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2nd Birthday DIY Photoshoot at home – My lil girl

I love all things birthday parties. The planning, the frustrations, the excitement, the clothes, the food, and Mostly the presents/gifts. These are the lil things in my world that make me so very happy. However, for 2 years now, I did not throw a birthday party for my daughter. I know, this is completely contradicting my love of Birthday parties but in my defense, I had good reasons. See, at the age of 1, all my daughter knew was Mommy and Daddy and for her that was everything….It still is.she was happy; in fact we were all happy! But, it’s not that easy for a First Time Mom to just look away and not want to plan her lil boy/girl’s birthday party. And so as it got closer and closer to her 1st birthday date, I started the planning,the organizing and all that until I had to think about the guests…..this is were reality kicked in. We knew nobody. And No, this is not because we are anti-social people but rather that we had just moved to the new location. So long story short, we kind of decided to put the birthday party on hold. 
On the day she turned 1, we bought her gifts and sang for her and then continued with our routine. She was not even bothered at all. Poor thing had no clue what was happening with all the singing and to toys surrounding her…..*Sigh*
Anyway, fast forward to another year later. Now my daughter is in school, she has friends, she talks way too much, developing an attitude….She’s exactly what a toddler is. Again, I spent nights and days on Pinterest pinning ideas for her 2nd birthday party. I swear, those were the happiest moments. I had printed a whole bunch of pictures and drew up a guest list, the works. Until 1 night I decided to have a chat with her dad to actually figure out why we wanted the Birthday party and whether or not it was necessary. 
We are pretty simple parents so we made this as emotional free as we possibly can and at the end, we decided not to throw the birthday party and again, we were all happy. There’s some people who are still judging me to this day for the decision but honestly, I’m okay with it but because I know there’s probably some parent out there who’s in the same situation and trying to decide whether or not to throw a birthday party, I thought I should share our reasons for not throwing a party together with alternatives to do instead of throwing a party below.
  • The Guests
We keep a very small circle of friends and out of the people we have as friends, about a single quarter of them have kids. It honestly did not make sense for us to invite all these people a 2 year old’s birthday party and have them put up with kids, buy gifts, and pretend to be having a time of their lives. It wasn’t going to be fair on them and I don’t know about you but we saw a disaster. Unhappy guests, cranky kids, overtired toddlers and just a whole lot of noise. And with this, we got a step closer to making our decision.
  • Cost of throwing a Birthday Party
It goes without saying that birthday parties are expensive and irrespective of whether or not it is for your only child, it still does not justify the huge spend of money. The budget we had in mind and the actual amount of money we needed to cover the birthday party were totally different. The actual was way too high and personally, I feel it is ridiculous to spend a lot of money on something that the person you spending it for won’t even remember. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and I’ll do just about anything for her. No amount of money can stop me from doing anything for her but I don exercise a level of discipline when it comes to money.

With these 2 things set out, we were comfortable to decide against throwing a birthday party. But we still needed to do something for our lil girl. Not throwing her a birthday party didn’t mean we didn’t want to celebrate her and/or with her. So we brainstormed a lil bit and we came up with a few good ideas to do in place of throwing a party. Of course we couldn’t do all of them on the same day but i’m going to share the ideas we had with you below in case you are interested 🙂 .

1st Birthday Party for 3 at home

  • Throw a party for Immediate Family only [ Mom, Dad, and Baby] – I know this sounds a lil weird after I just spent the last 10min talking about how much it is a waste to throw a birthday party but this is different. When it’s just the 3 of your ; or however many you are, it’s much more easier and a whole less costly to throw a birthday party. Let’s be honest, most of the parents throw birthday parties mostly for themselves rather than for the kid. Now imagine how much fun it’ll be when you have only your family there with you and you get to work around your family schedule. For our daughter’s birthday party, we did exactly this. We bought a pack of balloons, I baked a cake, we braai’d some meat and had a great time. We worked around her nap time schedule and our dinner time. So by the time we were done, we all took baths and headed straight to bed. There was no mess, and certainly no waste of money. 
  • Do a DIY photoshoot at home – Nothing is more special than having awesome and messy pictures of your lil one and knowing that you shot them yourself. Cake smash for a 1st birthday has become very popular and there’s no law that says it has to be done by a professional photographer. All you need is a white background, a smartphone or camera, your lil one, a birthday banner[totally optional] and some balloons and you’ll be ready to go. The most you can spend on this is R200 since you already have most of the things you’ll need at home. But I can promise you, you’ll never forget the day.
  • One of the photos we took during a DIY for her 2nd bday
  • Have a picnic at home – Not all of us live/stay closer to the park and not all of us have cars to drive in to go to the park. So having a picnic at home, in your back / front yard is another way you can celebrate your lil one’s birthday. You’ll need the normal everyday food that you have in your fridge and/or freezer but you’ll be guaranteed to have some fun. It really doesn’t take much to please a toddler and in their world, as long as Mommy and/or Daddy are there, they’ll be happy. 
  •  Spend the day with the grandparents – This is of course applicable if you do not stay with your parents – baby’s grandparents. I know from experience that my daughter always has the best of times when she spends time with her grandparents. We don’t live with them and it’s a bit of a drive to get to them but every chance we get, we visit them. So rather than spending money on throwing a birthday party, consider spending the day with extended family. Grandparents are also always delighted to spend time with their grand kids and it’s such a blessing for lil ones to have grandparents.
  • Visit an Orphanage home – I believe children should be taught early on in life to have compassion and to always appreciate what they have. There’s no better way to teach children this than to take them and spend some time with kids at the orphanage. They’ll enjoy interacting with other children afterall, which child doesn’t love playing with other children :).
  •   Have an Intimate dinner date at home – after-all, your child’s birthday is the day that you became a parent for the first time and/or a parent to yet another precious lil soul. So why not make it a very romantic family event! You can dress up, have a nice home-cooked meal and at the end have some ice cream – or any dessert – and then open gifts for the birthday boy/girl.
And with this I have come to the end of this post. I am not a cheap parent and I want nothing but the best for my children. I want them to have happy childhood memories and if they can’t remember, that’s okay because I’ll show them pictures. But more importantly, I want my family to be happy.  If there’s something else that yields the same and/or even better results at a much lower cost and/or reduced stress levels, I’m much more happier to go ahead and do it. Like they say, a happy mom equals happy family.