- Sheva Ganz
Although most holidays can be lonely when you’re single, there’s a more distinct tone of loneliness felt when you’re alone on your birthday, the day set aside to honor your unique existence. We all have different ideas of what the right way to celebrate a birthday is, and your concept of celebratory-birthday-happiness might be vastly different than your ex’s. It may even have been a point of contention when you were married. So, is there a right or wrong way to celebrate your child’s birthday as a divorced couple?
Inspired by our own recent birthdays (celebrated a day apart!) and the recent birthdays of our respective kids, Noam and I discuss what birthdays mean to us, how that played out when we were married, and how we navigate birthdays post divorce.
In general, if you have your children’s best interest at heart, you’ll do everything you can, individually and as a co-parents, to minimize conflict, come together and show your children that you love them. When it comes to birthdays, though, what does that look like? I invited my ex to my daughter’s birthday dinner, thinking it would be so nice for our children to see us come together to celebrate. He thought otherwise, concerned our ten year old would mistake the gesture and spend the night trying to “parent trap” us. He’s not wrong.
Noam has a completely different experience with his ex, as they often have Shabbat meals together, trying to keep that tradition and sense of stability for their children. So a joint birthday celebration was no biggie.
Is there a “right” scenario here or just one that is “right for your family”? And even if we feel we are doing the child a favor by coming together for them, do THEY want us to do this?
At the end of the day, if you’re just not sure what to do, we say “eat a lot of cake!”, it’s a ready solution to most of life’s problems. Noam also has an interesting theory on the proper way to eat a cupcake. Who knew?
Let us know what you think and how you and your ex celebrate birthdays post divorce