Sometimes Mommy Bloggers seem to have it all together. They show bright and crisp before & after photographs of DIY organizational projects. They proudly breastfeed until their children are at least two years old. They are stay-at-home, exclusively-organic, cloth diapering Mamas. Each picture they post of themselves show a bright-eyed, perfectly pristine, skinny-minny face. And when they don’t have it all together, their drama is so interesting you can’t look away.*
If you haven’t already guessed… I’m not that Mama.
I was definitely not feeling like this type of Mama every time I thought about my son’s first birthday. As the days until his birthday crept closer, I started feeling worse and worse. Online, I have seen so many Mamas who threw awesome parties for their babies. Everything was perfect, the invitations, the cake, the presents, the decorations, the friends.
Now, I know that Cameron will never ever remember his first birthday. He won’t every care if we spend $5.00 or $5,000.00 on the party. He may stumble upon the pictures one day and hopefully they will make him smile, but he won’t feel much emotion towards that party at all.
But I still couldn’t help feeling bad that I was procrastinating on planning his party. I couldn’t help feeling like I needed to plan the perfect party.
Finally I got around to doing something about it. I figured I would get things done in little chunks so that it wouldn’t feel too cumbersome.
First thing to tackle: Choosing a date. Okay, that wasn’t so bad. Cameron’s first birthday was taking place on a Sunday, and so I figured the Saturday would be a perfect party day.
Thing 2: Location. This one was harder. My home? Not so big. We can comfortably invite two people over to visit. Make it three and it starts to get a little crowded. So where was I supposed to throw my baby’s first birthday? I certainly wanted to invite more than two people.
I settled on holding the party in the (very large) nursery at our church. It was actually a brilliant idea. It was a large safe play area filled with toys. And there was enough room to put chairs for the adults and a few folding banquet tables to hold the food and the presents.
Problem 3: Invitations. Seriously. I felt the need to hand make gorgeous invitations. They had to be beautiful and they had to fit in with my monster theme, and the had to have some sort of unifying colour scheme.
Yeah right. When it all came down to it, after I figured out that I would not ever be able to make invitations, I created a Facebook event and invited people. Yup. I’m not classy, and I don’t have any pictures to show you of gorgeous invites, but this busy mom was actually able to invite people, and that makes me happy.
I guess my point is, don’t fret it and be creative. I soon realized that I didn’t care if I threw the best party for show. I just really wanted my son to enjoy the day. That affected every single party decision I made: where the party was held, how long the party would last for, and how many people we invited.
The party was a huge success, even with the anti-etiquette Facebook invite. Cameron loved it!
Location, Location, Location!
Photos taken on March 5, 2011
Stay tuned when I’ll be telling you more about how to throw an awesome first birthday party without drowning under your own expectations.
*I recognize that there is not a single Mommy Blogger who actually exemplifies this (or at least not one that I’ve read). But sometimes, I over-react.