Birthdays with Exes

Yesterday was my birthday.

When my ex and I were still together, he’d take the kids shopping for a birthday present for Mommy. Also, for a Mother’s Day gift, Christmas gifts, and any other random gift giving opportunity. But after we separated, we were left in a quandary as to what to do about these celebrations.

I knew people who did nothing for their exes. If Mom wanted a Mother’s Day gift, she had to hope her parents or maybe a sister would take her kids shopping. And if Dad wanted a Father’s Day gift, same went. My ex and I spoke about it a few weeks after we split up.

Mother’s Day was right around the corner with Father’s Day fast on its heels.

Our wedding anniversary was smack dab in between both but we decided to just ignore that one.

We realized that, for us, helping the kids buy gifts was really for us was really helping them.

Hold on with me here…

My kids adore giving their father and I presents. Joseph frets over them, wondering if they’re good enough. Elizabeth would wrap all her toys and give them to me if she could. They are both too young to drive, too young to have much of their own money. In the face of that, it seemed right to take them to buy a gift for their other parent.

So that’s what we do. We take them to the store, set a budget, and let them pick something out. It works fairly well even if it means that sometimes Daddy gets a really interesting coffee mug and Mommy sometimes gets a rake.

If you’re a single parent, how do you handle this situation?

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