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Baby’s First Birthday Party: The Biggest Lesson I Learned

Baby’s First Birthday Party: The Biggest Lesson I Learned

Please tell me children’s birthday parties get easier over time. I don’t think my wedding took up as much of my time as planning, hosting, and cleaning did for my son’s first birthday party. Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic. But it was really a lot of work and was equally as challenging for me as the first few days with my squishy newborn.

Looking back on it, I can see that maybe my pursuit of perfection was what got in my way. I had trouble picking the theme of the party, the perfect location, the food, and even the date! (Our original date ended up being a total wash out, and the rain date was slated to be the same day a hurricane hit our area. Thankfully, it was slower to come up the coast than predicted, and we were sparred!).

I spent longer than I would like to omit scouring the internet for the right plates for people to eat off of, stuffed more balloons than humanly possible in the back of my small SUV, and argued with my husband over how the birthday banner and high chair vignette should look when setting up our backyard. During the party I felt as though I was banished to the kitchen, trying to be the best host possible. I re-filled bowls of chips and dips (which I have a variety of, in case anyone had a preference), I kept the 25 pounds of various grilled meat warm as we cooked (a feat in and of itself with our very basic grill), I washed loads of dishes, made sure the drink station was always full…I was so wrapped up in the details of the party, I almost forgot the reason behind it.

Cab's first birthday party

Then, it hit me. I caught a glance at my little man starring down a cake with a big number one on it, and, in that moment, I relaxed (for the first time that day!). In all the rushing around, the setting up, the cooking, the cleaning (and repeating it all again and again), the momentous occasion had almost slipped away. My husband and I made it! We survived the first year.

You know they say that the first birthday party is as much for the parents as it is for the child, and, looking back on it, I say this is 100% accurate. With one party under my belt, I feel prepared for the next however many years, as I strive to make it simpler and easier each and every time to give myself the chance to stop and smell the roses.

P.S. My saving grace to this whole party? I hired the photographer who has been taking Cab’s photos for us all year to take photos at the party. Because of her, I have not only awesome photos, but lasting memories—and I didn’t have to lift a finger!

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