Choosing Not To Plan A First Birthday Blowout

BdayMy baby is turning one, which is a big deal. He is our last and we’ve tried to enjoy the baby time as much as one can enjoy a baby. When my oldest turned one, we had a huge blowout party. Looking back, that was pretty silly, but we were excited new parents. When my middle child turned one, I scaled back and had a small party at the park. It was sweet and she liked eating her first cupcake and unlimited rides on the swing. Now that the final baby is turning one, I’ve dropped the ball. I didn’t forget about planning a party for him as much as I just let it go. Part of me feels bad that he isn’t getting the party that his sisters had when they turned one. But another part of me is all, “Really, Megan? He’s turning one. He won’t remember any of this. Why waste your time and money?” The first birthday usually seems to be a celebration for the parents more than the child. You managed to keep a small human alive for a year. That is a great feat! We will celebrate this, just under more relaxed conditions.

Instead of a big party, we decided to make the weekend about him. His grandparents are coming to town. I will buy him balloons, which I am sure he will love. We will take him to the aquarium and then to dinner, making sure he gets to soak up the day with sisters and grandparents. At dinner, we will sing him his first “Happy Birthday.” Best of all, I know I will be able to truly enjoy this whole first birthday experience because I decided to forego the stress of planning a party. I wanted to savor his first moments of cake and icing without having to cut cake for 30. I wanted to see his eyes light up and his feet kick while he is serenaded by the people that love him most without having to organize anything. No goody bags. No Pinterest. No trips to the craft store for just the right supplies. My last baby came with a revelation … there are so many superfluous things I did for my first two children. Baby 3 has taught me to scale back (except on baby clothes because I love baby clothes so much).

I want him to look back at pictures of his birthday and see sisters that adore him; grandparents excited to share in the milestones; happy (but exhausted) parents. Will he ask when he’s older about his first birthday party? I am sure he will and then compare with his sisters who had the “best” party. He will probably say that my oldest sister got everything and make some remark about being the third child. But I will gladly remind him that while his party was not elaborate, it was the most fun to celebrate. His mom and dad toasted his birthday with margaritas while he chowed down on his favorite beans and rice and guacamole. We let him try chips with queso for the first time and he loved it. He ran around the courtyard of the restaurant chasing his sisters, while his grandparents watched on. We didn’t throw him a party per se but it definitely was the definition of a celebration.


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