8 Reasons Not To Throw A 1st Birthday Party

by Jennifer Canavan
Originally Published: 
Baby enjoying her 1st birthday party with cake and balloons

As a first-time mom, I suppose that one of the biggest milestones during year one of your child’s life is their FIRST Birthday. That being said, as the big twelve-month mark rapidly approached, the thought of throwing our daughter a party became the bane of my existence.

Wow, I can actually hear loud gasps from people reading this and muttering, “What the F is wrong with this woman?! Who chooses to NOT throw their kid a birthday party?! What an asshole. This chick is Satan personified. She is totally failing as a parent.”

Listen, I’m with you. I probably AM failing as a parent. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons that my daughter vehemently refuses to say the word “Mama.”

But come on, she’s ONE. I think she’ll recover. And it’s not like we didn’t celebrate … we did loads of fun stuff together AS A FAMILY. We just didn’t invite anyone else.

Besides, if we’re going to throw a party, shouldn’t the real shindig be for us parents?

CONGRATULATIONS! We survived the first year without a damn clue as to what we were doing, and nobody called CPS on us! Now, who wants more tequila?

So, for anyone else out there who is currently debating this same situation, allow me to share my own reasoning for NOT throwing Baby’s 1st Birthday and make you feel a little bit better about yourself:

1. She’s NOT going to remember it. And if, down the line, she does start questioning me about her 1st birthday, I will stare into her angelic little face, smile sweetly and then tell her the biggest mother-effing lie imaginable. I shall share an elaborate tale of how every Disney princess showed up to sing “Happy Birthday” AND we bought her a pony. However, we were not allowed to keep said pony because of NYC housing regulations. And we don’t actually have any pictures with the princesses because Mommy’s camera was out of battery and then our neighbors called in a noise violation and forced them all to leave. I think she’ll buy it.

2. Birthday gifts = thank you notes = more work for Mom = not happening.

3. Pinterest and overachievers have totally ruined it for average parents like myself. Whatever happened to a Carvel ice cream cake and some balloons from Party City? I am not going to compete with someone who hand crafted personalized party hats, constructed a life-sized animatronic unicorn out of nothing but candy, and spent $500 on a cake that could be re-purposed at someone’s wedding (yet will ultimately end up in every crevice of your child’s body). My daughter needs to know NOW that her mom is the farthest thing from crafty. And also …

4. We’re broke. Sorry kid, but unless you can start changing your own diapers and taking yourself to the park while Mom and Dad are at work, your “birthday party fund” went out the window when Nanny Dearest announced she was quitting if we didn’t give her another raise.

5. Disappointment builds character.

6. No adult actually wants to spend their weekend at a 1st Birthday (or any kid’s party for that matter), UNLESS there is alcohol. The problems are that a) Our tiny apartment is not exactly fit for throwing down a rager, b) Kid-friendly venues do not respond well when you notify them that you plan on having a keg delivered at 11:45 a.m (trust me on this one), and c) Other parents will get very judgmental if you choose to have it at an actual bar.

7. Did I mention, she’s NOT going to remember it?

8. We’re lazy. There, I said it.

**On the day of her actual birthday, I learned that “mom guilt” is real and it will haunt you for eternity. So, I did what any half-ass parent in my position would do: I hung a banner, bought some balloons, baked a Funfetti cake, and then Instagrammed that shit for future evidence.

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