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I’m Not Throwing My One-Year Old a Birthday Party

My little guy turned 11 months yesterday. When I tell strangers how old he is now, they ask, “What are you doing for his birthday?” This inevitably results in a blank stare from me. I don’t want to be rude to people, but it is a question that baffles and confuses me, so I don’t really respond. Recently, our family started asking when his party will be.

Um…party? We have to have a party?

If you search “First Birthday” on Pinterest, you will get a plethora of ideas for invitations, banners, cakes, etc. There is even a whole page of game ideas for a first birthday parties. I’m sorry? Games? My one year old likes to try to play with empty boxes, chase the cat, and chew on board books. He likes to eat sweet potato muffins, fruit, and whatever I offer him from my plate. He has no preferences for what I do, how I decorate, or what I serve for his birthday. He will be ONE.

My one year old is not going to remember his first birthday no matter how elaborate it is.

Maybe it is because I am a bit of a minimalist. Maybe it is because I am an older mom. Or, maybe it is because, as a working mom, I just don’t have the time or energy to think about a first birthday party. However, I do worry that in our Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest filled social media society, moms are striving to create the best looking, most photo worthy occasions for their kids. But, I have to be honest, these don’t seem to be about the kids, they seem to be about the parents and how they are perceived by the outside world, and that makes me sad.

If you want to throw your infant a birthday party, I applaud you for your creativity, effort, and time spent; however, I will be quietly taking my child to the park, throwing a blanket in the grass, and watching him explore the outdoors (or refusing to touch the grass). I might even have some family members over for a simple dinner (hamburgers and hot dogs anyone?). And, no, there won’t be a smash cake, but maybe he will have a sweet potato muffin with a candle in it!

7 Responses to I’m Not Throwing My One-Year Old a Birthday Party

  1. Jane July 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

    No, you don’t have to have a party, but judging mom’s who do isn’t the way to go about not having a party. Just don’t have one. Why do you feel the need to put down other moms who do? The games, guess what, not for the one year olds but for older kids who might attend. The celebration, guess what, not for the one year old, but for the parents who just achieved a huge milestone in their lives and parenting journey. Congratulations, you let you kid play in the grass, well this party throwing mama does too! I work full time, am an “older mom” and am planning a really nice “Pinterest” party for our friends and family for celebrate this huge milestone. Maybe you need to consider what makes you so bitter about children’s parties and stop shaming/judging moms that are throwing them.
    P.S. A blank stare and not responding IS rude

    • Heather July 22, 2018 at 6:09 am #

      Exactly! We just had our little monsters party, games & decorations. Games for the older kids that otherwise would be bored (& temporary tattoos!) The decorations I made while he slept because before Pinterest I was still creative. I commend her for NOT having a first birthday party but don’t rain on my “Pinterest” party as some of us moms can actually find a balance to plan these things out!

    • Emily July 22, 2018 at 5:13 pm #

      You go Jane!

  2. Casia July 20, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

    I threw a party for both my sons when they turned one but it was a very small celebration. We did have a smash cake and watching my boys enjoy their first taste of cake is a memory I will treasure forever. That being said, there is nothing wrong with not throwing a party. We made the decision long ago to not throw a party for my kids every year. In my opinion, they need to appreciate having a small, family celebration. We throw a party for them every 5 years and I think that’s enough.

  3. Ashley July 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm #

    I didn’t throw a party for my now 13 month old, either! We had a fun time celebrating her with family, and I figure there will be plenty of birthday parties based on her interests in her future!

  4. Alicia July 24, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

    I personally think the one year party is for the parents! Congratulations on keeping that baby alive for a whole year.

  5. Emily September 4, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    When someone asked what you are doing for your child’s birthday, the question baffled and confused you?

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