Thinking of what to name your child is probably one of the most memorable part of Parenthood. After all, the name that you will give to your child will be something that your child will bear forever. So when we thought of a name to give to my daughter, we have chosen “Natalie”. Although it literally means “Christmas Day” while she was born on a hot August afternoon in Kuwait, her name is special for us. So on her first birthday, we made sure that her name is written on her first Birthday smash cake.
My daughter loved the books byEric Carle’s The very Hungry Caterpillar and she was so delighted when she saw her cake. Her eyes showed so much excitement all the more when she was able to touch it, poked it, and eventually smash it .I chose this theme because she is totally in love with the caterpillar character and by now, she even memorize the whole story. She had a caterpillar Tutu dress,a huge Hungry caterpillar cake made by a Dutch Artisan baker,and a garden of Oma & Opa decorated with the caterpillar balloons and buntings. We even had a giant strawberry Pinata to complete this theme.
Someday, when she is old enough to see the photos of her birthday, she will learned that out of millions of kids named “Natalie”, for once, she had a special Cake and a smash cake with her name in colorful yummy fondant letters celebrating her wonderful milestone of her first 1 year of life.
A beautiful cake, a smash cake too pretty to smash, a special name, one milestone, and a yummiest cake for her 12 amazing months, 365 Delightful Days, and 8,760 Adorable Hours and 1 Perfect Year!
This post is in response to this week’s Photo Challenge |Names
What’s your plan for your child’s first birthday celebration ? Are you going to throw a big party or not ?
My daughter just turned the Big 1 (ONE) and just like you, I was in the same boat of this dilemma. I was looking forward to it …months away !! I have everything thought of . I have it all in my mind . But this post is not about party planning. This is actually the post-birthday lessons. Very important lessons that I wanna share with you especially for the first time & eager mamas. Her 1st Birthday was an awesome experience for all of us but I have thing or two to ponder. Maybe your parenting style is different, or your preferences are totally not same as mine.It’s Okay. But I know in the end, you, as the parent will eventually reflect on how swift the childhood days went off and evaluate your own actions on parenthood.
Here are the 5 things I have learned about my Daughter’s 1st Birthday Party :
1.Take it Easy
I have learned to Really Take it Easy .
With the ever present social media trends nowadays , parents always faced this dilemma. Everyone knows that we we always want the best for our children . If you check Pinterest you will see these jaw-dropping , almost perfect birthday party ideas that could leave you in a trance . You will hear yourself saying “I want this for my child “or “How much would it cost to throw a party as good as this ?” It’s very common to see parents nowadays doing the ever merry-go-round hustle and bustle of giving a lavish party for their kids, especially for their child’s 1st Birthday . It is so special that starting from your child’s themed party invitations & outfits , children’s snacks, party favors, giant cakes, balloons & confettis, Venue and decors, plus the sound systems, games, photoshoots, clowns & programs and things such as these could leave parents totally exhausted & overwhelmed. Even stressed out completely. I knew this feeling. I was feeling like this.
But Hey guys , Take it Easy ! Slow down , this is not a wedding! I mean , your one year old doesn’t even know if you scored it all from a Bargain shop or that her cake is made with white fondant with marzipan filling and that her smash cake is sugar-free! My daughter doesn’t care about it! She was too busy playing with the ceramic frog in the garden and splashing herself in the fountain to notice how pretty she look in her Tutu dress. She just fiddling on it,playing, eating it. She kinda love the feel of it her mouth. Who feels the satisfaction ? Isn’t it you Mama ?
I wanted to have a great “Smash Cake moment ” captured on video.
The sugar-free pink cake is scattered all over her, on her hair, on her face. Her nose is almost full of it that she screamed and get cranky. Did I have a nice video out of it ?The answer is NO. I was constantly wiping her nose. She doesn’t want to sit in her high chair anymore. Maybe she was overwhelmed by the size of the smash cake in front of her …or we haven’t taught her how to smash the cake eh ? Who ate the rest of the smash cake ? It was hibernating in our fridge for 2 weeks .
I have learned that 1st Birthdays should be Family thing.
I am not against Birthday party celebrations, in fact, I LOVE Birthday parties. When I had my daughter, I appreciate it even more. Birthdays are all time Family First thing. It should be like that . It should be an occasion that family bonds, and celebrate. The time when your child turns one becomes an important milestone , both for your child & you as the parent .It’s like, Yeeeaahh !!! we survive the first year! With all the sacrifices & hardwork involved. This is the time you reflect on the past year as a swift ride where in you managed to adjust from sleep deprivation, work, career, family life and parenthood. It’s about you, your child’s happiness & your spouse that really matters in the end.
If you are an Expat parent like me, then it would be crazy to throw a big party. We live in Kuwait & I don’t have much family or friends living in the same area as we are . You can still enjoy this day with the people that really matters with you and wants to share the memories with your child .You don’t need to invite your whole neighborhood .
3.Image and Perception is really Nothing
I have learned that Thinking about what others think about you is a total waste of time.
Parents should be very careful not to be driven with the sole purpose of throwing a party because of what we perceived as “Show- Off Syndrome “ . This is so true . It’s the underlying factor that led parents to throw a “Better “or ” More Grand “party to create an impression of being ” well-off,” or “ living the good life” image . This is one of the reasons why children have the notion of anticipating that they can have the same as others. They tend to ask for more from their parents based on what they have seen from their friends , classmates , and media influences . Its so easy to succumb to the consumer mentality of our society . For parents, we should make sure not to neglect this. Other than your child’s happiness , you should not even do things just to impress others . Remember ,every penny that you spent splurging on your child’s birthday party is spent only for yourself & pleasing your guests , your one-year old child doesn’t know anything nor she will remember it .
I have learned to Live within your means and be wise .
If you have the money to spend on a lavish birthday party for your child , Yeah Ok , You go Mama! Some parents think that their child will only turn 1 once, so splurging is never a problem .Sky is the limit. I think then its fine , I don’t see any problem on this .It’s your own personal choice. But on lifestyle check, would you rather splurge on a grand Birthday party knowing you have debts to pay ? or that your other kid’s tuition fees are due, or worse , you have arrears from your credit card bill ? Does it really make sense to have a loan just to impress your whole clan & your guests ? Really , nobody cares ! At the end of the day , your child ‘s well being will be your priority . Had she been stressed out from that hours of noisy party , or that she was too exhausted to smile on photo shoots with her cute tutu dress that you wore her ? Parents should be very careful in how they go about these birthday bashes , especially on the expenses involved . We should be thinking of alternative and cheaper ways to celebrate birthdays without smashing our budget . A growing child is expensive and we need to be practical and save more for bigger things like her Education , Travel etc . These savings can then be used to reward your child further down the track, when they are able to enjoy it.
5.Get over the guilt
Finally , I have learned to just let go of guilt feelings .
Get over the guilt and try to have FUN even without a big party . As parents , remind yourself that you are not ruining your child’s life and the memories for years to come with the decision you have made. Stick to the best choices for your family and in the end, everything else will fall into place. Provide your child with the best gift you could ever give that nobody could ever question you ,let alone your conscience.
What makes a 1st Birthday a day to remember ? If you ask any child about her memories of a birthday party ,what’s the first thing she could recall ?
For me , I should say :Stress-free and happy parents , lots of Love , and of course , A CAKE !!! because Hey , It’s a cake !
I wish you all the best on your child’s 1st birthday .
I am hoping that through this post you got some inspiration. To learn to become wise parents that sets as a good example to your child .
Have fun & don’t forget to smile in the camera !
How about you, how do you celebrate Birthdays in your country?