To all my friends and family members who feel hurt that they did not attend my son's super-small first birthday party: please accept my humble apology. We kept it small on purpose. In fact, there are a number of reasons why I refused to go all-out for my kid's first birthday party, many of which came right down to the fact that I didn't think it would make my son's day any better.
Of course, every kid and every family is different, so that's not to say I don't see the appeal of going big with a first birthday celebration. I totally do, especially when there are lots of friends and family around who've been a part of a little one's first year. I could imagine it makes complete and perfect sense to include those people in a grand celebration. I could also understand a mother who wanted to throw an extravagant shindig because she had a difficult pregnancy, labor, delivery, and/or first year of parenthood. I mean, don't you think an expensive cake and a few cute pictures of your kid are at least warranted? I do.
However, in our case, it simply didn't feel right for my son, and specifically, for his personality. He's turned into quite the cheerful, excitable toddler, but at the time he was overwhelmed by even a handful of people singing to him. In fact, one small muffin with a candle in it was "too much." I still think we made the right choice, and here are a number of factors that made that choice make sense: