Friday, April 15, 2016

Yep, I am Throwing my Kid a Giant First Birthday Party...

If you're not a mom, or your kids are older, you may not know how truly controversial the first birthday party has become (seriously, moms of young kids today have a lot of time to sit around and think up silly things to have strong opinions about). The internet is chock full of Pinterest boards about the perfect party, and then hilarious articles like this one from Scary Mommy about why the first birthday party is insane.

Let me recap the sides for you:

  • Side 1: PARTY- we got this tiny human through 1 full year of life, and we will CELEBRATE. So I have an entire library of party ideas to consult and am currently hot gluing like my life depends on it so these centerpieces get done on time... 
  • Side 2: Oh HELL no- I got a tiny human through 1 full year of life, I am EXHAUSTED. Besides, my kiddo will never know and I am so not crafty. I can't take the pressure, man. 

Here's my take: both sides are right.

First birthday parties are for the parents. If you're into it, throw the party. If you're not, don't. There. Controversy solved.

Me, I am ALL about the first birthday party, but that is because I love to plan things. I am not going to lie, I have already ordered the invitations and my kid isn't even six months old yet. What's more, there is a giant box of theme-related decorations overtaking my guest room that I just keep adding to.

However, even if I didn't love planning things, I have a feeling I would be all about the first birthday party for one reason: community.

Nope, not talking podcasts.

I work from home. Most days, the only real beings I talk to face to face are my husband, dog, and baby. I don't know my neighbors. When I get really desperate for contact, I hang out at day care for an uncomfortable amount of time after dropping my son off so my kid's teacher will talk to me. I have very little family nearby, and most of my friends also have young kids. We text, we Facebook, but sometimes we go months without seeing each other.

And then there is a baby shower, a holiday, or a birthday, and suddenly we all remember to get together and see each other. My kid needs those events.

There is all kind of research out there on how kids are losing social skills because they text instead of talk, and how the concept of neighborhoods and it "taking a village" is going away. I see both of these a lot in my life and I want to make sure that my son grows up like I did- knowing he has this boisterous, hobbled together network of family and friends that love him.

So no, he won't remember his first birthday party, he sure as hell does not need any gifts (my house is bursting already), and it is totally not necessary to have hand-crafted centerpieces (that is for me). But that first birthday party is happening, and I am not even a little sorry! And I won't apologize for the second or third, either, because all of them ensure that we all remember to get together.

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