We have had major drama surrounding birthday parties for the last several years. Everything from who is planning them, to who is invited, to who is paying for them. Over the years, we have been lied to, manipulated, uninvited, demanded to pay… the list goes on.
DH has always wanted to do parties together, because “we should all be able to get along long enough to celebrate their birthdays.” After the past four birthdays have come and gone full of conflict, manipulation, and second parties behind our backs, DH and I decided for SD4’s upcoming birthday, we should start doing what BM always requests- having separate parties.
We’ve known for a few weeks the date and time of each others parties… BM’s being a week before ours. I sent our invitations out early last week, and included a few friends from SD4’s class who she requested.
Today, I hopped on my email, and BM had emailed the whole list of parents from SD4’s class with a PDF birthday invitation to her party, again, a week before ours. Not a big deal, and not a surprise; however, we should have planned better.
First and foremost, it’s difficult to “plan” or “coordinate” with someone who will argue the sky is green, just so she can be right and “win.”
Now, the parents who received both invitations are probably really confused. SD4’s friends may be confused, and ask her about it. What would SD4 say? I don’t ever want her to be uncomfortable about her blended family… I want her to be proud of her whole family!
Which brings me to my next point… which may sound like a contradiction… but I’ve decided I’m not going to volunteer in her classroom, or eat lunch with her at school like her BM and “Mimi” (my mother-in-law) have. I’m not going to attend PTA meetings or be active in on-campus fundraisers or initiatives. Before you gasp, hear me out…
Since her BM has gone to lunch at school and gone on a field trip, I don’t want to show up and make SD4 explain who I am to people. I don’t want kids to say things like, “That’s not your mom! Who is that?!” because I think it may make her feel uncomfortable.
Actually… I guess I’m not really sure how she would feel, or if she even is capable of processing emotions like that, but either way, I’ve decided to bow out of these things I had been looking so forward to, in order to benefit SD4. Is this real parenting?? I think so.
I’m not ashamed of my role… but in all of this overlap, I think I have to take a back seat and just watch it all play out.