One baby's second birthday party won't have one grandmother present because a mom left her mother-in-law (MIL) off the guestlist.
In a Reddit post on r/JUSTNOMIL — a subreddit where users share stories about undesirable in-laws in the hopes of getting some advice — u/goody_gumdrop says her MIL is not a big fan of baby birthdays. She says when the time came for her daughter's first birthday party, they held an event at the house of u/goody_gumdrop's father. The event was full of family, friends, and other babies for the one-year-old to play with. During that time, the Redditor says MIL had some comments regarding the event. She says MIL kept saying how unnecessary everything was and how the baby won't remember the party anyway.
Fast forward another year, and there u/goody_gumdrop was preparing to move. Because of this, there were no plans for a second birthday party. Still, MIL brought up the topic to see what would happen.
"I started saying that we would probably just have a quiet family dinner because we are moving house the week before but before I could finish my sentence she was saying things like 'phew, I thought you were going to have a huge party every year!' and '[the daughter] won't remember it anyway'," writes the mother in a post we edited slightly. She also added that MIL believes birthday parties every year is "ridiculous".
Now, the move went by better than they anticipated so both u/goody_gumdrop and her partner decided to plan another party for their daughter. Yet, she'll be leaving MIL's name off the guest list since she doesn't think they're important.
As expected, the group sided with the mother. Many parents took issue with the sentiment that babies don't remember their formative years, so there's no need to throw big events for them. In fact, one user, PeachPuffin, said gatherings like early birthday parties are important for social development. That idea is actually backed up by PlayGroupNSW.org. They say that mom and dad are the baby's primary social interactions for the first 12 months of their lives, they do actually seek out other babies if they're present. So, for a two-year-old who has sharpened social skills, this a birthday party is a pretty important learning experience.
For parents looking to socialize their children, setting up playdates, or seeking out group events are a good way to have their babies interact with peers of a similar age. It's great for parents too as there's potential to make some friends with children of a similar age. It's a win-win.