Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mommy Envy: The First Birthday

Do you want to know one of the negative aspects of being connected to other moms online? Mommy envy. This ugly green-eyed monster rears its head from time to time.

Huh. Envy has bad posture. I never knew that.

I just have to keep reminding myself that I live in the real world. Not in Lollipop Bizarro Land where money grows on trees. Which is where other moms must live.

Now I want some candy.

The latest object of my mommy envy? First birthday plans.

I love having parties. I make some cheese dip, grab some trays of cold cuts and beer from the supermarket, and if I'm feeling domestic I'll make some cookies. People come over (usually board games are involved) and have a good time. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am, it's easy-peasy.

My plan for my daughter's first birthday: Go to a party store. Spend $20 on paper plates and utensils, maybe a buy a couple of balloons and a banner. Make a cake. Grill some hamburgers and hot dogs. Have about ten family and friends attend. Have fun.

Apparently I've been throwing parties incorrectly this entire time. I was unaware that parties require themes, matching place settings, multiple centerpieces. Elaborate favors. Theme based food. Matching cupcake liners. These two blogs in particular, the celebration shoppe and the hostess with the mostess make me feel...well, slightly inadequate. But I can't stop looking through them. They're like crack but instead of making you turn tricks on a street corner for your next fix they make you question your worth as a mother and leave you coveting things that you really can't afford and don't need. So it's exactly like crack minus the hooking.

It isn't just party blogs that are way over the top. On the mommy boards that I frequent I get to hear of parents renting out halls. 100+ guests. Renting an inflatable bouncy machine. Petting zoos, $10 worth of stuff in favor bags, clowns, magicians. All for the FIRST birthday party.

I understand getting more elaborate when your child is older but he or she isn't going to remember their first birthday. It seems slightly excessive to spend over $100 on it.

I think what bothers me more than the money is the amount of frustration it represents. There is no way in hell that these parties are easy to throw together. Every little detail shows hours of work and effort. I imagine all of the Bree Van de Camp moms of the world who have a heart attack if something is out of place.

These are parties for CHILDREN, my friends. Your child should have fun at their own party instead of having you trail behind them saying "No, don't touch that. No, don't play with that." Note to all: If you don't enjoy the party you're throwing because you worry too much, you're doing it wrong.

Yes. I'm also jealous of those gorgeous parties. I consider throwing one myself. Then I tally up how much time and money it would take to do something that awesome. Then I think that a backyard bbq sounds like a fabulous idea.

There are definitely some happy mediums. My cousin throws pretty awesome birthday parties for her children and doesn't spend a butt-load of money. She also happens to be supermom. In honor of her and the other mom's who have nice parties without being outrageous, I've decided to have a first birthday theme for Mo-mo: butterflies. Or maybe cupcakes. (Yes, cupcakes is an actual theme, not just a food choice.)

All I know for sure is that she's going to have fun, I'm going to have fun, and Batman will have fun. There will be cake and grilled meat. And really, that's all one needs in a first birthday.

There is also a 95% chance that Mo-mo needs this dress. And matching cupcake liners.


  1. I so agree with you!! lol We are doing a "hello kitty" theme meaning we will have Hello Kitty invitations and pink plates! lol We also have cupcake liners with cupcakes on them and Savannah will have a matching tutu. That is it!! lol

  2. Love the dress! Of course she must have it...hint; tell her to ask Mimi or Nana for it. You know we can't resist : )