First Birthday Partyitis


first birthday

When my first child was turning one I knew I wanted to throw a birthday party for him.  Not only to celebrate his year but also as a celebration for my husband and I.  We made it one whole year!

A party was definitely in order.

However, as I started to plan I quickly realized that this birthday party was turning into a giant birthday bash.  I was planning a first birthday, not a wedding! Why was this so hard? I wanted to start looking at places to have the party because the backyard or a park seemed like a bad idea with this whole El Nino thing (note to self – try to have next kid in August). Before looking for a place it seemed like a good idea to have a guest list for size purposes. I have a large family and we have a healthy group of friends and a wonderful faith community.  So I sat down with my husband one night this week after the little one went to bed to list all the people we thought would want to celebrate our little man.

Please don’t judge, but our first list had 122 adults and 41 minors ranging in age from infant to 16.

I froze. I felt my pulse begin to race and a range of emotions flooded over me. I mean what a gift, so many people that love my kid! Unfortunately, I’m not a millionaire.  I had to cut back, but how? Would I be hurting feelings?  I asked my husband what to do and he shrugs and said, “Being blessed costs money I guess.  I have no idea where to start cutting. Do we have just family, do we have just friends?”

So positive: he is going through the same thought process as me, negative: that is no help.  I decided to call my dad, he’s always the voice of reason.  His thought was “Just have dinner the 10 of us at home, he’s not going to remember anyway.” I respond with, “I know he isn’t going to remember but he will see pictures and besides it is about us we kept him alive for a year and we want to celebrate.”

And there you have it. It is a wedding of sorts.  A chance to show and celebrate with everyone you love a new milestone in your life.  One that is not actually as much about the star of the day as one would hope.

It’s just like a wedding (because let’s face it a wedding is never really about the bride and groom). So what’s the answer -I don’t know.  I think I need to spend some time figuring out why I want a big party, why it is important to me.  I need to not care what other people think (something most of us struggle with from time to time). What is the memory I want to create in our minds and in pictures so I can tell him all about it someday? My mom has told me about my first birthday. It was a Fourth of July theme (July she had the right idea, actually I was early should have been August, go mom!) It was an outside picnic BBQ in our home in Seattle and they even had fireworks.  It sounded lovely.  I’m sure if you took a poll 36 years later of the guests they probably don’t remember much about it, and they certainly never think about it. My mom, on the other hand, talks about it with a smile and a sound of pride in her voice. Food for thought.  The planning continues…STAY TUNED.

first birthday partyitis

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I grew up in Orange County then went to Los Angeles (with a short detour in Santa Barbara) for college and spent the next 12 years there thinking that was home until I met my amazing, now husband on and moved back here to start our life together. I have a young son and daughter that are two years apart. They are thick as thieves and keep us laughing. I worked in Hospice care for 15 years and now I take Working Mom to a whole new dimension with a private mental health practice I worked hard with many jobs hustling for many years to grow my own business. I'm proud to say I'm helping people in my own office full time. The decision to quit my full time job working for some one else and to work towards creating much needed grief, trauma and self esteem support in Orange County fills my soul. I may not spend 24/7 with my kids but I plan to be role model to them and the time we have is all about quality not quantity. I'm working on a life/work balance but I find this is much easier when I love all aspects of my life and work and self.