I have been to so many first birthday parties as an adult, I honestly couldn’t tell you how many. Everything comes in waves. You reach adulthood and there is a time in your life where it seems everyone you know is getting married, and of course, soon after everyone is having babies.
With my own baby girl’s birthday closer than I would like, it’s really got me thinking about first birthday parties.
My initial thought about my daughter’s birthday was to skip the party. I know, I know. I can hear so many parents out there gasping even as I write it, but let me tell you why. I think in this age of technology, a lot of people do things just for the photos. They want to throw these huge elaborate parties so they can post all the photos on Instagram and have their followers look at them and think; “I wish I could throw a party like that!”
Personally, my thought was to keep the whole occasion centred around my daughter and what she likes (Crazy, right?). I was going to do a small get together at my mother’s house, maybe have a barbecue or something, and put most of my time and effort into her Cake Smash photos. No-fuss, no muss, no coconuts. My thought in all this was that my daughter sometimes gets overwhelmed and burnt out when there are too many people around, and when she gets overwhelmed and burnt out she gets extremely cranky. A cranky birthday girl would definitely ruin her birthday.
However, with the knowledge that my husband’s parents are coming all the way from the East Coast to celebrate her first birthday with us, I kind of felt like maybe I would need to put a little more thought and planning into the day. So I started (very last minute, I might add) to put more of the typical birthday party together.
One thing I think a lot of parents need to come to grips with and fess up to, is that the first birthday is in no way, shape, or form for your child. We can pretend it is all we want because the celebration is about them, but it’s really for all the adults who will attend because our little ones are never going to remember this birthday.
Although I have no problem with a first birthday party being centred more around the adults, I feel like we have to be realistic about it and honest. A lot of parents like to masquerade around this fact and what ends up happening is you end up with a birthday party for kids, where the bulk of your guests are adults which, to be honest, is just really inconvenient.
I can’t tell you how many kids parties I have been to where the parents invited over 30 adults to the party and there were maybe 10 kids. Is that bad? No, as parents you have every right to celebrate with some adults. You have made it through your first year and that was no small feat. With that being said, plan your party with those adults in mind.
Why? Because it isn’t fair to the parents of the 10 kids that arrived for you not to.
A lot of you read that and are wondering “What the hell is she talking about?”. Well, of course, I am going to tell you.
One of the huge things a lot of parents planning a party who invite more adults than kids don’t account for are two things: seating and food.
What usually happens when you invite adults who don’t have kids, is they sit down and socialize. They are a bit more removed from it all because a lot of them just don’t know what to do or whether they should interact with the kids. It’s a little awkward for them to find their place at a kid’s party, so they sit. Which is absolutely fine. But for the parents who have trekked their kids to your party and chased after them while at your party, it isn’t really fair to them that there be no seating left. They really do need a few moments where they can sit down, have some food, and have some adult interaction while at the party too. Plan for this.
Another thing is the food. I don’t want to be that person, and when I attend a kid’s party I usually just roll with the punches, but you can’t plan a kid’s party with kid food only if you plan on inviting more adults than children.
I get it, your an adult and you want to invite your adult family members and best friend etc. I also understand that it’s so much easier to have hot dogs and chips and pizza, but I think you should really plan for the adults as well. Don’t go overboard! You don’t need steak dinners for every adult there, but a cheese and meat tray, some veggies, maybe even some easy appetizers would be something to consider putting out.
Another big thing is making sure you provide activities for everyone and be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to stay as long as you wanted them to, especially the adults.
With all of this in mind, I really had to think about her party. Ideally, a restaurant with a party room would have been my first pick. We don’t have to worry about food, everyone can choose what they want to it as opposed to having to eat kiddie foods, and absolutely no clean up for me! After some research, I realized that unless you are doing a wedding or a business dinner, there aren’t really too many options down this road.
(Insert exasperated sigh here)
I am hoping the party room pans out but if it does, that means I am going to have to plan for food. I would do pizza for the kids since my daughter has recently discovered pizza and loves it but would have to think a little outside the box for the adults.
This is the first party that I have to plan for my baby girl, and I have to say I am not thrilled with how much work it is all turning out to be. If I am being honest, I would love sticking to the original no fuss plan.
Is it too late to throw in the towel and go back to the no party idea?