The popularity of a "cake smash", celebrating baby's first year, has grown tremendously. In fact, I probably do more smash sessions than any other kind right now. Cake smashes were not something my 80's mother would have ever dreamed of. Baby me, shoving cake in my face, was reserved for home, and maybe if I was lucky, my actual birthday party. This is likely because the professional photographer of the 80's was not someone you saw multiple times a year. Family portraits, or even annual portraits, were not as common, accessible, or affordable as they are today. So with the opportunity to have more professional photos done, comes the opportunity to dream up some pretty fun themes, props, and events, like the cake smash!
Now I know not everyone gets it. Trust me, my grandmother has questioned this idea more than once. She just doesn't see what is so special about a baby covered in cake, and why on earth someone would pay for photos of it. Well let me tell you what I tell her. The cake smash is a celebration. No baby continues to grow at the speed they do during the first year! So when you look at that little bundle on day one, you cannot even fathom the wild, walking, bundle of energy that they will be on day 365. The cake smash celebrates your child's milestone of development and growth. It is an opportunity to let them let loose and party it up, as only a toddler knows how!
More importantly though than the celebration your child gets to have while shoving the most sugary of treats into their mouth at a tremendous pace, is the celebration of the parents. YOU MADE IT! The first year is an unbelievable challenge. Whether you have one child, or more, baby's first year is sure to shake up your family dynamic in a way that you never imagined. I know this, because I am living it, for the second time!
When Avery was handed to me, I had no idea what was in store for us over the next 12 months. He was a perfect angel, until he developed colic, acid reflux, and a complete aversion to sleep that lasted through his first birthday. I was shocked, and at times a little devastated, that motherhood was not at all what I originally expected it to be. I was ashamed for thinking that at the time, but now I look back and realize that it is totally normal to question your role, your baby's actions, and your new life. I mean seriously, someone handed you a human and sent you on home without anything more than a "good luck" and a packet about how often baby should poo. The first year is SCARY!
But the first year is also unbelievably amazing and eye opening. As a parent, you learn what true unconditional love is when you sleep sitting up in the rocker because your baby has an ear infection and can't be laid down. You learn how to work with your partner to make the best decision together for the welfare of your child. You are vomited on, scratched with tiny razor fingernails, bitten by brand new teeth, and most definitely find yourself cleaning up poo more than once. You wipe boogies, comfort the sadness, and relinquish sleep. But you also get the first smile, are surrounded by giggles and joy, and watch as your tiny human turns into a person with a personality and innocence that makes you so proud.
The first year is a lot of things. I like to think of the cake smash as a culmination of those things- the joy, the sadness, the sleeplessness, the fear, the guilt, and the love. So while your little one is smashing away at their cake (or crying because they hate being dirty), try to sit back and take it all in. Give yourself a pat on the back. They are only little once. They will only be one for a split second. CELEBRATE that you made it! It only gets easier from here, right? ;)
Are you ready to celebrate your little one by smashing some cake? Or maybe you prefer the cleaner one year old photo version (no judgement from me!). Contact me for more details about my milestone sessions.