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Jane Yee: Cause for celebration

birthday cake
PHOTOS.COM
PARTY TIME: Making it through year one is a cause for celebration, but how big should the celebrations be?

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In three short months Little Vic will turn one year old. What? But that's too soon! I need to start thinking about his first birthday party....

Ninety-six days seems like a lot of time to pull together a little shindig, right? Well for the average mum, perhaps, but for me? The next three months of party planning runs the risk of looking like this: two and a half months of procrastination, followed by a week of laying on the couch, followed by a week of mad panic, followed by the world's lamest birthday party.

Now I know little Vic is probably going to end up having a few lacklustre birthday parties in his lifetime because, well, read that paragraph above again - It's his destiny, poor kid. However, I really want his first birthday to be special. I know he won't remember it, but we will, and it's as much a celebration for us as it is for him because getting through that first year as a parent is a big deal.

When your baby enters the world, no matter how prepared you think you are, that little mite throws you off guard. In the lead up to baby's arrival you know things are going to change dramatically because you're not stupid (and also because everyone you know keeps telling you so) but you really can't comprehend just how different life will be until that baby is there in your house, and you're living it.

Your world gets turned upside down. Your lounge gets turned upside down. Your high heels gather dust in your wardrobe. You trade in your sporty two door hatch for a practical car. You don't get enough sleep. You worry about allergies. You spend more time in the laundry, You spend less time at the salon. You constantly crave cheese (just me?)

Basically, you're a different person existing in a different reality, and it's a huge adjustment to make so suddenly. I mean, heck! One minute you're relaxing at a café with friends, the next you're responsible for the health and safety of a human being! Not a cactus or a goldfish - a human being. And it's not enough to just keep them watered and fed. You also need to nurture them, protect them, consider how decisions you make now might impact on their future... it's a full on job to be thrown into without prior qualifications and you don't get to clock off at the end of the day.

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So yeah, surviving those first 12 months of parenthood is a huge achievement and I think every parent deserves to have a right knee's up along with their baby when the one-year mark rolls around.

And let's not forget the actual baby. Because oh my goodness you never knew you could love someone so much, right? And again, it's something people say all the time, but until that little person invades your world and your heart it's impossible to understand how overwhelming that love can be. So that's another reason I want to celebrate - because my little boy has enriched our lives immeasurably. The first anniversary of the day he entered our world is an opportunity to step outside the fog of everyday life and honour the impact he's had on us. With cake.

Of course hosting the traditional birthday party is just one way of celebrating a baby's first birthday and every family does things slightly differently. So tell me, how did you (or how do you plan to) celebrate your baby's first birthday?

- Essential Mums

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