It officially happened. No matter how much I pushed, pulled and ran, Tate still turned one. Eventually I will figure out how to stop time, but until then I guess this little Tot will just keep growing. And if he is, then I have to get my party planning skills in order.
Let’s admit it, we all have the grand idea planning this immaculate party for our child. Guest list perfected, decorations to the “t”, birthday outfit for both you and baby on fleek; but if you’re like me, reality sets in and you realize the party is 4 weeks away and you haven’t done diddly squat. Like not even sent out invitations!
Let me give you a little background. I am a procrastinator. Always have been and always will be. Nursing school? Catch me up at 3am studying for tests. Packing my hospital bag? You guessed it, a week out. Time for vacation? My bags are definitely packed the night before. No matter the occasion just expect me to be last minute. I call it my way of ensuring “perfection”.
So when it came to Tate’s birthday party, expect nothing less than my “perfection method”. Now remember that high hopes thing? I definitely thought I would be that mom with everything planned in advance. But all of a sudden I looked up and it was time. But guess what? You’re girl still got it done! And it was pretty good if I say so myself.
There were moments of pure bliss while planning this party and there were moments of pure chaos. So here’s my do’s and dont’s for my fellow last minute mamas:
- Wait to get your location. This was the ONE area I was proactive with and I am so thankful for that. With all the kiddos in the world places fill up quickly and I did not want to be left without a place to have my last minute plans come to life.
- Wait on your cake. Again with the filling up. If you’re getting a cake from a traditional grocery store or bakery feel free to take your time. Up until a few hours before you can grab a cake from your local BJ and slap the birthday kid’s name on it. But if you’re looking for a gourmet personalized cake you’re definitely going to want to get on it. I contacted my baker weeks in advance and then again about a week out from my party to finalize the cake details to ensure his cake came out perfect. And of course it did, she’s amazing.
- Wait on the birthday kid’s outfit. Please take this advice, I learned this the hard way. Tate’s birthday theme was “Bearly One” and I wanted one of the boy’s Polo shirts with the teddy bear on it. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off the day before the party and was completely unsuccessful. I found ONE hoodie that was two sizes too big and did not stay on during the party. But hey at least his shoes had teddy bears, right?
- Stop and enjoy the moment. Whether last minute or in advance planning a first birthday party is a big deal. And like I always say, you’ll never be at this period of your life again with this child. Take a second and enjoy the moment. This was big for me. I felt Tate’s first year went so fast. I tried my hardest to take the moment in and not stress.
- Figure out your theme in advance. This makes every other aspect of planning easier. And allows you to purchase supplies last minute. Since I knew Paddington Bear was my theme it made it easier to Etsy, Pinterest and dollar store a lot of the decorations and party supplies at the last minute.
- Accept help. Don’t try to be supermom and do it all by yourself, especially when you’re last minute. Allowing help from family members relieved some stress on my part.
Regardless if you start the planning process for your little one’s birthday early or late, it brings about the same emotions. Your baby is growing up! And for some parents this is easy and for some this is hard. But when it comes to party planning it doesn’t have to be, even if you’re a late starter like me. You can totally take your time and still get everything you want. Take it from me!