Getting Lost in the Birthday Party Planning


My son turned one last week. I had been both dreading and looking forward to his birthday for months.

I dreaded the thought of my baby no longer being a baby, and I really dreaded the thought of having a toddler. However, I was excited to celebrate this milestone with our closest family and friends. Well I was excited, until I realized there were 70 people on the guest list which we paired down to almost entirely family… AH!

70 people? My son only really likes two people right now: me and daddy, and if we’re being honest, 50% of the time he just wants me. So here we go. Let’s celebrate us! I mean my son.. It is his birthday, after all. 

_jil7909Of course we needed new furniture, landscaping and an outdoor kitchen in preparation for my firstborn’s 1st birthday.

In three weeks. My husband and I had discussed these projects prior to the party in the “wouldn’t this be nice” category, but as soon as the invitations were sent and EVERYONE RSVP’D YES, those projects were immediately shifted to the “must have” category.

If you’re thinking we’re crazy at this point 1.) I don’t blame you and 2.) it gets worse.

I had the theme and decor down – that part was easy, but I obsessed over which new bar stools we needed, the design of the built-in grill, finding a garden specialist (who even knew this job existed?). It was full-on madness in our house.

Contractors were in and out every day, and the pressure was on. I can’t tell you how many arguments my husband and I got in over making sure everything was perfect.

Fast forward to the day before D Day; his actual birthday. My husband and I took the day off from work to prepare.

Originally, the plan was to take my son to the Dallas Zoo. What actually happened: we sent him to daycare and spent the entire day running errands and making sure the flower beds and outdoor space were finished. I took off work and sent my son to daycare.

At this point, I recognized the madness.

The absurdity of paying to send my son, the birthday boy, to daycare so that I could plan his party rather than spending the day with him. This party wasn’t about him at all. It was about us.

Although the party went off without a hitch (thank you, sweet Jesus!), I’m ashamed of our silly behavior. We kept my little guy alive and well for a full year, but rather than celebrating him I was focused on plants and stone and how comfortable ours guests would be. And for what?

In my personal opinion, we all deserve an extra heaping of blessings in heaven for surviving the first year, but do yourself a favor and heed my insanity (or even DMB contributor Sarah’s story) as warning for how slippery the people-pleasing slope can be. You made it. Celebrate THAT and revel in the fact that your baby is healthy and alive and ONE. Congrats!

Now, let’s all get ready for what year two holds.


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