Why Do We Throw Such Crazy Birthday Parties?

Posted by Joanne Ma on

My confession on birthday parties.

Ok. So here’s the deal. I never thought I’d be the type of mom who would try and create the most elaborate birthday ever for my child. I don’t even remember the last time I planned a party for myself. So when my daughter asked for a fairy garden tea party in her very enthusiastic voice, I decided I’d suck it up and try to create something she’ll never forget. Mostly because she’s never been so excited about her birthday until now. Which also tells me she’s starting to become interested in things and that I should start taking note of these interests if I want to build a stronger connection with her.

So here’s why I think we, as mamas, sometimes take things to the extreme – especially with birthdays.

 Two reasons: 

  1. Social-Emotional and Communicative Development.

 Developmentally it’s important to capture major milestones or events in a child’s life to improve their episodic memory. The more they’re able to recall these shared memories, the stronger their experiences will become. They’ll be more emotionally invested in other events and be able to express these feelings and emotions in a more positive and effective way. Learning to express emotions at a young age will further strengthen their ability to become more self-aware of their feelings and increases their ability to also self-regulate to what is “socially appropriate.” What event is more exciting then their own birthday?? Of course, this means actually having it captured and then talking about it afterwards. Frequently talking about the details of the day improves their memory and communication. For example, having a themed birthday party of their most favourite things will surely increase their communication (their initiations to conversations) as all they want to do is “talk” about it. This gives us an advantage to really shape their descriptive language and perhaps even help develop more functional language. So really, throw the frickin birthday party, get someone to snap photos, and just continually talk about it to help bring out those positive emotions.


  1. It’s a celebration of a birthday. No, it’s actually a celebration of your birth day.

 Let’s be honest. Birthday parties are just so much work. Pinterest doesn’t help make you feel any better when really you just want to order a cake from Whole Foods and call it a day. But, I think the reason why we put so much effort in the planning and executing a birthday party (whether it’s big or small) is so that we not only gather all the people who means the world to this child and to celebrate her life… but it is also to celebrate YOU bringing forth that life. Especially for first birthdays. I mean, there are now real ponies involved at first birthdays! Why!? The said child can’t even ride on it let alone remember it. So why create such a magical environment for a birthday? Well, why not? It really is a celebration of the day you physically, emotionally, and mentally gave it your all. Never in your life have you’ve been so committed to the pain and stress knowing what the end result would bring. You deserve to be celebrated. You deserve to create an environment to celebrate the child you birthed. You deserve to be acknowledged as the mom of this child who doesn’t even know half the amount of love you have for her. Birthdays are worth celebrating. So whether you like to create an Instagram worthy spread or simply order your favourite pizza for the crowd, just capture it. Hire someone, ask a friend, whatever you do… just capture it. Better yet, print out the photos. Bring it out often and talk about it. Let her lead the conversation with the excitement in her voice and try mirroring that excitement. It's a celebration of the both of you. That’s how we create and strengthen memories. And that’s how we can further connect with our child.







This party was featured on Lenzo. Click here to view more on the party. Thanks to Kristina Cross from the Swank Social for co-styling the party. Our daughters both turned four within weeks apart and have developed a true friendship over their shared interest in fairies. Naturally, we celebrated their birthdays together and created a fairy garden tea party in the heart of downtown Vancouver.


Photos: Type A Photography.

Cake: Bluebird Cakery

Cookies: Sweet Conflict

Macarons: Ladurée + Thierry

Stationary: Minted

Fairy: In the Company of Fairies

Cake Topper: Confetti & Sparkle

Crowns + Fairy Wands: The Swank Social


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