Friday, February 24, 2012

Birthday Plans

June turns one in a little over a month…that one still hasn’t really sunk in yet. But come her birthday will, and I don’t know what to do about it.

The idea that first birthdays are more for the parents than the kid is nothing new. In the past I have rolled my eyes at parents who go over-the-top with first birthdays. We’ll get a bounce house! And rent an elephant! And go to Europe! I’m not sure if my annoyance stems more from my idea of wastefulness (spending so much time and energy on something that will not be remembered, but will – granted – be captured on film), or the general feeling I get that people are just trying to show off/up stage others.

June turns one in about a month…that one still hasn’t really sunk in yet. But come her birthday will, and I don’t know what to do about it.

However. However. Baby Girl is turning one and I want to do something. I think that both sets of grandparents will be in town, so should we just do a little dinner? We’ve even talked about trying for a little get together with June’s classmates and their parents, although I think that mostly stems from our desire to meet those other parents and con them into mutually-beneficial babysitting arrangements.

Should we have a little party with the family and a few friends? As soon as that happens I start to feel the compulsion to start making things. Themed decorations! Goodie bags! Bunting! An awesome cake! Which, of course, all has to be hand-made and DIY or you aren’t worth your Pinterest membership. And I just…don’t feel like I have the time to get all of that done.

In today’s age where everything is photographed and edited and posted on Facebook and Pinterest and blogs and countless other platforms, shared and compared, it feels like a competition. It’s tough for me because I genuinely like creating things. I need to create things, I need to have that outlet because Lord knows my job doesn’t provide that for me. But I also don’t want to get sucked into that black hole of admittedly self-inflicted stress by way of making individually decorated cake balls at 2:30am because each kid in attendance needs 3, but the hand-sewn table runner isn’t done yet and I can prove that I’m the best of the moms if I can slip into conversation that, of course the lemonade is organic, I only ever feed my baby organic.

I want to enjoy this special time for June. I want to take pictures of her and be able to show her them down the line and have her smile. To look at the pictures of her and me and us and think, “It looked nice, even if there wasn’t an elephant.”


  1. Coming from someone who throws huge birthday parties (even for the 1st) I have to say its def. not all to one up or show off to other moms. In my family, birthdays are a BIG DEAL!! so we make it A BIG DEAL. I feel like each one of my children deserve the best birthdays ever, every year. It can be big or smal, and is really not about the amount of people but more about the reason of us all getting together. Its a special day! That only happens once a year! I themed everything, and there is no way I could ever throw a paarty and not go all out...but thats just me nand my personality. I think it boils down to your personality, your family and the way you all celebrate/acknowledge birthdays. Big or small there is no right way. But I dont put all the effort into the decorating, etc. just to flex my mommy muscle. Its for my children to see how big of a deal they are to me, and to their family and friends! Because each year is another reason to celebrate their personhood :)

    On the flip side, I dont think you have to have a huge birthday to make it BIG and special! From the moment my kids wake on their birthday, the day is all about them! They get their "birthday brekfast" and we decorate their space, etc.

    I'm rambling now...but happy bday June!

  2. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for your comment! You're quite right, you can't say that ALL people are just trying to show off or show up others. I just feel like it's something I've seen a lot of. I can definitely appreciate that some people just want to show their love for their kids through things like this...I just don't want to feel like that the level of decorating I do is indicative of how much love there is, know what I mean? I love Baby Girl more than anything, and that's true if I have the time to make awesome decorations or not.

    Once again, thanks for giving me your perspective! Love to hear the advice of other moms!