Oh, the guilt I felt when the time was rapidly approaching for my daughter to turn one and I hadn’t come up with a momentous event to celebrate. The truth is, I was struggling to organize something because I really didn’t want to. Family kept asking when her party would be and I kept brushing it off, saying that we hadn’t figured that part out yet.
What I was starting to realize is that I felt obligated to have a party, not for my daughter, but for everybody else. She was only 1, so what we decided to do wouldn’t make any difference to her as long as we had fun together. When I finally told everyone that the three of us would just spend the day together, some were indifferent about it and others not so much. My mother-in-law in particular was pretty upset over this, and insisted that she throw her a party herself.
I felt like I was a terrible parent and that I was dropping the ball on something that I didn’t think was a big deal but sure seemed to be. I felt inadequate because somebody else decided they had to step in and take over so my daughter would have all the necessary life experiences. In the end, we agreed to disagree that a party was necessary.
On her birthday, my husband and I took her to the science museum and we had the best time together. It was those photos that showed a happy baby that was in her element and exploring, completely oblivious to the fact it was even her birthday. Will she remember that day? Nope. Did we still have a wonderful time together as a little family? You bet. Did it also save us a ton of money on something that, again, she wouldn’t remember? Absolutely.
So if you find yourself not wanting to throw a Pinterest-inspired birthday party, you don’t have to. If you want to go all out, go for it! Whatever you decide, you’re not a better or worse parent because of it.
Lisa is a breastfeeding, cloth-diapering mama that used the money that would have went towards a first birthday party and instead put it in their college fund with zero regrets.