Quarantine Chronicles: Celebrating Birthdays in Isolation

Celebrating a birthday during a global health pandemic is a strange experience. It can even be disappointing for many of us. Especially for kids who don’t entirely understand what is happening in the world. It may be different but it can still be fun. Celebrations during this time don’t have to be put on the back burner, they just need a little adjusting. We can still enjoy ourselves and make them special all while adhering to social distancing rules.

I may not be winning awards for my party planning but I have learned a thing or two during isolation. I’ll admit I was a little worried about celebrating my youngest’s birthday and Easter during all this but we made it work. Of course, I am here to now impart my new found wisdom on to you. So, if you find yourself needing to celebrate another trip around the sun for your kiddos, or even yourself, than fear not! You can still have a blast.

Different doesn’t mean bad

I was concerned about my littlest tiny human’s birthday this year because it is near the end of March. Just when covid shut down everything around here. We had already been in isolation for a bit, even sick during that time. So, we were being particularly cautious.

Normally, we don’t have many people to invite but we usually do go out and have a fun time. Whether that be something like the movies and dinner, Chuck E Cheese’s and cake with family, or a fun packed day at the zoo. Usually I cater their birthday’s with whatever it is they love at the moment. For example, last year I bought a year long zoo pass for our family for my youngest’s birthday because he loves animals. He was particularly obsessed with them and the movie Pets at the time. We spent his celebration there with just us and had a little family gathering for dinner later. It was great, we all had a blast.

Now that isn’t something that can happen obviously. So, I think the first step here is to be open and honest with your kiddos. Not just about what is happening in the world ( in an age appropriate manner) but also setting expectations for things like celebrations.

Also, keeping in mind that this may not be something they had realized would be an issue and it might be stressful for them. You know your little one best.

Do what you can

Since there will be no big-blow-out-fire-code-breaking parties right now we have to do what we can. We are all limited right now and that’s okay. You can only do so much and that so much is even more diminished currently than it would usually be.

I felt bad and guilty about my kiddo’s birthday this year until I shifted my mind set about it. What’s going on can’t be helped. So, I adapted my usual plan of customizing birthdays to likes and we ended up having a wonderful day together at home. We watched his favourite movies, had snacks, ordered pizza, had cake, and played his favourite games. We made the day all about his favourites and focused on him. It made for a fun, relaxing day that we all enjoyed very much.

This was going to be the part where I tell you that even though the birthday won’t be the celebration you had in mind that you will have your fun and there will be other birthdays. While that may be the truth, that’s not the whole truth. Sure, there will be other birthdays and yes, it may not be what you had planned but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t or can’t be an amazing birthday celebration.

Relax and enjoy the company you do have

The truth is, at least in my case, I find that we often forget to just breathe. We forget to enjoy what is in front of us, what is good about what is in front of us.

Enjoying the people that are already around you and in your home might sound obvious. In my experience it is the thing we tell ourselves we do or should do but don’t really do it to our fullest. It isn’t the big grand things in life that make the moments of our lives great, it’s the people that we spend it with.

I won’t lie though, nice things do make me happy and I do love getting them. Enjoying the people I love makes me more happy though. I’d wager it is the same for most of us. We are social creatures after all.

Truly enjoying the time with your loved ones is a great way to celebrate. Cutting out the stress of throwing some huge elaborate event allows you the mental space to do this. Being present and mindful is often one of the best gifts you can give.

Tailor your experience

I swear I’m not trying to be all sunshines, rainbows, and full of fluff. This has genuinely been my experience during this. There is so much going on in the world that taking the moment when you can to just be with your family to enjoy the day is important. I have found that during this, those moments help so much.

Basically, my point is to do what you can and adjust so that it works for you and for our current restrictions. Make your space and time together fun. Customize your celebrations.

Everyone can get involved. You can go as big or as little as you would all like. Pick a theme and run with it; decorate the house with bought or home made decorations, make themed food, play games, etc.

If your little one loves board games, have a game night with all their favourites and maybe even some new ones. Maybe your family loves to watch movies, go ahead and build a comfortable movie fort and movie away.

If you have a kid that loves animals, play some animal themed games, watch some movies with animal characters, eat animal crackers, go on a walk and see what creatures you can spot. Customizing the experience to your family is what is going to make it fun.

Party from afar

Luckily we live in a time where communicating and keeping our connections open is easy to do. Technology has been a blessing for us during this time. We use it for pretty much everything normally but possibly even more so now.

People have been utilizing social media and communication programs to do everything from work to social calls to even ensuring there are groceries at home. It’s normal for interviews and shows to be being recorded and streamed from people’s homes now. People are even having video call dates instead of meeting up in person.

So, why not take advantage of that and include family and friends from a distance? No reason people can’t have video callS and phone calls to show their love. Even presents can be sent via mail or contactless delivery.

Having a little virtual party in itself can be lots of fun, especially for kids. Again, this is something you can do however it works for you and your loved ones. You can do one-on-one calls or a whole little party gathering via something like google hangouts or zoom.

Don’t let social distancing cancel or make your celebrations no fun. There is so much you can still do, different definitely isn’t synonymous with bad.

Keep in touch with your loved ones online, enjoy the people you do have in your home, and customize your experience to your abilities, desires, and whatever works for you. Enjoy yourself!

If you’re looking for more tips, tricks, and lessons learned from someone figuring it out herself then you’ll love 10 Essential Tips for getting through Quarantine Schooling in One Piece.

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