If you have been following our Insta feed, you probably know already that the little one had her 2ND Birthday recently.
*YAYYYY* Two wackiessst years of parenting completed *phew*
We are welcoming the ‘Terrible Twos’ with all the heart and might…..and a lots of ‘sun-tan’ and toddler independence! :p
NO, we did NOT have a socially approved, customary ‘1st, 2nd, 3rd ……. Graaaand birthday party’ with who’s who of town in the guest list. And YES i have no qualms in admitting that its OK that we didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, i am NOT against ‘celebrations’. I am a total birthday freak, have been one ever since I remember. Just that my definition of celebration is slightly different from what is ‘en vogue’ and i am going to list my top 5 reasons for that below. I have also included a few BONUS pictures of lil one’s birthday adventures this year 😀 (stolen from hubs phone since my camera broke down the very first day of our trip, bear with me on the quality plz 🙁 )
Months before the lil’ one was going to turn ONE (last year), anticipations on how we would & ideas on how we ‘should’ celebrate the GRAND bash, started pouring in. Needless to mention, as per the ‘desi trend’ nowadays, everybody was expecting a big FAT (themed?) party. On the contrary, when i announced what i had in mind, i was met with raised eyebrows, shocked expressions and a series of ‘oh reallys?’ Fortunately, my hubs and i, were pretty much on the same page about what we wanted to do for (at least) the first few birthdays.
I hope my friends aren’t already thinking of cutting me off the coming birthday bashes’ guest list :p I thoroughly enjoy the parties my friends throw, but i also TOTALLY relate to the few ones like me who wish not to have one. And most importantly, i honestly LOVVVVE the way we celebrate birthdays (at our place) and i hope we can do it this way in the coming years too. Minimalistic, rich in experience and FULL of substance. So with this post i thought to share my bit on why i ‘choose’ NOT to have a conventional GRAND birthday bash for my girl.
1. It’s more for YOU than for the baby
If we be honest for a second, this way of celebrating is just for US!
Birthday parties require for the preps to begin weeks/months ahead, hence making parents totally engrossed, consumed and exhausted in the process. The truth is that you would stay like that on the ‘big day’ too, hosting all the guests, ensuring they go back home humming praises and handing over verbal accolades for an immaculate bash you threw. Not to forget the ‘post-bash hangover’ you most likely, will encounter.
Most birthday parties i have attended are more about the food, fancy ‘shaadi type’ clothes, those picture-perfect blow dries, event managers, new profile pics/ social media albums etc, than about the baby at all.
2. They won’t even remember it
Not the first one FOR SURE. And PARTY most definitely NOT!
Let’s be fair, what is there for them to remember anyways? There are sooo many ways to give them a memorable one other than throwing a big fat, boring (for them) party. For instance, spend a fun family time with their favorite things n’ people around, instead of overwhelming them with a crowd full of people they don’t even know.
I love the idea of merging family vacations with birthdays. You can have non-stop, back to back days for celebration & plan it in a way where the kids end up having a ball. Recently, i centered our vacation around my girl’s 2nd birthday. I planned those 4-5 days pre & post her birthday in a way where she got to experience her MOST favorite things like seeing animals, fish, her favorite cartoon characters coming to life, rides, Aeroplane/ boats, buses/ trains, sea etc. She is a sucker for all these and she was on Cloud 9 with excitement experiencing these things for the first time in her life. Even after 3 weeks she can CLEARLY recall all the fun she had. Now that’s something i call a memorable way to celebrate……giving them not only a memory but an experience along the way which remains engraved in their minds and helps shape them as a person.
3. Waste of money
For the VALUE you get out of throwing a birthday bash, (most of the times costing as much as a wedding function these days) i think IT IS!
Only yesterday i heard someone bragging about how they had their one year old’s birthday in a marquee recently….erm really? :S
If you have always been the extravagant sort, having a baby around is a good time to tame your ways and narrow down your financial priorities. Spending a hefty sum every month on diapers, milk, nurseries, toys, wardrobe that requires a makeover every few months, doc visits, vaccinations etc already leaves a huge dent on your pocket…..so as to spend some more every year throwing a Valima lookalike birthday bash. Think twice, pahleez!
4. 3S can totally ruin it! (Sickness, sleep or stranger anxiety)
This is at least true for the first two birthdays. There are ALL the chances that the birthday baby at hand, enjoys NONE of it at all, as most of the one & two-year old are going through one of those troublesome phases of teething (cutting those molars), one of those million-times-an-year cold or viral infection, ‘separation/ stranger anxiety’ etc.
I have personally been a part of a lot of mega-level birthday parties where birthday boy or girl was not too happy to be there. At one party, the birthday baby had to go to sleep right after the cake was cut, and at other sooper cute themed party, a two-year old was terribly ill and wouldn’t do anything but cry. Poor chap wouldn’t even want to be there for cake cutting. My heart goes out to those parents who put immense efforts & money to make the event that lavish 🙁
5. You can CELEBRATE a Birthday in many different ways
Just because you aren’t having a party in no way means that you WILL NOT CELEBRATE. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that.
It just means you have different priorities and you think differently. I don’t want to be judgmental but my idea of celebrating has always been more than feeding a couple of hundred people who are otherwise not seen year-round or have no significant impact on your lives whatsoever. Being a minimalist by heart, I have always found that insane. I feel the same for desi weddings and other occasions too. It’s like putting up a fake show and killing the true essence of the celebration.
Alternatively, the sweetest stuff you can do with your kids is to spend a no distraction, zero fuss, one-on-one time with them. Together, you can maybe create something unique with them like a fun keepsake, or write a letter for them which they can read later (i love doing it). Have a fun family photo shoot, maybe? Or plan a vacation together…. a few days of their favorite fun-filled stuff (we did it for her 2nd and i am confident that it worked 100 times better for us than it would have, had we thrown a party). Save for them or help them save all year round and break open their piggy bank on their birthdays and get them whatever they wish to have. This will give them a sense of accomplishment & achievement and will teach them financial management from an early start. Remember i posted this Saving Challenge on the blog a few months back, i will be sharing the outcomes soon. Last but not the least, my MOST favorite way of celebrating is involving kids in a ‘give-back’ activity thus encouraging them to share their celebration with deserving and needy fragments of the society.
I hope this post makes you feel better now and free you of your mommy guilt & shame IF you chose not to have a mega bash for your lil one’s big day. For me, they can have a huge birthday when they grow old enough to ‘choose’ to have one with ‘their own set of friends’ that they end up partying with. For now, i have other ways of ensuring my girl truly enjoys the festivities her birthday can come up with. For record, we DID cut her birthday cake both the times, first one with immediate family and a lot of lil friends from Edhi and second one late at night with a lot of friends from different parts of the world staying in our hotel. Here is a proof picture 😉
Let me know how ‘celebrating or not celebrating’ worked out for you, and how else do you creatively manage to spice up your lil one’s birthdays without throwing a bash.
And don’t forget to sneak a peek into some more pictures of what we did for my girl’s birthday on our instagram xx