4 March 2016

Celebrating Two Without a Big Party. Or Disneyland.

K is turning two in less than two weeks. We went back and forth over whether to throw her a second birthday party. A lot of her little pals have had parties, and I was starting to feel the pressure a couple of months ago. Should we or shouldn't we?

This is definitely a first world problem, but something to ponder, nonetheless.

First of all, we threw K a gigantic first birthday. It was over-the-top by my standards, but, we wanted it to be special. It is also a Korean cultural tradition to have a big first birthday party called a dohl. So we really went all out, and I was party planning for months. It seriously felt like I was preparing for a mini wedding - there was an open bar, planner, photographer, and a baker. The party was thrown for my daughter, but really it was for me, my husband, and our friends and family to enjoy. I have no issues admitting that, because, come on.

At two, I still think K is at an age where she won't really remember a birthday party and it would mostly be thrown as an excuse for the adults to socialize. So awhile back, I came up with the perfect solution: no birthday party, but we would take K to Disneyland instead! It would be her first trip. We'll shell out $200+ to run around all day with our mouse ears on. Problem solved.

Well, not necessarily.

I talked to a few other moms and thought about it some more. K gets overstimulated easily. I think most people get overstimulated at Disneyland. But K is in full-on toddler mode and I'm talking tantrums galore. Overstimulation seems to make it all much worse. I concluded (sadly, because I love Disneyland) that K is still a bit young to truly enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth. Knowing me, I would feel tons of pressure for us to have the BEST.DAY.EVER, and I just don't think she's ready for all of that. I want her to be excited about the Disney characters and really want to be there. As a result, I am adding Disneyland to our future "must do" checklist, but passing on it in the near future.

By now, you're probably like, "Ok, then just don't have a party or Disneyland. Why all the rationalizations?" I feel you.

I wanted to write my thought process down, because moms (and dads) feel pressure to do it up big for every birthday party and major milestone. While I think parties and big celebrations are all well and good (see K's first birthday), it's also okay to tone it down. You should do what's comfortable, affordable, and meaningful to you! Some kids are pumped and ready for Disneyland at age two or younger. Some aren't. It never occurred to me that it might not be a good idea because I see tons of young children on Facebook and Instagram at Disneyland. They look like they're loving it. But would my child love it? We'll give it a try in maybe six months to a year.

We will still celebrate her birthday - just us and immediate family.members. She will still get gifts, cards, and a cake. But, it will be a small, intimate affair. I plan on getting a little teary realizing it's been two whole years since I first set eyes on this little, helpless babe that has grown into a sassy, opinionated toddler. I plan on taking photos and putting them in her scrapbook so she will be able to look back and see all the love that surrounded her on her birthday.

This is what is meaningful to me as I get ready to wish my little girl a happy two years. The other stuff can wait.

4 comments:

  1. I'm with you! I didn't throw 2nd or 3rd birthdays for J or N, but threw N a small home party with a few of her closest friends because she said she wanted to celebrate. We did throw dohl's for them too because Korean tradition! Overall, we try to be mindful and realistic and keep our priorities in order (looks different for everyone - some people LOVE throwing and creating and planning parties but that's just not me). It can be so easy to get swept up in this pinterest, social media world and try to do what everyone else is doing, so I try not to succumb if it doesn't make sense for our fam!

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    1. I agree 100%!! Your kids are so happy and so loved. :) It's great to hear you guys are being true to yourselves!

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  2. I think it is so smart to go easy when she is young! I think too birthdays are so unique in how the person feels, I am a total huge fan of my own birthday but Fredrik is really mellow about his which used to bother me because I wanted to do it all up for him like we did for me but realized he is happy with a special meal and cake so why push it!

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    1. So true!! Every birthday is worth celebrating - how big the celebration depends on the individual. I'm excited for the time when K has more of an opinion about her own birthday and I can follow her lead. :)

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