule for pick up at certain times and days.
- Simple loot bags
- Gone are the days of tiny plastic toys loot bags. No parent wants another bag filled with toys. Other options are: gift cards, books, crayons/colouring books or a donation in lieu of loot bags to your favourite charity. I like to give loot bags that are in theme with the party on hand. For example Audrey had her birthday party this year at our local Cineplex Silvercity. I went to Kernels and got gift cards for the loot bags with a $5 value. They provided little bags to place the cards, sleeves and I added a couple of tiny chocolate bars for a treat. Kernels also has gluten-free options which was perfect for a few of our guests.
- Bake if that’s your thing, but when you want order from local bakery.
- Not only are you delegating a task but you are supporting a local business. As well, having some kids with peanut/gluten allergies the bakery could provide that option or at least a few gluten-free cupcakes. The bakery we used, Sweet, hand delivered the cake to our location which ensured a safe arrival.
- If you have back to back birthdays and three or more kids hard decision need to be made.
- I love having family parties. But with three kids having birthdays spanning end of December (yes, right after the holidays) into mid-February it is a lot to ask everyone to attend all three of my kid’s birthday celebrations and truthfully, getting more and more expensive. We also see various family members for other celebrations during that time frame. So it tends to work out, one kid has a family party including all aunts and grandparents, one has a small party at the house and one gets a medium-sized party where first age-appropriate cousins are invited. Of course, anyone who wants to come and see the birthday boy or girl is welcome to come anytime on their own but I am not organizing three birthday friend parties and then three family parties. Decision made.
- Sleepovers are great. Every kid must have one, but be stocked up on coffee in your house. Especially if you have another kids birthday party the next day.
- Mr. L and I wolfed down double espresso all day yesterday after Elizabeth’s birthday sleepover Saturday night and then getting ready for Audrey’s friend birthday party the next day.
- Finally, book down time the following week.
- I am going to a day spa this Friday as a reward for getting through the last three months.
In the end, try to take in the happy moments and remember, it will nine more months until it starts again.