Family life

What's so wrong with a birthday party registry?

Jennifer Pinarski defends the mom who wrote a so-called "demanding party invitation" for her child's first birthday.

crowd-funding-birthday-parties-blog

Photo: iStockphoto

When I was pregnant with my son Isaac, one of the first things my husband and I did was go to the nearest big box baby gear store and start a gift registry. We spent hours in the store, wandering the aisles with the handheld scanner, adding (in retrospect) a ridiculous number of items to our list. Worse, we were endlessly picky about what we added.

“No, that receiving blanket isn’t the right shade of green. It won’t match the paint in the baby’s room.”

“What do you think about this swing? Don’t you think that we should get the one that has three, not two vibration speeds?”

“I read a review about the DiaperGenie II. Apparently it doesn’t contain smells as well as the original. We must have the original.”

We might have been picky, but we got exactly what we wanted from family members and guests at my baby shower (even receiving blankets in the perfect shade of green). No surprises or duplicate gifts. I joked that I needed to have a registry for the rest of Isaac’s birthdays because it meant I didn’t get anything I really didn’t want or need.

I share the story about my baby registry experience because a Reddit user recently posted an invitation his coworker received to a first birthday party, calling it “The most demanding 1st birthday invite ever.”

viral party invitation for baby

Source: Reddit

The invitation went viral and, on Reddit alone, it received more than 6,000 comments (and counting). Most of the comments range from rude (“These people sound like the most obnoxious parents ever. I hope they aren’t family so you can avoid them and their soon-to-be spoiled brat like the plague”) to sarcastically scary (“I should kidnap their kid to teach ’em a lesson”). Nearly everyone agreed the invitation was over the top. I, however, disagree.

If I was going to post a comment, I’d write: “Good for you for being specific and keeping clutter out of your house.” Because, to me, the invitation looks exactly like what a baby registry looks like, which you never see lambasted on social media. The only difference between this gift wish list and a gift list for a newborn is that there are only four items on it—four items the family actually wants and needs. I’d argue a short list like that isn’t selfish—it’s sensible.

I’ve blogged here before about my kids’ no-gift parties, and I always defend the policy because my kids already have the right amount of books and toys they need to be happy. It’s a shame other people don’t understand that little kids rarely need more than a handful of items.

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children. Read more Run-at-home mom posts or follow her @JenPinarski.