I CAN’T BELIEVE I am “reflecting” on my son’s first birthday! His first year of life has been an amazing roller coaster full of highs that I can not even express with words and of course some lows that have taught me so much about myself as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, co-worker, and any other “title” that describes me! Motherhood has transformed me into a person that I am thankful to be today. I am confident in saying that after just having the gift of one year with my little man, so naturally, I am excited for the years to come!
Anyhow, if you are reading this, it is probably because of one of the following reasons: 1) you are in a state of disbelief because you are ALREADY having to plan your little one’s (lo) first birthday; 2) you are reflecting on your lo’s first birthday and what you will do the “next time;” or 3) you follow my blog and/or you are family/friend and feel compelled to read everything I post (thank you, thank you, thank you for that!). Regardless why this post sparked your interest, I thought I would reflect a little on my experience with my little guy’s first birthday party and share a few tips for the big ONE! So, here goes!
- Celebrate it! I totally understand wanting to avoid the stress of planning and throwing a party, but you will never get the chance to do it again, so don’t miss out!
- Avoid inviting too many children! This one sounds crazy because we are talking about a child’s birthday, but the reality of it is that the party will be super stimulating for your little one as it is, and pressuring him/her in to “play” with every child at the party is likely to be too much! Their ability to “play” with a lot of kids around is not even developmentally appropriate at one year old.
- Invite the people who REALLY MATTER. I RARELY think more is better (unless sweet baby hugs and kisses are what we are talking about…or frozen yogurt), but I really feel like this is the case for a first birthday! Your little one may end up overwhelmed with everyone. If he/she isn’t, you might!
- Display a slide show of your little one’s first year! Thanks to the help of modern day technology, we just had our photo album from our phone running on the TV! Everyone loved it and I could see people stop and watch and “oooooh and aaaaaah” at how much our little one had changed in a year! To date, the photos are still our TV screen saver and our little guy loves being the star of the show!
- Know that only you will know if something goes “wrong”…so BREATHE! There are no rules/expectations for what should happen at a child’s birthday, so do what works for you and your family! Don’t worry about what others might think. Besides, if someone thinks anything other than “wow I can’t believe he/she is a year old already!” or “everything was so cute and went so well!” then that is probably someone who you may reconsider inviting the next time around.
- Designate someone other than yourself to take pictures! This one is HUGE in my opinion. We are lucky that we have someone in our family who is a good photographer to have around (thank you ,Shelly!), so we asked her bring her camera! I am so happy we did because we actually got to experience the party with our little guy AND be in the photos!
Obviously, this is not an all-inclusive list of the ins and outs of a first birthday, and at the end of the day, the main take-away I hope you get from this is do what works for you and your family, while keeping you lo’s needs and development in mind! And more than anything, ENJOY and be PRESENT! You, your family, and most importantly your little one only gets this day once!