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I was surfing through Yahoo’s highlight reel and saw this headline: Parents spend $109,000 on Twins 1st Birthday

I’m sorry, how much?

I am in the process of planning a 1st birthday for my own son, referred to as Boo-boo from now on. As I plan, I have to continually pull myself back. I am constantly telling myself that it’s only his first birthday and he isn’t going to remember much and that I don’t want to overwhelm him.

In many ways, a child’s first birthday isn’t about the child, but the parent. Some parents go into great detail trying to prove that they are good parents because they had a huge birthday bash for the child’s first birthday. In some cases, it’s because there is a huge family and everyone gets invited.

But what about the child? And what kind of precedent are you setting up by starting with a huge first birthday?

I’ve have decided to have a Henry Hugglemonster themed party. I like the show, Boo-boo likes the show, and his birthday is in October near Halloween, so a monster theme is appropriate. There will be a few children, but mostly adults, nearly all of them close family- grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins- and a few friends.


I’m going to end up doing many of my ideas on my own because Henry Hugglemonster is new to the US and I don’t feel like paying for shipping from the UK. I’ll have themed invitations, monster headbands with antenna, coloring pages, monster cupcakes, and goody bags with stickers, crayons and something big. There will be a cotton candy machine because I already own it.

I keep seeing other ideas and I want to do them, but I don’t want to have a big over-the-top party. I don’t want to overwhelm my son or myself and my husband.

But in our society, bigger and more always seems to mean better. But maybe it isn’t.

I’ve already spent the first year of his life trying to do the best for him, making most of his baby food, buying the best wipes, making sure to use diaper rash cream, not giving him too many toys and trying to limit the number of electronic toys. I’ve made sure that he naps when he’s tired, that he gets clean and his skin doesn’t dry out, that he has a regular bedtime. That he’s comforted when he’s scared or in pain and that he knows that he’s taken care of and loved.

So I need to continue that practice. And that means reigning myself in for the first birthday.

I can spend the big bucks on something else—like his college education.