Erin Napier Shares ‘Hardest Part of Being a Parent’ on Daughter’s Birthday

Erin Napier

HGTV/Discovery+/YouTube HGTV's Erin Napier on the set of her 2022 movie, "A Christmas Open House"

Erin Napier of HGTV found her daughter Helen’s fifth birthday to be a bittersweet occasion on January 3, 2023. Fun family celebrations began days before, including a homemade cake honoring all of Helen’s current passions. But Erin, who’s raising Helen and 19-month-old Mae with husband and “Home Town” co-star Ben Napier, admitted in an emotional Instagram post that Helen’s fifth birthday accentuates how quickly their children are changing and growing, calling it the “hardest part of being a parent.”

Erin Napier Shares Throwback Photos of Newborn Helen

On her firstborn daughter’s birthday, Erin posted a 2018 photo in which she was holding two tiny polaroids of her and Ben with Helen as a newborn, while baby Helen slept soundly in the background of the photo.

“5 years with our Helen girl,” she captioned the post. “The one who made me conquer my fear of childbirth, who made us mama and daddy. Maybe the hardest part of being a parent is the letting go of who they are at the end of each day.”

Erin continued, “They change and grow in tiny fragments daily, becoming someone new, knowing more than they did, while we were just getting to know the person they were yesterday. I can’t wait to see what this year gives her.”

Fans and celebs flooded Erin’s post, with those wishing Helen a happy birthday including actress Faith Ford, HGTV colleague Jenny Marrs and best-selling author Emma Staub. But many comments also came from fellow moms expressing how much they could relate to Erin’s message.

One fan wrote, “I feel like I’ve loved so many different people in the lives of each of my children,” to which Erin responded, “yes. yes!”

Erin’s mom, Karen Rasberry, liked another fan’s comment that said, “One can never truly understand how much they were loved until they experience love for themselves.”

She also liked a comment from a mom who wrote, “The hardest part of being a parent is the letting go which is harder when they are graduated from college and married. Giving birth is the easy part.”

Erin Napier Also Shared Helen’s Sweet Birthday Cake With Fans

On December 30, 2022, Erin revealed on Instagram that the birthday festivities for Helen were starting early, sharing a photo of a homemade birthday cake with pink frosting and a “5” candle with gold glitter. Several figurines could also be seen lined up near the round cake and in Helen’s hands.

Erin wrote, “If you guessed Helen asked for a rainbow and unicorns and puppies and nutcracker and ballerina themed birthday cake, you nailed it. (her birthday isn’t until next week, but it’s raining so here we are).”

One of Erin’s best friends, Aly Saxton Smith, commented, “Well I think I nailed her bday present based on that theme…”

Erin has been very open lately about how fleeting and precious she feels time as a young family is, sometimes wishing she could just stop time.

“I feel like we are in the middle of, like, living the best years of our life,” Erin said during a recent interview about her girls’ sweet bathtime routine, “and I’m very aware of it and I want to keep it, somehow.”