A Warning to Moms: Stay off Pinterest Before Baby’s First Birthday Party

Sticking to the Basics for Baby’s First Birthday

Be careful not to let the milestone become a millstone of comparison.

Birthdays can be an exciting time of celebration.

Memories and milestones are made.
Cakes are baked.
Decorations are created.
Invitations are sent.

But if we’re not careful, we can end up “spoiling” not only our children, but all the fun and joy in a celebratory birthday party. After all, if the planning and preparation adds to the stress in our already super-busy-days as a new mom, what’s the point?

Birthday parties, especially baby’s first, are an amazing opportunity for gathering together friends and families to celebrate a milestone. Yet, we must be careful not to let the milestone become a millstone of comparison.

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If we don’t guard our time and ourselves, the simple tasks of planning baby’s first birthday party can become burdensome. If we try to keep up with the Jones’ or in our social media driven society, the latest trends on Pinterest, we can stress ourselves to the point where we lose our joy.

Always remember the wise quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” 

One quick look at some of the over-the-top and outlandish birthday parties that moms are creating for their kids these days will have your head spinning.  You can find a way to decorate everything from high chairs to hanging banners.

One of the fastest ways to get discouraged as a new mom, not only at your baby’s first birthday party, is through comparing your life to others. It’s the trap of envy, so clearly spelled out in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:17 in the English Standard Version says this:

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You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (Or anything else that is seemingly perfect on Pinterest.)  

Surely, your family is unique. Your baby is unique. Your calling, and colors, and flavors are all unique. Why waste the energy and time of comparison, especially when it comes to your baby’s first birthday and those memories you can make?

OK, I admit, I love Pinterest for inspiration. Let me repeat that. For inspiration.

In fact, when I use Pinterest for business, I have some of my team members help me with posting and scheduling, or I know I’ll get into a sneaky trap of comparison and time wasting. I’ve learned to be smart and not wish for what I see there, but instead glean glimpses of ideas, as if I was flipping through a magazine. I even set time constraints. After all, Pinterest does call themselves, “the world’s catalog of ideas”.

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I’ve attended some first birthday parties where the families had gone all out. I mean from the professional invitations and photographers to caterers with menus and rented tables and chairs and a fortune on floral arrangements. My husband and I have been in the hospitality business for many years, and we saw one baby’s first birthday party which must have cost as much as our minivan. And I’m not joking.

In the grand scheme of things, isn’t your joy at the party and your families’ financial well-being more important that the ruffles and fluff placed around the tables?

I have, though, seen my sister-in-love whip up some incredible, budget- friendly birthday parties DIY style for my niece and nephew with inspiration she garnered from Pinterest, but not until the kids were older and could participate in some of the preparations, too. But for a first birthday--- I mean, really--- will your child remember? Can’t we just stick to the basics for their first birthday party?

Sticking to the Basics for Baby’s First Birthday

The Cake

Of course we want to remember the moment your sweetheart dips her face into the frosting, organic or not. Whether the cake is from the best Cake Wars bakery, your local grocery store or made with love in your kitchen, this is a moment to get the videos rolling and snap some memories. (Remember the baby wipes!)

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The Guest List

Baby’s First Birthday is an awesome time to celebrate with close friends and family, but don’t feel obligated to invite every baby from your play group. Remember to have some kind of a guest book or photo board for signing as this may become one of your most cherished memories. Please all your guests’ appetites with finger foods and a simple menu, including plenty of baby friendly foods like squeezes and tiny cups of bite-sized berries!

The Décor

Keep it simple here. Pick a color palette and work from there. Balloons are a classic decoration that excite every baby. Skip the place cards and fancy labels on everything and opt for a photo collage or foam board and tissue paper flowers crafted into a number “1”. Skip the designer banners for more balloons and give classic storybooks to the babies in attendance as party favors.  Remember to snap tons of candid smile photos, and ask someone in your family to do the same!

Creating a party for baby’s first birthday doesn’t have to stress your life or your wallet. Opt for simple things at the celebration and you’ll find yourself more free to celebrate than to stress about something out of place. In fact, you’ll find yourself in just the right space: overflowing with joy.

Jen Reyneri

Jen Reyneri

Renaissance Woman Jen Reyneri and her husband Luis often live life on the road with their two home-schooled sons. Popular author and speaker, Jen is founder of WordTraveling.com. Spirited and spirit filled, she savors life, poetic words, sabbaticals and strong coffee.

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