Post # 1
My DS is currently the only grandchild on my husband’s side of the family. They live in town, so I thought they would be involved in his life and able to attend birthday parties and other special events. My FIL works a job where he gets specific weeks off each year, and one week happens to be when my son’s birthday is. This will be a recurring problem as the week is always the same time each year.
Last year my son turned 1, and we threw a big party. His grandparents came, but I think it was because the birthday was on a Saturday, so they came back from their week of vacation that morning.
For this year, my in-laws have informed me that they are going on vacation and will be out of town for my son’s party. I’m honestly not mad about that, because I don’t expect them to come to every birthday. But I am concerned that from this point on, since the parties after 1 tend to be smaller, they won’t be at any of his birthdays. I asked if they plan to come to future parties, and they couldn’t give me a clear answer. Just said things like how they see him for other holidays and they can celebrate with him a different day. I can see their point, but I know as my son gets older, he’ll start to realize that they aren’t there, and I hoped he would have memories of celebrating his birthday with family members other than just myself and my husband. My son doesn’t have grandparents on my side. Another concern is when they have more grandchildren one day, their birthdays may not fall on their vacation week, so they would get to have their grandparents at every birthday, while my son will not.
Should I be concerned about this? I know I can’t force them to celebrate birthdays with my son, but it would be nice to come to an arrangement where every other birthday or every three birthdays they will be there. Sometimes his birthday is on a weekend, so they still have the rest of the week to go on vacation.
I should add that my in-laws are really big into celebrating birthdays, and expect everyone to come over for cake on their birthdays. I’ve never missed a birthday from them, even though my FIL’s is on a holiday weekend.
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Post # 2
I celebrated my birthday with my grandparents in a completely different season from the actual date. As he gets older, he will want a birthday party with friends most likely. Celebrate with the grandparents when they are around.
Post # 3
I think it’s kind of hard to plan so far in advance for birthdays, like every other birthday or every three like you’ve mentioned. A lot can happen over the course of a year so maybe they just don’t want to commit to giving you an answer if they’re not sure they can follow through. I don’t think you should worry about future grandchildren because it’s making you compare situations when it’s not even a reality just yet.
I understand the importance of birthdays, especially with grandparents because like you I never had any. But as long as they can still celebrate with him, even if it’s not on the specific day, I think that’ll be what he remembers most.
Post # 4
I can understand the frustration, you’re probably thinking why can’t they go on holiday another week? They could go away another week your FIL is off work. But maybe the week they go it’s cheaper.
To be fair, at least they are away on holiday…if they weren’t and they decided something local was more important/they didn’t want to be there…then I would be fuming.
Post # 5
Bichon Frise: We usually had immediate family small celebration on our birthdate (cake and ice cream after dinner and maybe some presents) and then a birthday party on the closest weekend day.
If you do this, then your parents-in-law should be able to make birthday parties since they’re on the weekend rather than the middle of the week.
Post # 6
nadnuk: That’s what I’m hoping, but this year my son’s birthday is on a weekend, and they are taking both weekends and the entire week to make it a 9 day vacation. This is what they typically like to do.
Post # 7
AB Bride: TaraMay_: Celebrating on a different day is an option, but it doesn’t seem as special as the actual birthday. As my son gets older, he’ll be able to communicate if the day matters or not.
Post # 8
Bichon Frise: He’ll probably just take a cue from you. If he senses that you think it’s wrong his grandparents aren’t there, he’ll think so too. If you act like it’s no big deal to see them the week after, he’ll think the same.
We never did anything special on an actual birthday, aside from presents and cake: we celebrated on the weekend with the party. I only saw my grandparents three or four times a year. They rarely coincided with my birthday. I don’t think that’s strange, and I don’t feel I missed out. So your kid will not be inherently damaged or feel slighted by his grandparents celebrating with him a week later, unless you make him feel so (intentionally or not).
Post # 9
Your son is not even two yet. He’s not going to even remember his birthdays for a few more years and by that time, I’m sure he will be far more interested in playing games with his friends and opening gifts and eating party food than caring about whether his grandparents are there or not. I understand that family is important to you but I think you are worrying prematurely (you are even stressing about future grandchildren that aren’t even born yet!). The grandparents are being entirely reasonable by saying they will celebrate with him another time – it’s not like they aren’t involved in his life. Now, it’s your turn to be reasonable and not turn this into a big deal. Let them enjoy their vacation time that they obviously look forward to every year and accept that children’s birthday parties really aren’t that enjoyable for a lot of people. There are far more important things in life to worry about.
Post # 10
Apart from BIG birthdays like my 18th and 21st my grandparents were never at my parties (they lived a couple of hours away.) Never bothered me one bit, they always acknowledged the day with a card, phone call and gift. I don’t see that there is a big issue here.
Post # 11
No. I wouldn’t be concerned. I’m sure they will acknowledge his birthday, but they have their own lives and might not always be in town for his party. Totally normal–be happy they are healthy, active, and independent enough to travel, etcetera!
Post # 12
Bichon Frise: He won’t remember who was there and who wasn’t. As PP said, by the time he gets old enough to notice he’ll be more interested in his friends. I’m sure they’ll acknowledge his birthday in another way. Come to think of it I can’t recall ever having my grandparents at a birthday party.
Post # 13
I defintely don’t think it’s an issue. When I was a child, as PP’s have said, I was most concerned about eating cake, opening presents and playing games with my friends. Half the time I had a party at the weekend rather than on my actual birthday..I mean..when your child is at school you won’t be able to have a big party on his actual birthday anyway! As a child, if my grandparents came to spend time with me on a different day, it was like getting an extra birthday, which was awesome.
I think you’re making a big deal about nothing 🙂
Post # 14
I definitely don’t think this is a reason to pick a fight over. I have a very close relationship with my grandparents and i definitely didn’t spend every birthday with them. Have cake the weekend before or after their yearly vacation and all will be fine!
Post # 15
This is such a non issue. It is only a day. Celebrate your sons birthday when everyone can get together without it being a hassle. Be glad your in laws have a life and are off having fun on a trip!