This past weekend we celebrated my youngest daughter’s 1st birthday with, once again, a big bash. You see, I used to be an event planner and so I just like throwing parties. For each of my older’s daughter’s birthdays (four so far) I admittedly went a bit overboard—think rainbow cupcakes and mermaid photo booths—but the parties turned out to be so much fun, and I wanted the same for my freshly-minted 1-year-old.
Some people have been surprised that we opted to throw another big bash for our second child. People are always saying, ahhh, the second kid always gets less. But then again, a lot of people were surprised we waited four years between our girls. And I think that’s one of the reasons I had the strength and desire to host a big party.
When my first my daughter was born, I was thrown into a state of anxiety and eventually depression over not being able to be home with her the way I wanted. After almost two years of working a full-time job, and a part-time job, and growing increasingly unhappy, I moved to a more part-time work-from-home life that allowed me to have the time I wanted with her. And once I finally got what I had been yearning for during those first two years, I didn’t want to rush into having another baby. I wanted to relish the time with my first-born.
My older daughter was almost 4 years old when our younger daughter was born. She was in preschool almost a full day, and has a raging social life with play dates and activities. In short, she isn’t home a whole lot anymore during the day. She is learning and playing and has a little gal posse, as she should. And it has allowed me to enjoy having my second daughter in a way that I wouldn’t have if we had spaced them closer together. It would have been far more harried. Who knows—the chaos might have thrown me back into a full-time work life!
So as this past year sped by, as they all say it does, and her first birthday neared, I wanted my younger lady to have a party just like my older one did. Of course, she won’t remember it. I know it’s really for the parents (and grandparents and aunts and uncles). But she will look back through photos (or Facebook feeds) and see that there were three dozen balloons and a big homemade cake and a fancy topper made by my friend and even a balloon and bubble entertainment guy (Rick Moore was awesome—NJ moms check him out!). And she may even see how smart her mommy was for getting her in-laws to agree to host the party at their house.
I never judge the families who don’t throw a party for their young kids. It’s a ton of work (again, less work at someone else’s house, yay grandparents!), and it’s a lot of money, and yes, the kids don’t really remember it, never mind appreciate it. But doing these special things for my girls, not in lieu of spending quality time but in addition to, make me so happy. Happy mom, happy life, happy kids, or something like that?
Happy 1st to my younger, equally adorable, little lady. Now stop growing up so fast!