So much has changed in the last year for me… in all the best ways. August 3rd, 2019, I became a mommy. Something I had dreamed of for as long as I can remember. I was already a bonus mom to 2 AMAZING kids (more to come on that in a future post) but on that Saturday afternoon, I “officially” became a mom.
So here we are now, and I found myself planning my sons FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!! Now, we had a few hiccups in the planning process. After all, we were in the middle of a Global Health Pandemic and my husband was preparing for a deployment overseas… but the party came and went. It was a FABULOUS day and we were able to have our immediate family and a few friends over to celebrate our baby boy… who was no longer a baby. I learned a few things during this process. Things that helped make his first birthday magical and helped this mama get through it with all my sanity – well at least the same amount I started with.
We have all heard the same message before. “The first birthday is more for the parents than it is for the kid”. This really hit home for me. I was so busy stressing about every minor outlier of a detail that I forgot what was really important – our family being together to celebrate Mason. Once I was able to take a deep breath and focus on the whole reason for this shindig… it became more fun for me to plan! Mason was going to be with his favorite people with all the attention on him. No matter what the party looked like, what food we had, or how many balloons were green instead of orange, he was going to be a happy little boy and that’s what really mattered.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
This. All day this. When I started planning, I was going BIG. I remember asking my husband how many balloons would fit in my car and if we should have cookies, cupcakes, AND a cake or just the cake and cookies. I was planning food for 100 (only 20 were invited) and apparently thought I was decorating a school gym for my High School Prom instead of a family birthday party. Here’s the thing. We didn’t need all of that. I was planning to do so much; it was overwhelming and I was feeling stressed (see #1). I began to totally rethink my plan, started again, kept it simple and fun, and went on my merry way. Keeping it simple allowed me to make decorations myself (table skirt and 12-month banner) and that made my mama heart happy.
DON’T RUSH THE PARTY.
There are a lot of steps to a birthday party. Especially when dealing with a 1-year-old, trying to plan around naps and a feeding schedule. I made the conscious effort to not rush through the day. I wanted to be able to take in every minute and experience without overwhelming my son and creating any more craziness. It was important to us that everyone was able to see the birthday boy and that my husband and I could mingle as well. Come up with a ROUGH timetable of what you want to do – even if it is just the order of events. It may change (and probably will) but having an idea in your head will help keep you on track.
PICK A PICTURE PERSON.
I took pictures that day, do not get me wrong. I take pictures of EVERYTHING. One thing I did was ask my sister to take pictures for me, too. I wanted to be able to be IN the pictures and IN the moments with my son, not the one behind the camera. At the end of the day, she was able to send me what she had taken, and it was AMAZING. All the moments were captured with me being a part of it with my little man and those are the memories I wanted most.
SMILE AND ENJOY THE CELEBRATION.
Things may get messed up. Extra guests. Fewer guests. Dropped cupcakes. Spilled juice. It’s OKAY!! I had to keep telling myself throughout the day that it was a great party and everyone was having fun. Most importantly, each and every time I looked at my son, he was smiling and laughing, completely content with his celebration that I had planned for him.
This was my experience with my son’s first birthday party. I am a first-time mom and to be completely honest, this is my first ever blog post. Hopefully, something in this piece was helpful to any mama out there planning a party for the loves of their lives.