This week we went to 2 first birthday parties and we have a whole series of invites to more. Baby M turns 1 in a month and I feel the pressure mounting to organise a party for Baby M. But I don't want one.
A party is always great especially when my friends are there and I get to open a load of presents (well Baby M can't open them yet can she?).
She turns 1 the day before I go back to work so organising a party is one additional presure I don't need. I wouldn't mind if it was a case of just inviting a few people over, but inevitably it's more than that: my house isn't big enough for more than a few babies and their parents. So I could follow what my friends are doing and hire a venue. Then arrange catering. And an entertainer. And toys. And party bags. Not to mention planning all of this around a theme.
I've been to some lovely parties. Some that cost a lot, some where the parents have made a huge effort, but they have just made me more determined not to have one.
Fair enough people want to celebrate their children's first birthday, but who are they doing it for? If I organised a party it would only be because I feel I had to, not because I wanted to. Baby M's Dad wouldn't enjoy it, I would be running around stressed and Baby M would be as happy spending the day with just us. Probably more happy as she will get to have her naps and food when she wants them.
Then there is the cost. As I reach the end of my maternity leave money becomes increasingly tight. I know you can organise a party on a budget, but the cheaper it is the more you have to do yourself and the more stress there is.
Another option is a family party, but it's unfair to ask people to drive a long way just for a couple of hours. I may be being selfish, but I don't want to spend my last weekend before I go back to work entertaining relatives when I could be spending precious time with my daughter.
People have started asking me what I am going to do for Baby M's birthday and I apologetically say I don't think we are doing anything. Why I feel the need to apologise I don't know, I'm saving them the need to buy a present after all.
The truth is I'm not having a party, because I don't want to and I don't see the point. Instead I might spend the money on toys and activities she will like and spend the day giving her cuddles.