Possibly mentioned it before, but it was my birthday on Tuesday. (The 5th of December for those of you who want to put it in your diaries…) Birthdays have always been a big occasion in our house which has stemmed from both Steve and I coming from “big birthday” families. We make a big fuss and they tend to last a week (at least). When I was younger I used to start a countdown in November, crossing off each passing day with great excitement. It is a bit different now however. While I still get very excited, there is no longer a countdown. I don’t have time. (Though I would happily give up doing the ironing, in replace of creating a birthday countdown). This isn’t the only change however…
It no longer revolves around you
Sounds silly doesn’t it. Your own birthday no longer is about you? Shocking. But when you have children this becomes the harsh reality. For example, you don’t get to open your own cards/presents without a little pair of hands helping you. Want a birthday lie in? Not possible. You either have work/school run or young children bouncing on you to make sure this elusive “birthday lie in”, doesn’t happen. Fancy going out for the day/evening? Well that’s fine as long as you have gone to a child friendly place or organised a babysitter thus restricting the time you can stay out until.
You only get a birthday cake if you make it
Yes. You have to make your own cake. Otherwise? You don’t get one. Never mind the fact that when it is anyone else’s birthday, you may find yourself up at ridiculous hours preparing the perfect (surprise) cake. This won’t happen to you unless you organise it. This might not seem like a big deal to some but I always enjoyed the whole candles on a cake thing.
You don’t get to go into school and have a fuss made of you
You won’t have a fuss made full stop.
These may make me seem a bit selfish but I did state that birthdays are a big deal in our family. To me, your birthday is the one day a year where you can kick back and not feel guilty about eating what you want while doing what you want. As an adult, or more specifically, a mum, you spend your day worrying about other people. Are the kids happy/fed/watered/warm? How much money have we got left in the bank to pay for a trip out? Have I taken the meat out of the freezer for tea tonight? Why does time go so quickly?!
You no longer look forward to being a year older
I don’t know about you, but I loved being one of the older ones in school and the first of my friends to turn eighteen. Another year older and closer to being an adult. Why did this ever excite me?? Now I wish I could stop getting older and just have a birthday that doesn’t take me closer to being thirty. The struggles of adulthood.
This year I actually had a great birthday. My husband surprised us with a trip to Edinburgh for our wedding anniversary and my birthday. So I woke up on my birthday morning, in a hotel, surrounded by my family. I received cards and presents that I wasn’t expecting and got to look around shops where I couldn’t afford anything. But I think because my expectations of birthdays have changed (without sounding negative) I was prepared for the early start, lack of cake and stressful lunch. But I loved it. And now? I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Although I would still love to blow out candles on a cake like I was ten again.)