Pressures of Planning a First Birthday Party

Besides the fact that I’m still trying to comprehend that my son, my first born baby, will be one year old in March, I’ve also realized that this means I have to- I get to- throw a birthday party.

I still look at my baby like he is four months old. People are calling ages 1+ a toddler. A TODDLER? I do not have a toddler. No way. I am still working on his scrapbook from two months. From when he stood up for the first time, from his first stroller ride, his first bite of avocado. I do not have a toddler. And if I do, than I should be pregnant again. According to my records, I’m not pregnant and I shouldn’t be until late this summer. (Which means by writing this I’ll probably be pregnant next month- ha!)

I feel this pressure from people around me that I’m (that we’re) suppose to make it this huge deal with decorations and expensive decorated cakes and matching ribbons and balloons and gift baggies and pictures of him hung beautifully and gobbles of toys and all. It is a huge deal, of course, but why do we have to spend so much money on accessories and things to celebrate?

Let’s just be honest. 1st birthday parties are mostly for the parents. Children really aren’t going to remember this day anyways, right? Of course memories are made and moments are celebrated, but the kids have no clue what’s happening.

I go to friends parties and read blogs and I’m just so impressed with all of you. You throw these awesome parties for your kids. You have goody bags. You have 14 different food options and punch and soda and alcohol and water. You have confetti the color of the table cloth and matching streamers. You have pictures framed perfectly on the welcome table from the last 12 months.

… Now I’ve got myself thinking that he hasn’t been in the same chair every month for his monthly picture so this is totally going to screw things up. So much for that idea. I don’t even know if I can remember each picture from each month.

Honestly, I will probably buy plastic plates at the dollar store. Or target if I can find some cute ones. I found some cute ones today that we $1.50 for 8 plates He will thank me later when the extra money went towards his college fund instead of $4 plates.

Really though, it’s not about the money.

I was upstairs thinking about all of this and looking at birthday invitations online, which by the way- $1.50 for a card? Plus postage? No thank you very much. (Not about the money…really) Anyways, I was looking online and researching for ideas and trying to figure out what theme I wanted to do (although we don’t do themes if you haven’t noticed. Until he tells me he wants Batman or Ninga Turtles or whatever boys are into these days) and my husband comes up and ask me what I’m doing.

I need to start planning his party. I don’t know what to do. Look how expensive these are. But they’re so cute. What decorations should we get? Do you want to have it at 2pm? Should we get him his own cake? Do we want him eating cake? I think I will make him a cake. What colors do you want to go with? Should we do pizza or just dessert? Who should we invite? I think I want to wear a dress at it. That will be cute don’t you think? I think I need to send out the invitations in a couple weeks. What do you want to get him? Let’s just get him one cool toy. Do you want to do balloons? Yes lets do balloons. We should go to the toy store this weekend. We don’t need to streamers. Which invitation is cuter- this one or that one? Do you like this one with his picture there? Should we do football or ….

Sometimes I talk without taking a breath.

And my husband, being the man that I married and adored, looked at me and said something that I think we all need to remember.

He knows how much he is loved. When he sees us together and when we’re all hanging out, he knows how much he is loved.

That’s why I married him. So he can tell me to stop freaking out about things so unimportant, in the grand schemes of things, such as invitations and colored balloons.

But they are important.

Once I come to grips and convince myself that yes, my son (I have a child!?) is turning one, I will most likely go all out. Because I’m a mom and there’s probably something in me that can’t be stopped. I’ll probably do a theme, I’ll probably decorate and buy matching accessories and I might even spend $2 on an invitation because after all, this is his first birthday party!

My baby is turning one!

Questions for you:

1. Did you spend a lot of money for your child’s 1st birthday party?
2. Where did you get his or her decorations and invitations?
3. What did you get your child for their first birthday?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

61 thoughts on “Pressures of Planning a First Birthday Party

  1. I did a big 1st birthday party for my oldest and plan to do the same for DD#2!! One thing that I did do at the party was have a professional photographer (I found her advertising on craigslist – $125 for the whole thing with a disk of the images) come and document the event. I got some great photos that I will cherish for a lifetime!!

  2. Thank you for posting this question! Naomi turns one in March and this has been weighing on my mind as well – and when do we plan it (spare time?? WHAT??) I am loving people's suggestions and ideas!

  3. I was the same way when my son turned one. I got so excited about throwing him a party, until I realized he's still a baby. He had fun crawling around playing with the boxes and wrapping paper. And when that was all done, he had his grandma's carrot cake. Yum! We did decorate a little, and I'm glad we did because we took a ton of pictures for his scrapbook. Hunter got clothes, and a ride on truck. Best toy ever too…he plays with it every day:) GOod luck with your sons first birthday!

  4. LOL, my son turns 1 next month…
    I am having a REALLY SMALL get together… Just my parents and grandparents…
    Now, I wonder if I should do more…

  5. we've done small family gatherings …. but since our family is large (My husband and I both are from families of 5), it's not a small party!

    I'd pick some colors, and head to the Dollar Tree and find your tableware/plates there CHEAP!

    I love potlucks as well.
    We did NOT do goody bags, and honestly, I don't think we got our children a gift for their first birthday! Aack! Bad momma!

  6. If I sound rude in my previous comment, I did not intend to … I just thought about it and feel like I sounded snippy, but I only meant well and don't want you to worry. That being said, I am the same way and worry about all of these little things as well.

    I know that little boy will have the loveliest of birthday parties because no matter what it is – it will come from his mama's BIG heart!

  7. Hi Samantha!

    Here are 2 links. The first one is the set I initially saw and bookmarked…they are unfortunately sold out right now, the 2nd is another I found on google, they are also unfortunately sold out, but they were sending proceeds to Doctors without Borders for Haitian relief. I am going to contact one of these shops and see if and when they will have more in. Would you like an update when I find out?


  8. OK sorry I think the second link was a charity auction for Haiti on Etsy. Should really read everything before I post…
    Anyway the second link is The Farmhouse Boutique, they have a FB link:

    The owner is a Mom of 6!!! Whom she homeschools!
    She does have some sets available in her shop and I think would probably customize a set as well.

    Become a facebook fan for special offers and discounts! I'm about too!

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s