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I Lie to My Son about When His Birthday Is!

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Momlogic's Jayne: In a meeting today, I finally admitted THE most shameful thing I have ever done as a mother -- I lied to my son about when his 4th birthday was so I wouldn't have to throw him a party. There, I said it! Let the judgment begin!

birthday boy

Some of you might wonder how it's even possible to lie to a child about his or her birthday, because all year long GOOD parents are celebrating their child's arrival on earth with parties that my son is invited to. Well, it is ... and I did!

In February, my son started asking when his May birthday was, and like a good mommy I told him, "It's coming up honey, don't worry." Then when May arrived and he continued to ask, I started to say that his birthday had already passed and that he had to wait a while for it to come around. (Please make note: I did tell him though that since his b-day was far off we we could have a fun week with a present every day to tide him over -- and we did.) So this year, there was no birthday cake, no singing "happy birthday," just an uneventful turning from 3 to 4. Looking back, I can not believe that I did that and I really feel guilty.

In addition to being horrified that I did this, I am sure some of you are mad and think that I take advantage of other parents' generosity by taking my kid to other kids' birthday parties without ever reciprocating. Well, don't be mad, I occasionally (don't get your panties in a bunch, ONLY occasionally) lie to my son and don't tell him that he's been invited to a party, so we don't have to go.

You must be wondering to yourself, "What the hell is wrong with this woman? I have never heard of anything so mean, selfish, and cruel!" To tell you the truth, I have no idea what the problem is, all I know is that the thought of throwing a party (and occasionally attending them) gives me anxiety that I can't really describe. I sometimes think that maybe I could drink a lot to get through the party -- but come on, even I know that kids and the mother of the birthday boy staggering around drunk don't mix!

Those who see me at work probably think that I come off as relatively social and confident. I have a big mouth, I'm pretty loud and I'm not afraid to speak my mind -- as ridiculous as it is at times. But when I leave the office and close the door of my car, I can finally be my real self, someone who is VERY shy and does not feel completely comfortable talking to other people that much (a few very close friends excluded -- but even then it's a struggle to chat on the phone or meet up often).

On weekends, I like to spend time with my husband and son and very rarely do I do things with other people. It's so bad that my husband regularly (and sometimes angrily) accuses me of being a "recluse" and a "hermit."

Because of all this, you can imagine that the idea of throwing a party and inviting 15 kids and THEIR PARENTS (who I would have to talk to) to my home completely freaks me out. So much so that I would rather lie to my beloved son and deprive him of his natural birthright.

I still don't think that I've answered the question of why I actually did this. Well, other than not wanting to talk to people who I don't know (the kids' parents) I have a HUGE fear of people not showing up and the party being a failure. I could actually start crying right now just imagining my son's face on his big day surrounded by balloons and a bouncy castle and no one showing up. What is wrong with me? It's so sad .... and I am ashamed.

I feel so bad about this that I actually turned to momlogic expert Shannon Fox to see what she had to say, and if she had any advice from me. Click here for what Shannon Fox had to say.

44 comments so far | Post a comment now
Coinages November 7, 2008, 2:14 PM

Wow. This makes me sad. I have 7 year old twins and every year so far they have been in the same class. This year they each had a different class. Thats 50 kids to invite to my house. Needless to say, finances, a house guest and space (our rec room in the basement was flooded this summer while we were on vacation and is now gutted) prevented us from having a party. To make up for it, I sent treat bags to school for each member of my childrens class. We sat down as a family and disgused why the party would not happen. Children are more intelligent than we give them credit for. They agreed that a party was a bad idea this year and were very happy with the gift bags. I love my boys.

Virginia November 10, 2008, 3:20 PM

Whoa there, Nellie! There’s no reason to invite more than 3-4 guests to the child’s party — most likely close family members at that. The party is indeed for the child, but that doesn’t mean it has to be enormous. General rule of thumb — no more guests than years in the child’s age.

Tammy September 28, 2009, 1:11 AM

I have three sons ages, 24, 17 and 7. I don’t like birthday parties.. going or giving. But each of my older boys had one big party in their childhood where lots of kids were there, they had the memories and they went to a couple as well. Usually, I just make or buy a cake, buy some presents and it’s just the family. No big deal. Why people throw huge parties for their kids who are under six is just beyond me. The kids don’t remember them - I think it’s just a way to show off to other parents.
But to lie to your kid and by pass his birthday? WTF
Why couldn’t you just get him a cake and some presents and have a little family birthday?

Octavio Gloden March 29, 2011, 6:27 PM

There is apparently a bundle to realize about this. I feel you made various nice points in features also.

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