Birthday Parties: The Second Kid Gets the Shaft


pirate boy
Pirate Boy
I got into an argument with my husband recently because I wanted to have a backyard birthday party for our son in July. He told me it isn't fair to keep throwing him "house" parties while our daughter (who just turned 6) has had "outside" birthday parties every year. 

To be fair ... we didn't live in a house for the first two years of our daughter's life — so we couldn't have a house party for her. Our place simply wasn't big enough for 20 kids! So she had parties at the gymnastics place, at the Y, and at indoor play areas.

I just didn't see what the big deal was, especially because I make a kick-ass "house" party. Besides, isn't a party all about the gifts having fun with your friends, no matter where it is?

This year, for my son's 4th birthday, I was going to get all of the kids pirate gear, do a treasure hunt, and maybe rent one of those bouncy things. My brother was going to dress up like a pirate and take pictures with all of the kids — but no — my husband was really putting up a fight with this one. He said our son will grow up and look back on pictures and wonder why he always had house parties while his big sister always had it at some fun place. He said my efforts wouldn't be recognized ... all our son would see is that he got shafted out of a "cooler" party.

I was doing a fabulous job at ignoring my husband and still forging ahead, until one night when we had some friends over for a BBQ. He brought it up with them — and they ALL agreed with him! Blasphemous. So, against my will I went ahead and booked our son a pirate party at an indoor play area, and somehow got my brother to agree to still dress up like a pirate (he is a great uncle!).

Next year my daughter is having a house party — that she is going to LOVE!


Was my husband right? Should the second kid get the same (or close to the same) as the first?

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Do you make an effort to make sure your kids always get the same things?



birthday parties, birthdays


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APeve... APeveteaux

My second child is only a year old, but I'm constantly thinking about this! Already my daughter (the oldest) had baby friends at this stage because I was involved in mom's groups and we shared a babysitter. But my son has no friends! I'm afraid his birthday parties won't be the events that his sister's have always been for that reason alone.

Also, I've seen birthday parties for the second child that paled in comparison to the oldest. It's so sad!

With that said, I think a rocking party at your house is just as exciting as a destination party.

kelli... kelli0585

I personally like the house parties better.  There's something nostalgic and personal about them.  My child will probably always have house parties. If not a house party, at least at a park, or something. 

No commercialized McBirthdays for us!

Proud... ProudSingleMum

Well....I have house parties for my ONLY this would really be a non-issue for me. I think you should try and keep them as close to the same as possible. But the reality is...they're 2 different kids, born at 2 different times...that's life. And honestly...if he parties are FUN...I don't know that a kid would look back on that and have a problem. Also...I'd be more inclined to move the daughters parties home...and keep the son's at home...cause it just makes more sense that way to me.

JenBr... JenBrooks76

In the long run I really don't think it matters, as long as you are making it fun for them. I'm sure even if you give all of your children the same things growing up, they will feel shafted about something in comparison to their siblings. 

Canuc... Canuckmom

Oh ya, my second child definitely gets the shaft when it comes to birthday parties, but it's not by choice!  Unfortunately she was born on Christmas Eve so her first birthday party was cancelled due to inclement winter weather.   My first-born was born the day after Halloween, so it's usually a halloween-themed bash!   No matter what, we always make it a big deal to celebrate each child's birthday with family despite what we do with their friends. 

tensn... tensnevaeh

This is one of the big reasons we decided only to have one, added to a hard pregnancy and a very difficult babyhood. We see cousins, nephews, nieces getting the shaft because of siblings. In our case its the opposite. The oldest is the one that gets the shaft, because before siblings they got the big special partys and now its house partys thrown last minute. The house partys are all the younger ones have ever known but the oldest has had to give up being the special one.

Justa... Justamom283

My 2nd  born get shafted when it comes to birthdays too. But mainly it is because of when his birthday is... the middle of summer.  My daughter has always has great birthdays. I go all out. We have had a tea party, Fear Factor themed, Pump it Up... You name we have done it.

My son on the other hand has only had "family birthdays" or a party at his baby sitters. Why because I don't know how to get in touch with his friends over the summer break.  With my daughter I just send the invitations to school. But over the summer its kinda hard to find friends.  And I would hate to book a table at Chuckie Cheese and the only people there are me, my husband, my son and his sisters. So I figure if its going to us, might as well just  have something at the house.

Last year my mother made me throw him a party at Chuckie Cheese and the only people there were people my husband knew and their kids. My son could care less.  I don't know what I will do this year and August is right around the corner.

Cafe Amy Cafe Amy

@justamom283 My son is July and I was kind of feeling that way too! But I actually decided to send the invites to school way earlier than I would normally send out invites for a mid-summer party - this way his friends all got invitations. And surprisingly, a lot of parents have already RSVP'd "yes"

justa... justanotherjen

It doesn't matter and I doubt the kids will notice or care.  I don't get this whole concept of giant birthday parties anyway.  We don't do them.  My kids have never had a party with a theme and decorations and lots of guests.  The most they have ever had is 1 or 2 friends over and those are usually the kids' of my friends.  We don't invite classmates and stuff (mostly because we live with my dad and he doesn't like people he doesn't know in the house).

For their birthdays we take them out to lunch/dinner (their choice).  They get a homemade cake (although last year we bought cupcakes for 2 of them because I'm pregnant and too tired to bake) and some presents (usually 2, we spend about $30 on gifts usually).  That's it.  They also have the perk of not having to do chores.  They have never complained and they have been to those fancy kinds of parties.

And some of them have gotten "more" or "better" birthdays.  My middle daughter has traditionally gotten shafted through the years.  Daddy always ends up having to work on her birthday so we have to do her lunch out on another day.  Her birthday is weeks before Thanksgiving (and a month after her brother's) so we're usually broke with Christmas coming up so she doens't get as much as the other kids got for their birthdays.  She still hasn't complained

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