“It’s my kid’s first birthday and I feel like a failure of a mom because I can’t even get his first cake and ice cream for his birthday,” she wrote. “How do you deal with it and move on? I have other kids and I could do it for them, but inflation just doesn’t cut it. I really love birthdays so it hurts. How did you deal with it? What else have you done for your child?”
Reddit came up with answers to her request – and much more. To begin with, many confirmed the fact that her child will absolutely not remember this birthday and hoped that she would relieve the pressure. They then suggested several creative, cost-effective options for the day.
‘I’m sorry, that stinks. 🙁 For the 1st birthday, it doesn’t seem so bad. He won’t remember,” one wrote. “Maybe pack some sandwiches and have a picnic in a playground? Or pick up a Hostess cupcake from the store for a little treat? It doesn’t have to be much. You are a good mother!” Another Reddit user suggested getting bubbles (“It doesn’t matter what you buy them, they’ll still think you hung on the moon!”) and someone responded with a way to make those bubbles without the OP has to put down a credit card – “3 cups of water, 1 cup of dish soap, and 1/2 cup of white corn syrup.”
Others suggested helpful Facebook groups that might offer supplies. “Is there a local Facebook group for moms/parents you can post to? I’ve seen a number of posts like this in my local mom’s group and there was always a wave of positive support in the form of cake, balloons and sometimes small gifts. All the parents I know have had a hard time.” One of them brought up the idea of joining a “buy nothing” Facebook group, noting that the OP can definitely get a boxed cake mix and decorations from someone there.
Many spoke from their own experiences and gave personal advice. “As a kid whose mom couldn’t afford birthdays, I know it can be hard,” one Reddit user commented. “How you handle it makes all the difference. Pay what you can. Just make sure to take lots of pictures. Ask your older kids to make decorations or make cards on whatever paper or cardstock you have on hand. Also make a card for your daughter by hand and keep it. Give your baby lots of birthday hugs and kisses. Extra love and attention is all a baby really wants.”
All this great encouragement made a big difference to the OP. She sent a message to everyone in the community, writing: “Thank you so much for the comments. I didn’t think I would get so many responses. It’s just so much to respond to each. I really hope you all see this. There are some wonderful ideas here that I will definitely use for this birthday and in the future. Thank you for being so nice!!”
Sometimes the internet can be a really, really good place.
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