The party I swore you’d never have

The party I swore you’d never have

My first-born, my girl, is about to turn two, or is probably just turned two by time this actually publishes. After her first birthday party I swore I wouldn’t have another one until she was old enough to ask for herself.

I know this all sounds a little harsh but let me explain. On her first birthday party last year, we had a party for her in our garden. We invited family, friends and her little one year old friends whose mothers I met through various ante natal and baby groups. We made a big deal out of it, brought loads of food, got the BBQ going and had a lot of people over. See it wasn’t just her first birthday it was mine. She was my first-born and it my first child was turning one. It felt like an occasion to be marked.

Zara first birthday


However, and it’s a biggy, 4 weeks earlier I had just given birth to our so. He was still in the neo natal unit at this point as he was some two months early. I felt torn between a rock and very very hard place. I wanted and needed to be at home with my daughter celebrating her first birthday (it wasn’t her actual birthday though) but I also wanted to be with my tiny poorly baby who was stuck in his plastic incubator with only hospital staff for company. Thinking about it now still makes me well up.

Zara visiting toby in hospital

I spent the morning getting everything ready for the party, the hospital is an hours round trip so I couldn’t to get there and back in time before kick off. The party came and I spent the entire time, trying to feed and water my many guests, stressed about getting food out, whether the babies were having fun (they were one year olds, they had no idea what was going on), I had to disappear to express milk every three hours, which fell slap bang in the middle of the party. I had to weirdly excuse myself to go milk the cow. I hardly spent much time with my daughter, who incidentally was in a vile mood all day, I handed out cake and party bags and by the end of it had several pissed adults and a few of my friends who had come to visit from my home town who were helping me furiously pack away.

It was getting on for 5/6 o’clock and I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I had not got to my boy and no one seemed to notice. So I did what any self respecting post partum, tired, hormonal mother would do and started crying. I was swiftly booted out the door and sent to the hospital to sit with boy who had been on his own all day. Thank god I got to see him, I couldn’t bear the thought of a day passing where his mum wasn’t there for him.

So all in all the day was very stressful, I was tired, emotional and not long out of the delivery suite.  I shouldn’t forget to mention it rained and were constantly diving in and out of the house for shelter, bringing all the food with us.

Never again.

So when the time came for the second birthday party I just wasn’t going to do it. Until this happened.

Garden partyy

Yes, once again we opened our garden to a flurry of now two year olds and friends and family. Got the Barbie going and dished out the food and drinks.

I swore I wouldn’t get worked up over making this one perfect, it will be what it will be. Part of lightening the load came in the form of a pre packed bundle, of table covers, cups, plates and party bags. Boy did it make life easier having party bags delivered to your door. No roaming the shops for little toys, sweets and whatever your supposed to give the little ones or looking for matching sets of plates and cups and covers. I opted for a Peppa pig theme. As much as I had some swanky stylish pastel colour theme in mind I realised it is a two-year olds party and my two-year happens to rather like Peppa pig. Turns out every two-year old likes Peppa pig, even the plates were a hit who would have thought it.

Peppa pig theme


Inside the party bags, was a noise shaker, a marshmallow, a little toy, a voucher for mums and dads should they wish to use the same company (who don’t just stock for children’s parties, but have a wide range of decorations, balloons, party bags, and party paraphernalia for all ages) and the piece de resistance – stickers. The kids all loved the Peppa pig stickers.

Party bag


We also hired some air flows from a local company to fill the garden, borrowed some toys from a friend and of course put our collection out for everyone to play with. Fortunately the weather held out, until about 3 hours in when it did start to rain and everyone swiftly departed, with party bag!

I stressed a little about the food and drink but didn’t let it take over my day. I tried to get round to all my guests but think I fell short on this one too. I didn’t spend as much time with kids as I would like but the biggest difference was they were both there. My daughter absolutely loved the toys and company, she really had a great day and that certainly made it all worth while. But. Would I do it again? No. But I said that last year

Party collaga

We were kindly sent the party bag, cover, plates and cups bundle from, however all opinions are of course my own. 

Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
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  1. August 3, 2016 / 6:54 am

    I am so glad that her birthday party number 2 went smoother than number 1! I think you put too much pressure on yourself though! People will have had a fab time and wouldn’t expect you to get to them all and the kids have all these people giving them attention. Also as it wasn’t her actual birthday it was okay as you will get to spend that day with her giving her quality time then which is perfect. ???? #triballove

  2. August 3, 2016 / 10:52 am

    you poor thing – what an emotional day the first party was for you ! well done for giving it another go, and the party bags sound great! #bloggerclubuk

  3. August 4, 2016 / 7:16 am

    Woweeee that sounds far too stressful for us! Birthday parties should be fun and we’re sorry that you cried at the first one. Sounds like the second party went well, you have a massive garden so are lucky you have the space to entertain xx love the Peppa theme! #sharingthebloglove

  4. August 4, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Oh my goodness you don’t do things by halves! I’m not surprised you were over tired and emotional the first time round! #ablogginggoodtime

  5. August 4, 2016 / 11:29 am

    My daughter is turning six this month and she wants a party. I can’t wait till she’s over the party-frenzy, because it can be a little stressful. Sigh. Your little one’s party though looked so much fun. I bet everyone had a lovely time :) #sharingthebloglove

  6. August 4, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    I can’t imagine how stressful that first birthday must have been with your son is hospital – I don’t blame you for not wanting to throw another party! It looks like the second birthday party was a success, though – love all the inflatables! I have yet to try to throw a child’s birthday party – we just did a family trip to a safari park for the Popple’s first birthday – but who knows what the second birthday will bring? #ablogginggoodtime

  7. August 4, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Looks like a great party! I’m so glad it went better than last year x #sharingthebloglove

  8. August 5, 2016 / 8:11 am

    I saw your Instagram shot of your garden and thought how amazing it looked with all those toys! I know my two year old would go wild for Peppa Pig decor too – forget the whole Pinterest worthy kids party decor! I’m really glad you had a more enjoyable 2nd party after what sounds like a really stressful and emotional 1st one. Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  9. August 5, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Aww sounds like you guys had the perfect party in the end. high five mamma it looks like a great birthday party and lovely garden i must add. #ablogginggoodtime

  10. August 5, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    That looks like one incredible two year old party. I am sure she had a wonderful time and you felt much better this year knowing both children were there and you didn’t have to split yourself in two. I had a small birthday for my daughter in January to celebrate turning 1 and also said I won’t do another until she asks but here I am less than 6 months to go and already thinking of ideas. Motherhood is a pain in the backside sometimes haha! #ablogginggoodtime

  11. August 7, 2016 / 6:57 am

    Oh wow, I imagine party number 2 was the real celebration. I know you must’ve enjoyed her first birthday party, after all the work you put into it, but half your heart wasn’t there. A piece of your family was missing.

    I didn’t have much of a party for my 1-year-old, mostly just got out and did some sightseeing and hiking. I imagine the response from the kids is a lot more fun the older they get! Thanks so much for sharing, and happy birthday to your girl <3 #KCACOLS

  12. August 7, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    The first birthday party is always stressful, but you had so much more to contend with. I said never again a few times after birthday parties lol. Now mine are older they would rather go to the movies or bowling. I like that as it means I do not really have to do anything lol.

  13. August 7, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    I’m glad you got to enjoy her party this time around! At this age I do think it is more for the parents than the kids so anything you can do to make it easier is a good idea! #kcacols

  14. August 7, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Sounds like birthday number two was (a little) less stressful than the first time round. At least your son was home and able to join in the fun. Lovely pictures. My son would absolutely love that Thomas play tent thing. Was that hired too, it looks great? #kcacols

  15. August 8, 2016 / 6:26 am

    We thought the same about having a 2nd birthday party but still did it regardless! Glad it went well for you and was less emotional than the 1st! #marvmondays

  16. August 8, 2016 / 7:44 am

    Oh you poor thing! I can’t imagine how hard that must’ve been to be away from your baby, and also want to be there for your big girl. No wonder you said ‘not again’! To be honest, we didn’t just did a family outing for birthdays 1 and 2 and didn’t do a proper party until she turned 3yrs. #MarvMondays

  17. August 8, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Preparing kids party can really be stressful, isn’t it? If I can avoid, I would. I’m glad your daughters second birthday party turned out great compared to last year. Looks like a fun party after all. #bigpinklink

  18. August 8, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Oh you poor thing, that first party sounds like a tough one. It’s so hard when we try and stretch ourselves in so many directions, eventually something’s got to snap. So glad that the second party was happier. #KCACOLS

  19. August 8, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Oh, the first party sounded stressful and understandably so. I agree, getting things pre-packed saves alot of time and stress. I remember having to pack party bags late into the night after shopping for them when I all wanted to do was just go to bed. I always say that I would never host a party but then I guess I forget too easily hahaha! But now that the kids are older, it’s easier as well, as I just stick them in a indoor playground or an activity and it’s done in a couple of hours. The second party looks so fun with all the play equipment and the prepacked bags, cover and plates. #bigpinklink

  20. August 8, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    It looks great, and i think the fact that you did this means that you dont just have that one awful memory of what your child’s birthday party was. I honestly dont know how you managed it last year, I was welling up just reading about it and I know when Arthur was born I couldn’t be apart from him ( and still cant to a certain degree!) I have no idea how I would cope with a baby in neo, I hope i never have to be in that situation – you must be a very strong person and you sound like an amazing mama who was obviously trying to do the best for both of her children x Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  21. August 8, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Parties are exhausting. I keep thinking I should hold them on a not-actual-birthday-day but it just never feels right to do that. I do always feel that I have missed out on spending the day with him. #KCACOLS

  22. August 9, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    Sounds like birthday number 2 was a better success! your garden looks like such fun for a party! I’m sure all the children really enjoyed themselves! #KCACOLS

  23. August 9, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Oh bless you, I’m glad the party went well! I know what you mean, we did the same for our little one’s 1st birthday and it is stressful with so many people to see. The bouncy castle and soft play looked amazing 😉 xx #bigpinklink

  24. August 9, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    It’s my daughters joint birthday party this weekend and I am feeling stressed about it and like you I said never again last year. But no where near because of the reasons you did, I feel the pain you went through that first year. I’m pleased your daughter loved her PP party and the sun shone for it. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

  25. August 9, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Oh wow that first birthday was very emotional! Beautiful that you’ve shared it with us and made the second birthday so magical #KCACOLS

  26. August 10, 2016 / 10:51 am

    Oh bless you – I am sorry the first birthday was so emotional but I am glad the second was so much better. Never say never – I look forward to seeing number 3!! Ha ha ha

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  27. August 10, 2016 / 11:58 pm

    Wow, that sounds like such a stressful first birthday party. Glad this one was not so bad. I haven’t done any birthday parties for my two yet. It would really stress me. I will do them when they are old enough & have real friends if they actually want one, but I figure at this age they really don’t care. So I think it makes sense for people who, as adults, enjoy throwing parties, but less for people like me who do not! I’ll wait til the kids are actually after one! 😀 #ablogginggoodtime

  28. August 11, 2016 / 3:18 am

    oh my gosh that must have been so hard!!! I think being torn between our children is one of the hardest things isn’t it. I remember when Aspen was in her first week of big school (and was so clingy to me), her newborn baby brother was rushed to hospital with a life threatening condition. That time whilst he was in hospital I was so torn between my children, wanting to better for my new baby, my new schooler and my poor child last in the middle at age 2 and half! I am glad that this year was a success!!!! The yard looked amazing! #MarvellousMondays #KCACOLS

  29. August 11, 2016 / 8:19 am

    I’m sorry that first birthday was chaos! And to be honest the second one made a bit more sense, birthday parties are for the birthday person to enjoy, right? And what could a 1 year old understand from such a party? I’m sure your next ones will be much better, but if you ever decide to just not throw one until the kids are a bit older, do know that it’s ok to do so. Think about the effort that you put in and how much the kids enjoy it and you’ll know if it’s worth it. xo

  30. August 11, 2016 / 10:23 am

    I have to admit I got a bit emotional reading this, that first party experience must’ve been so hard, with the situation with your son and with hormones still going crazy! I’m so pleased that you did decide to go for it again though, because it sounds like you now have a lovely, happy birthday party memory tucked away for the future! x #KCACOLS

  31. August 11, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Oh my goodness. Bless you. I think you are AMAZING for having a party whilst your precious little boy was poorly and you were still expressing too. I think it’s amazing and both your children are so lucky to have you. The memories you can share with them when they are older will be wonderful. X #Sharingthebloglove

  32. August 11, 2016 / 11:02 am

    What a hugely emotional dilemma for you to be in. It is hard to share yourself mentally between your children at the best of times. I write this in the throws of preparing for my eldest sixth birthday. I used to bake and decorate their cakes and run around trying to make everything perfect. Now we keep it simple. Invite close family and friends and occasionally hire a bouncy castle. I love to celebrate their birthdays. However stressful the run up to them is, they are my beautiful little creations at that should be celebrated. Ps, I am totally crap at party bags so will be keeping a note of the company xxx

  33. August 11, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Aww I can totally imagine how you felt during party number 1. Glad to hear that Party number 2 was much less stressful! #Sharingthebloglove

  34. August 11, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    Wow, what an amazing party.

    The first birthday party must have been really tough. A close friend of mine has just had her second child 12 weeks early. Her daughter is in the critical care unit and will be for at least the next couple of months. Her son turned two 10 days after her second child was born. They had a small party for him, and I can only imagine how stressful it must have been for her to be a hostess at a party whilst her premature baby was in an incubator in hospital.

    I am glad you had a great second birthday party. Pen #KCACOLS

  35. August 11, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    What a horrific emotional time at party 1. That’s a lot of cool play equipment for party 2 #sharingthebloglove

  36. August 12, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Oh wow! Her first birthday sounds so stressful! I’m glad this one went a lot smoother :) #MarvMondays

  37. August 12, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Glad you had a good party, you will have a party every year now I think! Must have been hard for you but you made it. Party bags to your door, genius! Well done for being featured on #sharethebloglove

  38. August 12, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    OhhhI am not surprised that you were reluctant to have another party! But is looks absolutely awesome and as they get older and you can really see them enjoy it I am sure the urge to have another might creep back! #KCACOLS

  39. August 13, 2016 / 4:46 am

    I’m glad the second ran a lot smoother! Other than the rain of course! #kcacols

  40. August 14, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Gosh how hard that must of been last year. Lovely to hear that this year they were both there :) xx #SharingtheBlogLove

  41. August 21, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    Haha, always the way. My first is actually a Christmas Day baby so we only have a small family gathering normally but as he gets older , we’re going to have to give him a proper party a little later in the year. His brother’s actually a Summer baby so they might have to share. >_< Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo