Our First Birthday, Quarantine Style

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: July 13, 2020
Even though we are in July, it seems as though the pandemic isn’t quite over yet. In the last five months, I’ve participated in a virtual baby shower, a drive by birthday party, sent well wishes for graduation via FaceTime. I have friends who have had to cancel their weddings, who have thrown a last minute socially distant bridal showers-- and EVERYTHING in between. I’m not a party planner myself. Growing up my family wasn’t into huge birthday celebrations, we kept it low key. Pre-quarantine, I’ve thought about my daughter’s first birthday, and whether or not I wanted to have a party. I appreciate the mamas who go all-out for a first birthday, I applaud it and I'm here for it. But that's just not me. To me, it feels silly to go all out on a party that she’s going to barely want to participate in and something that she’s definitely not going to remember. I have asked myself so many questions. My family lives in a different state, so do I plan two birthday parties? Where do I buy a balloon that says “one” and aren’t those balloons bad for the environment? Do I make my own cake or buy one? Where do I buy a cake that isn’t loaded with tons of sugar and junk? Who do I invite? What am I going to tell the people who aren’t invited? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. But I currently feel that this whole quarantine is helping me make these first birthday party decisions much easier. I don’t want to be with a big group of people, and most people I know aren’t keen on being part of a large gathering either.
After talking to a friend, however, I have changed my mind on the reason for celebrating. Of course, I want to celebrate the past year of my daughter being on this earth. I want to see her face light up when I unwrap her presents for her and when she takes her first bites of cake. 

My friend reminded me that it is also a celebration of me. I made it a whole year as my daughter's mama.

I survived (and am still surviving) midnight and 3 am feedings, diapers, figuring out which cries mean what, the messes, the wear and tear on my body, the learning, the growth, and the love. Not to mention, we made it through me going back to work, then working from home + momming full time, a break up, a move, and a worldwide pandemic. So, yeah, we’re going to celebrate.
 Celebrating may not look like a huge gathering of friends and family, beautiful decorations, a brand new dress and a cake from a bakery. It might just look like a few close friends, homemade banana bread in a cake mold, playing in the pool, going for a walk and barking at all the dogs we see (yes you read that correctly). It might look like a lot of snuggles, taking pictures, and reflecting on our past year together.

It actually might just look like the perfect day-- celebrating my daughter, celebrating myself, and celebrating us together.

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Category: Fourth Trimester
Tags: first time mom , new mom , single mom , quarantine 2020 , motherhood , birthday party


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