Nothing. Seriously. I have a spring birthday, and it was always a stretch to have the birthday I wanted: a pool party. I usually could put it off a few weeks until the pool was open and the weather was nicer, but it still stunk for reasons I won’t get into. But winter birthdays. Shit.
Both of my kids have winter birthdays. Maybe it was poor planning on our part, but mostly we were just ready to have kids, but my husband and I didn’t think things would happen the way they did with either child. For our eldest, we didn’t think it would happen on our first try of hormones, and for our youngest, I didn’t think I was ovulating (damn ovulation strips!). And we sure as hell weren’t thinking straight when we did the deed. So now they are stuck with sucky birthday months.
Don’t get me wrong, winter can be pretty. But when you live in the New England area as we do, there is so much to think about.
- Snow. We had to postpone my youngest’s birthday this past year because we had literally two blizzards in a row. Amazing.
- Winter sickness. We had a friend who had to cancel the morning of her daughter’s party because she had been up all night with the puke bug. Rescheduling was a nightmare, and it was a super small party. And don’t even get me started on the upteen amounts of colds/coughs/flus that go around and lay-in-wait until after you attend one of these germfests. The worse is when you get the phone call/text/email from your friend that starts with, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but little Johnny has (insert some disease such as bubonic plague here) and we didn’t know it until after the party. So sorry! :)”
- Limited places to have the party. Given the snow and cold weather, you are very limited as to WHERE to have the party. Indoor play places can be fun, but they cost $$$. Your house is okay, but do you really want 10 toddlers and 20 adults stuck under one roof? Can you NOT have a party and pretend you did?
- Coming up with things to do once at the party. So you gave in and decided to have it at your home. Great. Now what?? Pin the tail on the donkey? Treasure hunt? Let the kids run wild? To be honest, you can plan a theme, set everything up, and yet, it all sucks because they only use it for a few minutes before wanting to do something else. So you are left with at least 100 button eyes and extra felt that you have no frickin’ clue what to do with.
- Snowbird grandparents. I never had this problem: one set of grandparents either lived far way so I never saw them except for holidays and the other ones lived in town so I saw them for family dinner nights every week. But the trend with both sets of my kids grandparents now is to move south for the winter. Now, mind you, I am not saying they don’t deserve it; they most certainly do. To put up with our shit for as many years as they did and then work for equally as many years so that they can put up with our shit in one piece is definitely worth it to go away and relax once retired. But, what about my kids birthdays? Will they even be there for the party? What do I say when my kids ask for their grandparents and I can’t explain why they would rather be sunning themselves in a tropical place instead of hunkering down in our home with the 10 kids and 20 adults, trying to keep warm from the outside blustery weather?
The perfect birthday? Early or late summer. You can have a pool party or even just be outside (low cost), the grandparents don’t really have an excuse to not be there (the weather is warm up here, you don’t have to travel for it!), you can host at your own home (again, cost), and there is overall LESS sickness in summer (usually, although right now both of my kids have had summer colds for the past two weeks). All in all, a summer birthday is tops. Now if we women can just figure out our ovulation cycles so that they coincide with our libidos and when we want to give birth, we’d be all set.