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Emotional break down

We can't afford to spend more than $5 on our son for his 3rd birthday. I know he won't care at all, but I care.

I feel like such a terrible mom. I want him to know that we love him, I'm just feeling so bad that we had him and can't seem to take care as well as we should.

We were going to invite another family over that has a little boy about his age. But I'm afraid of them spending more on a gift for him than we're going to.

That and how do I keep myself from bawling my eyes out at his birthday party?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:34 PM on Sep. 29, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • When your child grows up, he's going to remember how you loved and treated him a lot more than he will any gift you get, You sure sound like a wonderful loving mom and that is the best gift you can ever give your child......Happy Birthday to you very lucky son to have such loving parents.


    Answer by zbee at 7:42 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • I don't remember what my parents got me for my 3rd birthday, I don't even remember what I got my son for his birthday. I'm sure that he won't remember either. I honestly believe that at that age, the most important and special thing to them is to spend special TIME with you. There are plenty of free things you can do to make his day special. Take him to a park, let him feed the ducks with old bread you have, some museums have free days, play outside, if you live where it's warm still you could have a water balloon fight or swimming at the beach, go on a hike. Memories of DOING things with the people he loves is what matters. Don't bawl your eyes out at his party. You will put a smile on your face because you're celebrating the day your baby was born! ;) I'm sure you're not a terrible Mom hon. You feed him, put a roof over his head, clothe him and worry about his happiness. That is a GOOD Mom. It will be okay. :)

    Answer by kksmomma1019 at 7:52 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • I agree with other moms. It is far more important how you make him FEEL that day and tell him how special the day is for you too. He has a terrific mom!!

    Answer by elizabr at 7:58 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • being a good parent is not about how much you spend on your child. can you take him somewhere special that he enjoys? take him to his favorite playground, play his favorite game, help him move the furniture to build a fort, color with him, read him his favorite book - all of this is free and will mean more than whether you buy him a $5 toy or a $40 toy as well as teach him more about what is important in life. there is so much pressure on people to compete and be materialistic, but you don't have to buy into it.

    Answer by figaro8895 at 8:00 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • It's about what you do, not what you give. Memories and special days aren't about giving piles of things - they're about special times. And if you're afraid of what the other family might spend on a gift, just let them know that it's a low-key birthday celebration so please only bring an inexpensive gift. It'll all be fine and he'll have a great birthday!

    Answer by caseyandkids at 8:01 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Love does not equal stuff (much to my 10yo's disappointment and insistance).  We don't spend a lot on our kids for their birthdays and we don't have parties.  My son's birthday is Friday.  He'll be 9.  We have no gift for him.  My husband will be working all day and all weekend so we can't take him out for our traditional birthday lunch/dinner.  All he's getting is some triple fudge cupcakes (that I'm baking) and he won't have to do chores.  I told him I'd consider having 2 of his neighborhood buddies over for cupcakes on Saturday IF the kids get their rooms picked up (big IF).  He's never had friends over for his birthday before.  I don't expect gifts.  Their company is the gift.


    Answer by justanotherjen at 8:59 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Also wanted to mention that his favorite birthday ever was when he turned 5.  We spent like $15 on gifts for him and took him to breakfast at a buffet place and to Red Robin for lunch (that wasn't planned, it just kind of happened).  After lunch we went home and he spent the rest of the afternoon playing in our backyard with his sisters, me and the little girl that lived behind us.  We were out until it got dark.  After his cake that night he looked at me with tired eyes and said, "that was the BEST birthday ever."  I don't think anything we could plan could ever top that day for him.


    Answer by justanotherjen at 9:01 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Like everyone else said, it's the time you spend with him that matters most. I understand you wanting to be able to give him something for his birthday though! What you might do to strech the $5 is shop at flea markets and garage sales. I bought my nephew a toy truck at a flea market for $1 for his 3rd birthday. He ended up playing with it more than any of the other toys. Both my nephews love going to garage sales. They are perfectly happy with a 50 cent bag of little animals and trees for their jungle.

    Answer by FroggyFeet at 12:47 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • only us wonderful mommies care enough to feel like a horrible mommy!! please hang in there. all these ladies are right. we all know damn good and well that a kid will be happy with a stupid diaper box all day and ignore the fabulous leapfrog computer we just blew the bank on.
    i'd take the nugget to their favorite park or place and spend that entire day doing everything they wanted to do. no dishes, no vacuum, no "honey, mama's on the phone. mama's on the PHONE. I said i'm ON THE PHONE NOW WILL YOU KNOCK IT OFF." just love him, cuddle him, crawl and run and play with him, and explain how wonderful it's going to be to be three. make it a wonderful day. you cannot put a price tag on that.
    you're doing fine :)

    Answer by shilohsmama425 at 8:22 AM on Sep. 30, 2010