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Mom Shares Her Controversial Take On Kids’ Birthday Parties, Gets Slammed
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Mom Shares Her Controversial Take On Kids’ Birthday Parties, Gets Slammed

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Celebrating birthdays is something billions of people across the world do every year. Whether you prefer to throw a huge party with all of your friends or have a quiet night at home with your partner and some delicious cake, as long as you feel loved, there’s no wrong way to celebrate your special day.

While many of us choose to host a gathering when we turn a year older, one mom recently shared on TikTok that she won’t be throwing her daughter a party every single year. Below, you’ll find the controversial video that Marissa Light posted, as well as a conversation with Marissa and some of the responses that invested viewers shared.

Many children look forward to celebrating their birthday the entire year

Image credits: Vlada Karpovich (not the actual image)

So this mom shocked the internet by revealing that she only plans to throw two birthday parties for her daughter

Image credits: marissalight

“Under no circumstances will I be throwing my daughter a birthday party every single year. Here’s the deal, she is getting a first birthday party, and she is getting a sweet 16. And she is getting a graduation party. Other than that, she is not getting any more birthday parties.”

Image credits: marissalight

“Now, I have been to many children’s birthday parties, whether they were three, whether they were seven, whether they were 12, whether it be family, whether it be friends, and I’m sorry, but as someone who did not have a kid at the time, they were not enjoyable. And I don’t even think the kid noticed that I was there.”

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Image credits: marissalight

“I am not going to force that on my friends and family. Now look, if you are someone who genuinely enjoys throwing your child a birthday party, pop off queen, do what you want to do. I’m not telling anyone else how to live their lives, I just personally don’t find it necessary. And I’m not going to be doing it. My daughter will be loved and celebrated on her birthday every single year. It just won’t be in that way.”

Image credits: marissalight

“We are moving on to a family compound with my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, my two nephews, one on the way. And we will have dinner and cake with them every single year to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. And every year on her birthday, we’re going to do a Daisy Day or an All About You Day, we are going to make her a special breakfast, we are going to talk to her beforehand and figure out what she wants to do with her day.”

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Image credits: marissalight

“When siblings come, we’re gonna allow her to choose whether she wants someone to watch them or whether she wants them to come and participate in whatever activity we’re doing, princess dress-up, trampoline park, et cetera, we are then going to go shopping, she’s gonna get to pick out a couple of toys, she’s gonna get to pick out a couple outfits, whatever she wants to buy. She’s then going to choose where she wants to have dinner. And we will go out and have a nice celebratory one-on-one dinner with her where she can just have our full undivided attention. And I feel that that’s just so much more fun and so much more genuine and a much better way, personally, to spend time with her and celebrate her on her birthday.”

Image credits: marissalight

“Now let’s say she gets to the age where she starts making some friends. She’s being invited to some birthday parties that she’s going to, and she wants to have a birthday party of her own, she is going to get the choice between a Daisy day or birthday party, you can have a nice birthday party and invite all of your friends and we will go all out. Or we can continue and you can have a Daisy day and she gets to choose between the two. She’ll still get a present for her birthday, just something that we pick out instead of going shopping. And she’ll have a party, or she will get to do her whole day of activities and shopping and dinner that she gets to do every year. And she’ll get to decide. I think that’s fair. I think it’s fun. And I think it’s a great way to celebrate her and spend some one-on-one time that she probably needs.”

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Image credits: marissalight

“And we plan on doing it with any siblings that are to come. And again, if you’d like to throw yearly parties, throw yearly parties. I’m just saying, as someone who has been to a lot of them, and kind of felt obligated to be at them, I’m just not going to be doing it. It’s a lot of stress on my part to organize and plan and put on the party.”

Image credits: marissalight

“And I’m not going to be doing that to my friends who don’t even have children, my family, whose children will be older. I just don’t want a bunch of people sitting around at my house all day. I’d rather just let my daughter celebrate in a way that she wants to celebrate.”

Image credits: marissalight

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Image credits: marissalight

You can hear Marissa’s full explanation right here

@marissalight It’s been a minute since I’ve given you a #hotmomtake … you’re welcome. #babybirthdayparty #momsoftiktok #momtok #firsttimemom #sahm #momcontent #millenialmom #birthdayparty ♬ original sound – Marissa | Lifestyle | SAHM

“There are so many other ways to make my daughter feel special on her birthday”

To learn more about what inspired Marissa to share this video in the first place, we reached out to her via email, and lucky for us, she was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda. “I consistently share my general thoughts on parenting, my plans for the future, etc.,” she explained. “This one just happened to take off, but this isn’t anything out of the ordinary for my page.”

We were also curious what Marissa’s experiences were like with birthday parties as a child. “I did not have yearly birthday parties,” she shared. “We were often on vacation, since I’m a summer birthday, and typically got to choose an activity and where we ate dinner for my birthday. Any of my friends didn’t have yearly birthday parties either.”

As far as the reactions that Marissa’s video received, she says she was surprised people were so angry about it. “I don’t think not throwing yearly birthday parties is that uncommon, and judging by the positive comments that assumption is correct,” she told Bored Panda. “I have nothing against birthday parties, it’s just our personal preference for giving our daughter choices as she grows up.”

“A lot of people seem to think I hate birthday parties because I didn’t enjoy being at kids’ birthday parties as an adult, which is really not the case and has been clarified more than once,” Marissa added. “I’m a stay-at-home mom, my daughter doesn’t have daycare friends, etc. Also, the majority of my friends don’t have kids, and my family members’ kids are involved in sports, etc. and live an hour or more away.”

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“These are the people who would be invited to yearly birthday parties until my daughter is old enough to have friends through sports, etc.,” the mom went on to explain. “It’s just not convenient for everyone, and there are so many other ways to make my daughter feel special on her birthday and ensure she has a lot of fun. I’d rather spend the time and money on planning a special day all about her and what she actually wants.”

Having a party can be a wonderful way for children to feel special on their birthday

The tradition of celebrating birthdays has been around for thousands of years. Apparently, Pharaoh’s birthday was a big deal back in Ancient Egypt, and later, Ancient Greeks adopted the tradition of celebrating the birthdays of gods and goddesses. As far as we know, Rome was the first society to begin celebrating the birthdays of non-religious men, and in the 12th century, women were finally able to start celebrating their birthdays as well.

Nowadays, it’s expected for all of us to do something festive on our birthdays. That doesn’t necessarily mean throwing a party, but that is one of the best ways to celebrate, especially for kids. According to Exceptional Explorers, having a birthday party can help kids build a sense of identity and self-worth. Feeling loved is so important, and having at least one day out of the year where kiddos get to feel special and appreciated can be wonderful for them.

Birthday parties can also foster social skills and relationships for children. They provide a setting for kids to interact outside of school and allow them to bond over playing games, sharing cake and doing something purely for fun. These occasions can help kids learn gratitude and appreciation as well. They’ll have to thank everyone for coming to their gathering, and it’s wise to write thank you notes to everyone who brought presents as well.    

Image credits: Gustavo Fring (not the actual image)

But there are many ways that families can choose to celebrate

Birthday parties allow kids to make lasting memories and instill a sense of tradition and ritual as well. There’s no obligation to celebrate your own birthday, but why not find one more day in the year to eat cake, gather with loved ones and feel special? However, it’s not necessary to throw a party to get into the birthday mood, as Marissa mentions in her video.

A great alternative is having an “all about you” day, like Marissa described, where her daughter gets to choose the events of the day, go shopping, eat her favorite meal and feel loved all day. This is actually exactly what I did for many birthdays as a child, instead of throwing a party every year. I had a summer birthday, and it was hard to get in touch with school friends during that time. Plus, many were often away on vacation during the week of my birthday. Going shopping with my mom and grandmother was what I often chose instead, and those birthdays are some of my favorite memories from childhood.

The Working Parent’s Guide explains on their site that skipping the tradition of throwing a birthday party means eliminating a lot of stress that comes with planning, skipping the politics of who is and isn’t invited, saving money, avoiding the influx of “well-meaning but often unnecessary” presents and allows families to become more creative in how they celebrate. 

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual image)

Parties can be stressful and expensive, so many kids opt for alternatives that can be just as much fun

Instead, children might prefer getting one special gift that costs as much as a party might have, going on an excursion to the zoo or a museum, watching their favorite movie or TV show, going shopping, eating out at their favorite restaurant or having one day off of school. 

According to MarketWatch, the average children’s birthday party costs a whopping $400, not including presents, which can be a huge burden on parents. And a survey from YouGov found that a third of Americans believe parents put too much effort into kids’ parties nowadays. A birthday party can be a great way to celebrate your special day, but it’s certainly not the only way. 

Everyone should feel loved and appreciated when turning a year older, but there are ways to celebrate your children’s milestones without inviting over their entire class from school or spending hundreds of dollars on food, activities and entertainment. We would love to hear your thoughts on Marissa’s video in the comments below, pandas. Do you think children should have birthday parties every single year? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing birthday party drama, look no further than right here.  

Image credits: Sam Lion (not the actual image)

Many viewers disagreed with Marissa and shared how important birthday parties can be

However, some agreed that parties aren’t necessary to celebrate

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seramorris avatar
Sera
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What she's describing as her alternative.... is a birthday party.

bemcath avatar
Cathy
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Right?! I'm confused. And you could stil give a birthday party but keep the guest list small? I declined all kid birthday parties except from my 2 nieces, best decision ever!

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impossiblekat avatar
KatSaidWhat
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

what a load of toss telling her she's a bad mother for not confirming to societal pressure and having a party plus the finance that comes from those nowadays. You're celebrating your child, other kids just want food and other mothers just want someone else to look after their kids for a couple of hours... She is being given the option when she is older - you can tell some people didn't read/understand the article fully. And when you have that many family members over anyway - that's a party.

ccassady avatar
clairebear
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Birthday parties for kids are a new thing. They were rare in the 70's and 80's. Another crappy thing from America. We used to get a cake and presents and fuss from family. That was enough.

rosieetike avatar
Tyke
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Myself and all my friends had birthday parties in the 80s... didn't have to be a huge expense, no-one paid for fancy entertainers, but we had friends over, music and cake.

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seramorris avatar
Sera
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What she's describing as her alternative.... is a birthday party.

bemcath avatar
Cathy
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Right?! I'm confused. And you could stil give a birthday party but keep the guest list small? I declined all kid birthday parties except from my 2 nieces, best decision ever!

Load More Replies...
impossiblekat avatar
KatSaidWhat
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

what a load of toss telling her she's a bad mother for not confirming to societal pressure and having a party plus the finance that comes from those nowadays. You're celebrating your child, other kids just want food and other mothers just want someone else to look after their kids for a couple of hours... She is being given the option when she is older - you can tell some people didn't read/understand the article fully. And when you have that many family members over anyway - that's a party.

ccassady avatar
clairebear
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Birthday parties for kids are a new thing. They were rare in the 70's and 80's. Another crappy thing from America. We used to get a cake and presents and fuss from family. That was enough.

rosieetike avatar
Tyke
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Myself and all my friends had birthday parties in the 80s... didn't have to be a huge expense, no-one paid for fancy entertainers, but we had friends over, music and cake.

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