I Threw An Over-The-Top Birthday Party For My Baby And I Don’t Regret It At All
It all started innocently enough. In fact, I didn’t even want to have a 1st birthday party. I had sat through all of my niece’s and younger sibling’s parties and while they were entertaining for the child, the parents mostly looked either frazzled or bored. In one party, my niece cried because she was afraid of the piñata. In another party, my sister’s mother in law ended up in a fight because of the way my sister treated her granddaughter, my sister’s stepdaughter. Family parties have always been stressful for me. My parents are divorced, so it seems as though someone is always feeling left out, pissed off or just doesn’t show up at all.
When I was pregnant with my son I was pretty determined not to have a 1st birthday party. I had just survived two lovely showers while being 8 months pregnant in the middle of the summer. I was an emotional mess while pregnant and so I was in no mood to revisit the inevitable stress of party planning and dealing with family craziness. In the weeks after he was born I was so tired and stressed it felt like my entire existence had been hit by a train. The thought of ever being able to wear clean clothes seemed out of reach, much less throwing a party. I thought we would be lucky to make it to Roundtable Pizza and have some cake for his first birthday.
Another concern for me was the cost. After all, what kind of people would spend an insane amount of time and effort for a party the child would probably sleep through, not remember or appreciate? But something happened when that little human made his entrance into my life. I knew my defenses were weakening when after a few months that pizza and cake with “just us” idea started morphing into something bigger.
Then my partner – who is just as sentimental as I am about these things – told me something that made me question my reasoning. He said that this time in the baby’s life was precious and that this first year is like no other, and that I might regret not having that day with him and our family. Of course, his idea of party probably didn’t involve a thousand DIY projects that I had seen on Pinterest. (What did people do before Pinterest?) But his words convinced me we should go ahead and have the party, and so the decorating floodgates were unleashed.
We settled on a theme – Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go (check out my Pinterest board for it!) – and started gathering ideas. My partner is a graphic designer so that I knew that we could “play around” with invite themes and we (he) could do a lot of the work. Soon after that I found myself wandering stores looking for the perfect wasi tape to hand decorate every envelope for the invite.