Their First Birthdays – For Them Or For Their Parents?

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I may be a cynic, maybe I am just a realist. I do not know. About eleven months ago though, we had our first child. It was an amazing experience, my world was turned upside down. The last eleven months have been nothing like anything I have experienced before, it has been beyond all expectations. To be honest, I still sometimes find it hard to believe I am a father.

My wife is enjoying motherhood just as much as I am enjoying being a father. She has joined two Mom’s groups, one which meets every Monday and the other on Wednesdays. It is really great seeing her make new friends in this manner and to hear about my daughter’s exploits, as she already starts to learn social skills, mingling with the other toddlers. Sometimes I wish I was there to see it all.

We are coming up to my daughter’s first birthday now. With the two Mom’s groups though, we have already been to two of them, for other children. Ours is next, following on from which my Calendar is a disaster. I have three months of first birthday invites; there is not a weekend for us till after Christmas. I understand people like to celebrate this milestone, but does a first birthday really need to be so momentous?

In speaking to my wife, we need to invite forty to fifty people to ours. Most of these are through obligation as we will be invited to theirs. Many are not people I know, most are not people I would socialize with outside the birthday party circuit. It is going to cost me more than $500. If you include all other first birthday parties marked off in our calendar, it actually is going to cost me closer to $1,000 and four months of my life.

The first two parties we attended were interesting too, with games like pass-the parcel, musical chairs and the like. The babies just did not understand. It was parents holding their toddlers filling in the gaps. Some of the Moms certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. The babies were largely oblivious, not understanding anything. I was bewildered, wondering why we were not inside watching the game. I just do not understand why these birthday parties need to be so regimented and childish, when the babies are so young and do not understand.

So what is a man to do with his daughters first birthday? I think I know. I am going to fill a bin with beer and wine and put on a barbecue. The parents can all mingle outside with each other, while the babies crawl around under our feet, enjoying themselves on a picnic rug. There will be no games that the babies don’t understand and no timetable that the adults have to follow. It will just be a chance for the adults to get together and congratulate each other for getting through their first year of parenthood. That after all is what the first birthday is about isn’t it?


write by Goldwin

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