Let’s chat about mom birthdays.
Today is actually my birthday. Last night I was chatting with my husband and comparing birthdays as a mom to the whole New Year’s Eve phenomenon. The more you hype the event up, the worse the disappointment can be in the end. You can’t get overly optimistic about a birthday when you are a mother, because, let’s be honest, it isn’t really YOUR day anymore. There are still little mouths to be fed, laundry to be folded, a work day to get through and of course, the most difficult part of the day- bedtime. There is hardly any time around those events in which to schedule birthday activities. I laugh when friends ask me what we are doing for my birthday. Nothing! The answer is survival- just like every other day with three kids.
Okay, honestly though, I do still get excited about my big day. I generally get a free Starbucks drink out of the deal. My Facebook page fills up with birthday wishes from my girlfriends around the globe, and years that my students find out are filled with choruses of the birthday song. My family also make every effort to spoil me. It is just that my expectations have changed significantly. I no longer want to go out for dinner or a drink. No movie dates please, they run too late! I’d prefer to go for a solo trail run and have some relaxing downtime just for myself. For once I’d enjoy not having to prepare dinner after a long day of work, and I’d like to top it off with a slice of angel food cake and glass of wine before bed. That’s it.
I dare not hope, nor do I wish for any more than this!
In fact, to be truthful, at this moment, I am sitting in a sun-filled cafe writing this blog, and this is my birthday wish. Some me-time to write and to enjoy an unrushed hot latte that doesn’t need to be microwaved twice before I can finish it. I know the kids are at home excitedly baking my cake (confetti- chosen by them) and taking great pains to ice it (chocolate- not my preference, but theirs). My husband is vacuuming, and hopefully building the shoe rack I have had sitting in the hallway for two weeks. These were my wishes today. Simple, but truly all I want.
Life may be more complicated than ever, and birthdays where the entire day was focused on me are a thing of the past, but I am happier than ever this way. It really is the simple things in life that matter the most. My husband completing household chores while taking care of the children speaks volumes. That home-made card I will receive tonight with interchangeable capital and lowercase letters and a jaggedly drawn stick person means far more to me than the present that I will forget about by next year. So here’s to all you moms and your birthdays. One day we will come out on the other side of parenting and have these days back to ourselves, but I bet we will still miss those selfless birthdays filled with construction paper cards and chaos!
Natalie is an educator in St. Albert, Alberta. She is the mother of three incredible little girls under 6, and one evil cat. She is passionate about adventure travel, culture and running.