When my daughter’s first birthday rolled around I wanted to shout it from the rooftops: “My daughter is a year old! Everyone celebrate!” I was so tempted to go all out with her party – I’m talking clowns, ponies, and a cake the size of my couch – but I didn’t. We settled for a small birthday party with friends from her Gymboree class and a couple of relatives who traveled to be there for the momentous occasion.
Let’s face it, Moms and Dads…first birthday parties are more for us than for the kids. Yes, one-year-olds love smooshing cake in their face and enjoy getting gifts (as long as they don’t get overwhelmed, as my daughter did), but for the most part the first birthday party is more of a celebration to announce that your parenting skills managed to get your baby this far. For a year, you managed to keep another living being alive and that’s cause for a party! I remember specifically thinking to myself at my daughter’s party, “I’m really doing this. I’m really a mom. I must be okay at it because here she is a year old!” The balloons and cake were as much for me as they were for her, really. At least that’s the way I looked at it.
I think first birthday parties are great as long as they don’t get too overboard. A one year old doesn’t really need a rented banquet hall and a string quartet, but I’d like to heartily suggest a cupcake or small cake for your child to demolish. It’s hilarious. Just be sure you have your camera ready.