Hacks / Life

I’ve Decided Not to Give My Child a Big 1st Birthday Party

In just a couple of months, my daughter Prym will be celebrating her first birthday.  However, I’m not going to sweat it out by burning money over a big birthday bash she can’t even remember.

Before she was born, I had already imagined how her 365-day milestone would look like. Of course, it would be grand with loads of balloons to decorate and color up the place, a sumptuous dessert buffet table matching the theme of the party, a clown and magician to entertain the guests, and cute loot bags with sweet stuff in them to be given to attending kids.

One could not blame parents who envision a grand first birthday party for their children because over the years, first birthday parties have reached the same status as the 18th and 50th birthdays. And of course, we only want what’s the best and the biggest, not to mention the most talked about parties for our little darlings.

There is nothing wrong with giving our children a special birthday party. For those who have thrown or are planning to throw a 1st birthday extravaganza, I am a little jealous actually. But my daughter, who has yet to practice her syllables in an intelligible manner and who has no idea of what’s going on, won’t be getting any.

You might think I am a mean mother for depriving her that lavishly adorned party, but hear me out. My husband and I actually almost went all out when Prym was baptized. Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I organized everything exactly three months in advanced. In fact, I was so stressed out during the preparation days. As a first time mom, I didn’t know organizing these things can be so hassle and downright expensive. Hey, we’re still a young couple starting out at these things called “adulthood” and “parenthood”.

What many of us seem to be forgetting amidst the fancy catering and scary clown host is the fact that first birthday parties are actually about the kid.

These days they are more about the parents. It has become a celebration for surviving the first 365 days of being parents without the child protective services interfering.

Sure, they’d be blown away by the colorful decorations and the sound of the wrapping paper being ripped to shreds, but I doubt they’d remember any of that the next hour. I think as simple as your presence can already make your baby’s day special. You know how easy you can buy your child’s affection with just a hug and a kiss.


I imagine Prym, looking adorable in her birthday party dress, getting so cranky because she missed her naptime and the noise of oncoming strangers terrifying her. Believe me, I now know better.

But of course, the photos! That’s what makes it worthwhile because you have something to look back to, right? Your children may want to see a photo of themselves later in life, with their hands and face smeared with chocolate cake. I’m pretty sure Prym will ask for receipts, too!

We all want to be good parents. Of course, we’re still planning to celebrate our child’s first birthday! Just not in the way most parents do it though.

For Prym’s first birthday, we’re going on a family vacation. It’s going to be in a beach for sure and we’ll still make it as memorable for the family as possible. I just hope Prym won’t be allergic to the sea. There will be a cake for sure, where her little fingers can dive in. There will be a happy Prym, frolicking by the beach and splashing in the pool. She just loves being outdoors!

I promise, we’ll be taking a lot of pictures for Prym to look at when she gets older. For Pete’s sake we are a family of photographers!

If the whole first birthday party thing is too hard, too expensive or too complicated for you, then don’t do it. Save up the cash and effort when your little darling can actually remember it.

There will be many years for birthday parties where I will probably go all out. But I’ll wait until my daughter can demand what she wants for her birthday, be it a Spider-Man or a Little Pony-themed party.

To give a big 1st birthday party or not? What are your thoughts?



About Author

A writer by day, reader, diaper-changer, monster slayer at night. She's the wife of a rock star wedding photographer and the mother of Prym, the unicorn rider. She loathes writing in the third person and terribly misses the taste of coffee in her mouth.


  • Florencio Schmahl
    March 6, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Wow! Your new baby wish looks fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

  • Tatiana Agney
    March 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    This is beautiful! I love your happy birthday picture. Have a happy day.


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