What’s a half birthday and who celebrates those?
Well, we do!
And actually this week is Lincoln’s half birthday so I thought I would share what we do on half birthdays here in the Welch house.
This is a new tradition that my husband and I started for our own family a few years ago. From the time we had our first son we knew we wanted to be intentional about spending one-on-one time with him. This became more important after sons number two and three arrived. When you have multiple kids it is easy to forget about that one-on-one time with each of them. But it is SOOO important and they need it!
A few years back I saw a picture from a friend celebrating her son’s half birthday. For those that don’t know, your half birthday is the day exactly six months from the day you were born. (example, my birthday is Jan 26 so my half birthday is July 26. Just so you know in case you were wanting to send me a gift). Cute idea I thought to myself, I hadn’t considered celebrating half birthdays. Shortly after seeing this picture my husband and I were talking about our one-on-one time with our kiddos and how we needed to be better about making it happen. Then the tradition was born!
What if every half birthday our boys get a special date with dad? Anything they want to do, just them and dad?
We needed this!
You see, I often have great intentions but I also struggle with making them stick. We had talked about being intentional with our one-on-one time but we hadn’t been able to really stick with a good routine and then before you know it a whole year passes and we haven’t spent that time with our boys. But this idea has stuck. Now the reminder is there every year and we are intentional in making it happen.
The best part? Our boys LOVE it! They look forward to these half birthdays almost as much as they do their real birthdays. They know they get to do something special of their choice with just dad. We love it because it works! It has held us accountable to make that time happen, even if it is only once a year, we make it happen. And that is important to us. We want our sons to know that we value them for who they are as individuals and we value the things that make them unique. It can get competitive in our house at times, they all crave our attention and they all need our attention, but most of the time it is hard to give that to them. It is fun to see how they respond when they get that time all to themselves. They light up, they appreciate it, they LOVE it. And it fosters that bond between a father and son, builds relationship, builds trust, builds confidence. They feel valued. It is something so easy that leaves them feeling special. I am so glad we make time for this.
So we had been doing this tradition for the last 4 years or so. Then just this last year it dawned on me that I should get a date every year too! (yeah yeah, I was a little slow on that, but boys need to date their mommies too!) I was missing out! So, we added “birthday week” dates with Mom! We usually do a whole family type thing on their actual birthdays and I didn’t want to take away from that, so we set it for sometime during their birthday week. That was a good enough window to make it stick, to hold us accountable. So now they are getting two dates a year one each with mom and dad.
Ideally we would love to do these more often and we try to squeeze in little opportunities here and there to take kids one-on-one to do things even if its just a grocery shopping trip. Something simple is still time together with our attention just on them. But like I said, at the very least they know they can look forward to these two dates. And they do!
Now I am thinking we need to set a time for a two-on-one date once a year. One kid, both parents all to themselves. This is on my “to make happen” list! Hmm maybe quarter birthdays? This could get complicated.
But it would be worth it!
Do you celebrate half birthdays? Do you try to set aside one-on-one time with your kiddos? I challenge you to try. Try to make that time. It is easy to overlook so I encourage you to find a way to hold yourself accountable. If you want to start our half birthday tradition, GREAT! Please do! But if its not that, do something, find a way to make the time. You won’t regret it!