General Parenting

Is social media ruining your child’s first birthday?

first birthday party
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

It’s no surprise that social media creates unrealistic expectations of life – can we parents stand up to it?

Being a parent is like unwrapping a new toy – the excitement and joy is infectious. But imagine assembling that toy without an instruction manual! That’s what parenting is, you have to make your own rules and guidelines. Oh boy, the pressure. Add in the world of social media, and you’ve probably managed to multiply the pressures.

The Instagram-happy, Pinterest-perfect families project an unauthentic life. Life full of perfect moments and well-behaved children. We all know those moments are far and few, especially during special moment like birthdays, but we still work super- hard at engineering the perfect memory. Interestingly, new research shows that almost a fifth of British parents admitted to taking more than three photos on their child’s birthday to get the perfect shot. Stating that they feel the need to make their photos look as ‘polished’ as the ones they see on social media platforms.

Parents already find first birthdays daunting. All the planning and the pressure can sometimes be a bit too much. Research has found almost half of parents worry about not being able to capture the perfect picture on their child’s birthday, with tantrums, messiness and disappointing cakes getting in the way. Over a fifth say that the pressure to create the ‘perfect’ birthday party, ruins the fun aspect of hosting your child’s first birthday party.

We know that a first birthday is very important, and one that the family will remember for years to come. But in a world obsessed with getting the perfect photograph, party pictures should be real and spontaneous. That’s the best way to capture honest, raw and human moments. There is a simple beauty to these special moments, unseen by an audience. They generate no ‘likes’ and are ‘shared’ by the two people who matter most: parent and child.