A mother’s guilt ain’t good. It’s never a good thing.

I try really really hard not have guilt about parenting, and usually I don’t. And while I (totally) understand and realize what I’m about to say is certainly not true and it is indeed silly, it is what it is.

I feel guilty that I’m not throwing my son a huge birthday party with party favors for all the guests. (Even though I think party favors are a little stupid and I don’t want to spend my money on them anyways.) I feel guilty that I’m not spending a lot of money on my son’s birthday gift. (Even though he doesn’t need anything.) I feel guilty that I’m not decorating the house in a homemade Happy Birthday banner. ( I could choose too, but I don’t want to.) I feel guilty that I’m not making him a masterpiece homemade healthy cake but instead will (probably) make him a little cupcake from store bought boxed chemicals and ingredients. (I don’t think a little bit of sugar ever hurt anyone, and he eats very healthy otherwise.) I feel guilty that I didn’t buy him that “Birthday Boy” bib I saw yesterday at JcPenny’s. (It was $9.50 thanksverymuch.) I feel guilty that we’re not having 20 people over to the house to sing to him and shower him with gifts and overstimulate each other.

I’ll tell you what. His birthday is tomorrow. Another (another) birthday post will be up then. I’ll take him swimming. I’ll sing him happy birthday. I will write him a letter in his journal. I will take hundreds of pictures. I will play with him on the floor and read him books. I will smoother him with my kisses and love.

And if he ask really nice, I might even take him to Target.

When he’s four, or five, or six or fifteen and wants to invite 12 people over for a party, and wants cake and ice cream and chips and popsicles and a sleep over and matching balloons and party hats and he wants a monster truck or a pirate themed party or a clown to come do tricks or a trip to the bounce house or the arcades or the race car tracks or he wants to eat ice cream for breakfast, of if he ask if his friends can spend the night on a school night or if he can go see that movie with his friends or can he have two birthday parties or if he ask for a new bike……. maybe. Maybe. Most likely. Probably. We’ll discuss that then. No matter what though, no matter how simple or elaborate his birthday parties might be, I will always take pictures. I will always write him a letter. And I will always smoother him with my kisses and love.

Oh, and I will always let him pick out his birthday “theme.” I have a feeling polka dots aren’t going to be his choice when he’s ten.

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.

18 thoughts on “Guilt.

  1. We didn't make a big 'to do' over our boy's first either. Ended up doing McDonald's PlayPlace so that the older cousins could play. We went shopping and let him pick his toys and had cake. The important thing was we focused on him and that is the thing he needs the most.

    Good for you mama.

  2. I can't believe you are seriously still beating yourself up over this. After tomorrow, he will be a one year old. He won't know any different, and he won't care. Your love will make him happy. You being upset over the little details won't help him. Love yourself and give yourself a break.

  3. I totally understand you. thank you for being real and honest in your writing. Good for you for enjoying his special day tomorrow. have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. My baby girl turns 1 tomorrow, and we are having all that stuff you mentioned. However, it's a joint birthday party with her big sister, so that's how I rationalized it in mind to spend so much money :0) And we have big families on both sides that expect to come to a party, soo…party we shall!

  5. Oh, happy first birthday Lucas! How can I get teary eyed over a little boy I've never met?!

    I think that's part of why I love your blog, since our boys are so close in age. i love reading about him.

    you guys will have a great day no matter what you do!

    and i LOVE the writing a letter idea! wish i'd started that from the beginning with Logan. I guess I at least have my preg. journals and my columns. those are kind of like letters to the boys.

    Can't wait for tomorrow's bday post!

    p.s. lose the guilt! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. You are such a good mama! I am always impressed by you!

    I totally get what your saying. I felt the same way, but then I decided there is no need for a party until they're old enough to actually have friends. Her first 3 birthdays we got together with family, no big party, no party favors.

    My daughter turns 4 in a week and she's having her very first real party with her friends, not mama and daddy's friends! She decided on the theme and invited who she wanted to invite. She's so excited! So am I!

  7. It sounds like you are going to have fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You know, I got really weepy and emotional (crying at songs on the radio, etc.) around Clara's birthday. It took me by surprise. I was thinking a lot about her birth, for good or for ill. And, of course, thinking of her and my love for her and her growing, etc. It was just really sentemental. So, if you need time to be emotional, allow yourself that, just don't let it come out in guilt, please. Maybe write in YOUR journal too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nothing felt like enough, either. If sky writers had announced her birthday to the city of Anchorage, it may not have been enough. But being a little family of 3 on her birthday was special anyway. And I got MY bib at FM for 50% off–we went out to eat, though, so it was a fun little announcement. ๐Ÿ™‚

    That's my 2 cents for you. I hope tomorrow is very special and memorable for you, and I hope to see all your pictures!

  8. This year I tried to ignore my son's birthday and celebrate it the day after, but I couldn't help myself! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your guilt. We feel it even though we know our standards are too high.

    Happy birthday to both of you! It's an accomplishment to make it through this past year.

  9. OooooOOOooo…I like that Birthday Letter Idea! I am going to have to start doing that!!!
    Don't feel guilty. He is not old enough to care, so neither should you!

  10. We aren't doing anything other than a cake & a present for N's 1st birthday tomorrow. Didn't really do anything for the first birthday for the older kids either. And I only feel a smidge of guilt, & only because I see the huge deal other parents make over it. He won't remember & he'll probably have a happier day for not having a huge crowd around

  11. Happy Birthday to your little man! I must admit, I make a little fuss of first birthdays, simply because we hold a naming ceremony for our children on that day, and ask our friends and family to take our bubba into their hearts.

    And then no more parties until school age! (although I felt a little guilty last year when all the bubbas from my mums group were turning two and having parties!)

    Family celebrations, lots of balloons and photos, choosing what we eat for tea, that's the stuff they'll remember!

  12. You should NOT feel guilty. First of all, he's going to have the best first birthday just because you love him so much. He doesn't care what you do. He doesn't know it's a special day. He's not going to remember his first birthday. This is for YOU. So, do what you want for the big day. Make something that YOU will always treasure. In my opinion, the best gift you can give him is your love.

    My son turned 6 months on Monday. It was a big moment for me, so I posted a picture on facebook and told everyone about it. I was a little hurt that only 2 of my friends commented, but so what? James and went to the library to get him a birthday book, and I took pictures of him in his new jumperoo. I spent the day loving him, and that's what mattered most.

    You are a great Mom!!! (I love the hand-written journal, too.)

  13. Don't you ever ever ever feel one bit of guilt for what you did or didn't do for Lucas on this birthday!! I know it was perfect and everything you worried about is just fine.
    You are such a good mommy and an inspiration and example to so many. Don't doubt your mommy skills, girl.
    I admire you and I'm proud of you.

    And much more importantly, Lucas loves you. That's what really matters.

  14. Honestly, Can the guilt.

    Each of the kids we take to Build-A-Bear for the first bday.

    My oldest turned 5 this year and I had plans of a party but my husband was deployed. I gave her a week long full of happy things and Grandma came out.

    Motherhood is full of guilt. At the age of one you should not feel that for a simple party. It is all about him and your family at this age.

    Hang in there mama!!!

    Love the pics!!

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