Celebrating Kids' Birthdays Is Complicated When You're Divorced

Being a Mom 35

My daughter turns four on Monday.

Besides the "Oh Em Gee, mah precious baybee is turning the big FOUR," things are a bit... awkward. See, my husband and I are separated, which means that he kept the house and I moved into my own apartment.

Which is fine - I can't begin to pay the mortgage on the house either way, and living small is turning out to be a pretty interesting endeavour; one that I'm enjoying tremendously. Most of the time.

But on Sunday, my husband has planned a party for our daughter - strictly friends and family that know her well.

And while I should be thrilled by the chance to bake and hang out with my kids, I'm riddled with anxiety.

It sounds silly, even as I say it, but going back to the house formerly known as mine isn't something that comes naturally. There are too many memories, too many bits of my past, and too many pieces of me still left in that house for me to feel comfortable there. It's not my house any more, yet it is.

I avoid going over there whenever possible.

On Sunday, my ex has invited (mostly) his friends and family to come and celebrate our daughter's birthday. And while I love a party like I love cupcakes and unicorns, I'm not so sure how things will play out with this arrangement.

There's this antiquated notion among people that if there is a divorce, it's because one person is the evil villain and the other is an innocent bystander. I guess that people always look for someone to blame, even if the two (former) partners are friends. It makes me want to scream, "Hey, it didn't work out, and we're okay with that! Why can't you be?" Except that screaming like that would likely land me smack dab into the psych unit and really, that's not necessary.

I hope that I'm wrong to be nervous about the party this weekend. I hope that his friends and family don't all stop and stare at me, The Circus Freak, as I walk into the house to celebrate my only daughter's birthday. I hope that people treat me kindly and that I'm able to relax and have a good time among those who love my little girl.

This is my hope.

And should I walk in and be treated as though I have leprosy, well, I'll manage to hold my head high, keep my skin intact, and enjoy the bonus time with my children.

If other people think I'm not supposed to be at my own daughter's birthday? Well, they've got another thing coming.

Now, can someone PLEASE pass the vodka?

child custody, exes


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Coles... Coles_mom

Why don't you just have your own party for her?

nonmember avatar Cynthia

My suggestion would be to be at the party before most of the other guests arrive. This way you're more likely to present the 'united front' for them which is what it should be in celebrating your daughter's birthday, especially if you're still friends with your soon to be ex as you say.

Smmeyn Smmeyn

I am getting divorced. All of it frightens me.

tuffy... tuffymama

Why don't you fix your marriage?

kelti... kelticmom

What a nasty thing to say tuffymama! You don't know what went on in their marriage. I suppose you've never been divorced. Don't judge, you never know what situation you may find yourself in someday!

NCJen84 NCJen84

My ex husband and his wife along with myself and my husband take our kids on week long vacations every year together. We do all birthday and events together. My ex and I had 3 children. Our marriage didnt work, we get along SO MUCH better as friends. We had a baby as a teen forced into marriage. Now we both are married because we love our spouse not off of an obligation to "make things right". It will take time and teh awkwardness will go away. Ex and I have been officially divorced for 4.5 years. We have a 9,7,and 5 year old together. He has a dd that turned 2 in September and I have a DS that turned 1 in August.

Katie Hesney Johnson

Wow, tuffymama, judgemental much? Too bad we all can't be perfect like you, what a great place the world would be.


Anyways....maybe ask if it's cool if you bring one of your friends (someone who knows your situation and is fine with it)? That way, if things get weird, you'll have another adult to turn to. It sounds like you and your ex pretty much seem eye to eye and are comfortable in your situation, but people can make it strained. Good luck with the party, and try to have fun with your kiddos! Oh, and Happy Birthday to your princess!! 

Sligh... SlightlyPerfect

I think you'll do just fine. I have a feeling you two will end up being far more amicable than you anticipate.

jenni... jennifer2712

This makes my heart smile. Too many times as children of divorce we have to choose or even worse compromise. It is beautiful you are doing these things as a family, because divorce or not, you are always family

jenni... jennifer2712

And the moderaters should really consider blocking people like tuffy from commenting. i would label you as a troll

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