Happy 1st Birthday to you…I mean us. We did it!

Just 12 months ago. Happy birthday kiddo!
Just 12 months ago. Happy birthday kiddo!

My son will be one this month. His first birthday is upon us. I can’t believe that twelve months have passed since he was born. But I am thrilled witness this amazing little boy grow up.

What accompanies that first birthday is one of life’s greatest stresses…the 1st birthday party. (Insert scary cliffhanger music.)

Ok, don’t get me wrong, this little celebration isn’t quite a life-altering problem. Yet based on some of the mom’s I have talked with, it can be a challenge.

The big ONE!
The big ONE!

Besides the stress of a party, you also have the financial part of it all. According to a poll on BabyCenter.com, 26 percent of respondent’s spent over $500 dollars on their child’s first birthday and five percent lost track. The better question would have been, how many spent over 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 dollars. Crazy, right?

So while my son’s party is still two weeks away, I have made it my mission to be low-key, stress free and low budget. It can’t be that difficult, right? Wrong.

  1. I don’t want to spend endless hours cutting and gluing decorations together. So sure, a quick order on etsy.com and done and done. Cha-ching.
  1. I can’t possibly send out an evite for his party, so thank you TinyPrints.com for doing it for me. $$$
  1. Cooking for 30 people? Nope.  Thank you Big Hoffa’s for that sweet nectar BBQ you can provide. Yum, but cha-ching, cha-ching!
  1. Cupcakes and a smash cake (seriously?) for the little guy…a quick call to Gigi’s and we are complete! $$$

The dollars certainly increase quickly for my low-key, casual party.

When did the pressure to have Hollywood style birthday’s even start? Was it about the time that my Super Sweet 16 started on MTV? Who doesn’t love an exotic animal petting zoo and serenade from a 20K rapper followed by giving your kid a Range Rover?

Long gone are the days of Chucky Cheese and a nice homemade cake from Betty Crocker. It seems that we all have the unfounded, pressure to make it our children’s birthday’s perfect. And I, like so many others, am in the same boat.

My son will be one. ONE. He has no idea whether he wants to sleep, cry or crawl. He doesn’t know the difference between a great party and well, one that stinks. I guarantee that I could put Chips A’hoy in front of him and he would love them as much as the four dollar cupcakes I am considering purchasing.

But he is my son and it’s a celebration. Quite frankly, it’s a celebration for us, me and my husband. We survived. Somehow, some way, we made it through the first twelve months. Andrew is alive, well, growing and a very happy kid. In fact, we deserve a medal.

Parents are winners!
Parents are winners!

So throw a party we will. There isn’t a medal for parenthood, but hey, there is a party.  A birthday party. So don’t tell your kids, but that  party may be a celebration of their life, but it’s also about celebrating your survival and the great job you have done as parents.  So happy birthday kids!  We did it and plan to do it up!  We deserve it, right?