How NOT to Throw a First Birthday

I did the unthinkable. I forwent throwing an absolute “epic” 1st birthday party. There was no pinterest crafts, no games, no invites, and no birthday melt downs. **GASP** So how did I get here? How did I decide to avoid the BS and pick the high road? I buckled up and announced to family there would be NO PARTY. I’ve attended my fair share of first birthdays, I know how they go. For those who haven’t let me set the scene. There is hustle, and bustle and meatballs in the crock pot. There’s anxiety over streamers and out right panic because Uncle Joe didn’t receive his shutterfly invite. First Birthday Honorer is horrified, people she maybe met once want to hold her and the world as she knows it is ending. Nap time is conveniently and simultaneously happening during present opening time. The end is near, everyone is on their way out the door. You and your significant other collapse on the couch bruised and wounded from the battle. All you can think is man AM I HAPPY THAT IS OVER.

We, as a family decided the above was not for us for a multitude of reasons. First, off our home is too small to accommodate that many guests. It was a better fit financially to not throw a huge party.  Moreover, if Ella could communicate better she would have thanked us. Now I’m not an outright monster, we surely celebrated our victorious first year of parenthood (can I get a woot, woot?) and our baby girl turning the big ONE but on our own terms. 

We wanted the opportunity to actually enjoy our daughter’s first birthday. To give her an amazing day dedicated to HER. We wanted something stress-free that we could look back on in fondness. So we replaced a couple hour party for a weekend getaway to Great Wolfe Lodge, and yes in fact, this was the more economical route. My daughter loves water, the combo was a match made in heaven. I made her smash cake, got minimal decorations and we played in the water all day long. We let people have the opportunity to join us if they wished for dinner and to watch Ella destroy some chocolate cake. The outcome was perfect. We shared a hotel suite with Ella’s grandmas because they’re practically second set of parents to her and she was on CLOUD NINE. A sleep over with momma, dada, nana and Grammy?!?! and I get cake??? and toys?? And I played in the water all day??? Pinch me Im dreaming!! Is what I envision if her little lips saying if she could form the words.

We saved so much money. We skipped out on so much stress and clean up. But most importantly our daughter had an amazing birthday, even though Im a “bad” mom and did not throw her a first birthday party.


Check out my youtube channel linked under “Just like Jess” to catch the details on how I got all my decorations so cheap for her birthday and first birthday photoshoot!


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