No one to invite to 1st birthday? Advice needed... — The Bump
June 2011 Moms

No one to invite to 1st birthday? Advice needed...

Okay, the title of this post sounds really sad.  But... DH and I live far away from our families (4 hour plane ride) and they are mostly who I would invite to DD's first birthday.  

Other than that, I work full-time and don't have much time to make local mommy friends.  I have a friends at work but a lot of them don't have kids or live far away (I commute an hour to work).  DH goes to med school and a lot of his friends might come but hardly any of them have kids because they are all a lot younger than us. DD goes to daycare but it's really hard to make friends with the parents when you only see them for 30 seconds in the morning when they're dropping their kids off.

I really want to make DD's first birthday special- not over the top, but I wanted to dress her up in a cute outfit, have a party, do a smash cake, take lots of pictures... but I seriously don't know if I have anyone to invite.

I've considered flying home solely for the purpose of celebrating DD's birthday there, but we're already traveling a lot this year and I don't have a lot of time off.  I could try to celebrate a few weeks early when we're home for a wedding (hopefully the bride and groom wouldn't mind sharing their weekend?).

Any suggestions?  Should DH and I just dress her up and take pictures and let her smash cake but not invite anyone?  Should I try to celebrate a few weeks early at home? I feel bad... I see all these cute party ideas and I feel like I'm failing DD somehow because we don't have local friends with children who might want to come... and I don't want her to be friendless because of us... Am I totally making a big deal out of something she's not going to remember anyway?

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Re: No one to invite to 1st birthday? Advice needed...

  • she's definitely not going to remember it, so decide what YOU and your husband want, and do that. Don't worry about her feeling like she's missed out on something :)

    It would be just as special to dress her up and give her a smash cake and take a lot of pictures and video with just the two of you. If you'll be in town with your family a few weeks before her birthday, you could celebrate it then with the family, and then do just a family dinner with the 3 of you on her actual birthday.

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  • I lived 1700 miles away from my brothers when they had kids and I always got my butt home for their birthdays. I would let your folks know NOW that you plan on doing something for your child and hopefully they will make plans. It is your baby's FIRST birthday.. they should make an effort.

    If they cant make it, I say dress her up, and go out to eat with your husband and celebrate! You could go to a fun place to eat (we'd go to sushi) and just go at a reasonable hour so we weren't bothering everyone BUT we'd get to enjoy a nice dinner. Then we'd either order dessert and bring a candle for her or bring a cupcake. 

    Whatever you do, just make it special and take pictures. In the future your child can look back and see that you did the best with what you could and that will be all that matters..

    Also, I would have loved to go to first birthday parties where NO one had kids except the host when I didn't have kids. IT would have been so fun. (When I didn't have kids it was always awkward and all the parents talked together and if you didn't have a kid you were totally left out). So, invite your childless friends and let them celebrate with you. 

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  • imageCarlaAndJames:

    she's definitely not going to remember it, so decide what YOU and your husband want, and do that. Don't worry about her feeling like she's missed out on something :)

    It would be just as special to dress her up and give her a smash cake and take a lot of pictures and video with just the two of you. If you'll be in town with your family a few weeks before her birthday, you could celebrate it then with the family, and then do just a family dinner with the 3 of you on her actual birthday.

    I agree with all of this!

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  • You aren't failing her, you've perhaps set your expectations a little too high for yourself.  The first birthday party really isn't for our LO but for ourselves, it is the photo opportunity, time for the parents to show off.
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  • I think either the option of celebrating a few weeks early with your family or having friends who don't have kids come celebrate. I've been to 1st birthday parties before having LO where there were no other kids and it was really fun. Granted, they weren't as "themey," but there was a smash cake, food, decorations.

    For us, most of our friends don't have kids yet, or if they do, they have babies like us. So if I do a theme, it wont really be appreciated by any of the kids, but by the adults. I'm thinking about doing a colors theme for that reason. Just based on how you described the people you would potentially invite to DD's birthday from where you live, though, I would probably lean toward celebrating a few weeks early with family.

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  • We're pretty much in the same situation.

    ILs (and all of MH's extended family) live 12 hour car ride away and my parents(and all my extended family) are a 4 hour car ride away.

    We haven't decided what we are going to do yet.  We will probably do a party at my parents house and then just do a small thing (cake and presents) with ILs.

      
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  • Oh my goodness! I could've written this post exactly!  I was just talking to dh about having no friends with babies and who were we going to invite to her 1st bday party. We both live far from our families as well and I was contemplating about going to my parents house where there are about 5 cousins who live close.  I told him I felt like such a loser parent because we don't have very many local friends. All of dh's friends are older, therefore have older children (high school and college). I'm interested to find out what your responses will be.  Hey if all fails, we can go to each other lo's 1st bdays since I live in VA and you live not too far away in Bmore (I moved to VA from Bmore about 5 years ago).  I do have a sister that lives there with my niece who would definitely travel down for the party but that's only 1 kid. Good luck and if I think of anything I'll let you know!
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  • Celebrate a few weeks early with fam and then with you and DH on her bday. 
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  • You sound like me! My immediate family lives here (parents, brother, and sister- but neither sibs are married or have kids), so it will just be the 7 of us (including DH, me, and LO).

    ILs live 4 hours away, so I will invite them up on another day (they have an out of town meeting on her bday). I have one friend with a baby, ironically born the same day. We decided to do our own family parties, and have a small joint one together. We decided we are going to invite our friends without kids anyway. They're our friends and if they don't want to come, they don't have to.

    I agree with PP- tell your family NOW if you want them to come. They might not be able to, but you can at least let them know that you'd love to have them visit for LO's special day. If they cannot come, have a small party the weekend of your cousin's wedding. They only way he or she would mind is if they're incredibly selfish. You can always have the party the next day or something. It seems silly to all be in town together and NOT celebrate, you know?

    If having other babies there is important to you, you could always ask the daycare for 3 or 4 friends that DD likes to play with, and send them an invite. Who knows- other working moms might LOVE the opportunity to make a mommy friend who lives close by! I know I would!

    If none of that seems right to you, then just celebrate the 3 of you. LO won't remember and the important thing is that you guys reflect on LOs special year. You could even make a small video slideshow for you and DH to watch on TV or something. DH and I plan on writing LO a letter for her 1st birthday and putting it in her baby book. We each wrote her a "love letter" before she was born, and we plan on adding this one to it. I will probably do the same thing for her 18th birthday and wedding day. I am very sappy and never had a baby book etc, so I might take it too far. Ha. GL!

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  • She is so not going to remember it!

    BUT, I was in your shoes with DD1...same thing, we lived in FL where DH was getting his doctorate, I worked and our families lived in MA and RI.  I felt horrible about her first Birthday.  So, we did end up flying home.  My parents through her a party there that was over the top!  On her actual Birthday I made cupcakes and we sang to her and let her smoosh the cupcake and eat it. But I didn't have a lot of work friends that lived in town and same, all the med students were younger than us or at least not married with a kid!

    I do understand b/c I was there.

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  • imagelovesdogs13:
    Oh my goodness! I could've written this post exactly!  I was just talking to dh about having no friends with babies and who were we going to invite to her 1st bday party. We both live far from our families as well and I was contemplating about going to my parents house where there are about 5 cousins who live close.  I told him I felt like such a loser parent because we don't have very many local friends. All of dh's friends are older, therefore have older children (high school and college). I'm interested to find out what your responses will be.  Hey if all fails, we can go to each other lo's 1st bdays since I live in VA and you live not too far away in Bmore (I moved to VA from Bmore about 5 years ago).  I do have a sister that lives there with my niece who would definitely travel down for the party but that's only 1 kid. Good luck and if I think of anything I'll let you know!

    Aww, thanks. Wink I guess we could always try to do a bumpie 1st birthday party for those of us in the VA/MD area! I haven't gone to any of the get-togethers because I don't really want to drive an hour with DD in the car, but for a birthday party I could be up for it. :)

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  • Thanks for all the advice- you're right, it's definitely more for me than her, but I want her to have pictures one day to look back on to know that we made it special for her, you know?  My parents always made my birthdays so special, I want to do the same for her.

    I think you're right that I could throw a small family party the weekend of the wedding- they're getting married on a Friday night, so I'm sure if I did something Saturday afternoon or something they probably wouldn't mind- of course I would ask first to make sure they're not planning something else.  I'll look into that as a possibility....

    Then I think we could just do a small party with the three of us for her real birthday, or maybe invite a few of our local friends over for a party too...  I'm glad to hear that people might be interested in the party even if they don't have kids (obviously we would try to have adult beverages and things. :)).

    Thanks, I'm feeling a little better about it!

     

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  • We're in the same boat-- I have 4 close friends in the area, 1 never shows to anything, 1 will be on his honeymoon, and 1 will be on her annual family month-long summer trip.

    So.... we're going to do just a smash cake with possibly just us and 1 or 2 friends at our apartment on her bday, and a party in NC at my parents later. The problem we are having is that it's my father's 60th bday a month after LO's 1st bday. My Grandma wants to throw my father a big party and everyone is already planning on traveling up for that... so, no way they are coming twice.

    So, debating having LO's bday a little late so everyone can come...

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  • We have some friends who started there family several years before any of the rest of us did, so when their DS turned 1 they had a pool party, but there were like no kids there, mainly just twentysomethings. So they grilled out and had beer, and it was lots of fun. So I'm in favor of having your local friends over for a casual party if they'd be up for it.
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  • imagebabysteps23:
    Shes not going to remember it so whatever you want to do is probably what is right.  If your work friends don't have kids and you don't normally involve them in LO related events I probably wouldn't start now, I'd feel kinda awkward if someone I worked with invited me to their kid's party, especially if I didn't have children myself.  I think if you just dress her up and do something nice as a family that would be sufficient.  Why don't you use the money you would have used to travel to do a professional smash the cake photo session?  I'm dying to do one of these!  Anyway whatever you do as long as mommy and daddy are there it will be special!

    That's a cute idea!  I have always thought those photo sessions were super fun...

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  • DH and I are not into the whole spend-your-life-savings-on-a-birthday-party type thing. Ok, maybe its not that bad. But we just aren't into having a party where DD will get oodles of toys she doesn't need. I follow the "less is more" rule with toys and let's be honest, the one thing you get when you invite friends to a birthday party is toys. That being said, we are having a small family party for DD. 15 people, including the 3 of us. If you invite your families, do you think they would come? I see nothing wrong with having a party with you, YH, and your LO!


     

      
  • If you don't have many parent friends, maybe you could stage it like a small get together/BBQ and just do a cake as well. That's kind of how we're doing it. I live close to all of my family but there are no kids under 9 so it'll be a BBQ and cake
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  • My sister is a 5 hour drive from our family.  Her daughter is 3 now, but she still has all of her birthdays here.  I'm not sure when that will stop, but for now it works.

    Maybe you could use it as a chance to schedule a visit home?

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