My sister is not one to dish out advice. She listens, but mostly keeps her opinions to herself. My sister and I were talking, and I told her how I had been stressing over what to do about Aubrey's 1st Birthday. In an ideal world, I'd have a big house that could handle a first birthday party. In a semi-ideal world, I'd at least have enough money to rent a hall to throw the party (who knew that halls cost $500!). Unfortunately, neither of these situations reflects my life situation right now.
So I was telling my sister how bad I felt because I couldn't throw a big shindig for Aubrey's birthday, and she said to me, "It's a birthday party, not a wedding reception". For some reason, those words really resonated with me. As I was googling first birthdays, I could not believe my eyes at how carried away you can let yourself get. From $100 invitations to gourmet cupcakes, you can spend a fortune on your child’s 1st birthday.
I would never judge someone who threw a huge party, because truth be told, if I had the bank account to have a big bash I would love to! But in MY life situation, I was trying to plan a party that I simply could not afford. My sister's words helped me to remember that it's okay not to have a huge party with a fancy cake, catered food, and a 75 person guest list...it's a birthday party, not a wedding reception.
In the end, we decided that we will just invite our family and have it at my mom's. The house will be filled with people who love Aubrey, and she will have so much fun seeing and playing with all of her family. We'll have all of the 1st birthday staples—things such as party hats, balloons, and a yummy cake. But I won't miss a mortgage payment trying to keep up with the Joneses.
As I shop for the birthday necessities, I will remember the mantra, "it's a birthday, not a wedding reception" when I am tempted to buy something that just isn't in my budget. Besides, I only have 15 more years until Aubrey starts hitting me up for some outrageous sweet sixteen party, and I have a feeling my mantra won’t hold up as well in an argument with a 15 year old!