Hey there, Mama. I bet you make everything spectacular for your kids’ birthdays, don’t you? I am sure you have had nights of staying up late decorating cupcakes for them to bring to school after you have fed them dinner, bathed them, and spent two hours trying to get through the hellish bedtime routine. I am sure you included a healthy snack to take too, because that is just what we do now. I doubt you minded. I know you were doubled over with exhaustion, but you thought, this will be memorable. They will just love this.
I bet you spent a ton of time and money planning a party that included grab bags, balloons, a piñata, and maybe some alcoholic beverages for the parents in attendance. You carefully calculated how much food you would need so nobody would leave hungry. You took careful note of food allergies, if there was another event happening that day, and prayed everyone could come so your child would have the best day ever.
And when it was over, I am positive your house was torn apart — the house that you spent hours cleaning, the one that is now turned upside down, the one that you are left to clean — but you didn’t really care. The joy in your child’s eyes as their friends and family piled into your house to celebrate them was enough for you.
And when your partner’s birthday rolls around, or your sister’s or mother’s, or any of your friends, I know you do what you can to make those special too. You remember each niece and nephew because you want them to feel like they matter. You want them to know you love them and they are precious to you.
So when it comes to your birthday and you glaze over and say you don’t want or need anything, I call bullshit. You deserve it, dammit. You make every day special, you keep your ship running, and you are the one everyone wants at the end of the day because you make everything better, Mama. You should be celebrated on your birthday, so speak up.
Go out by yourself and get a manicure and pedicure and eat French fries if the mood strikes. If you want to go to the ocean for the day alone, do it. If all you want is to be taken out to dinner with your family so you have one night off from cooking, ask for it. Go to Vegas. Buy a vibrator. Drink the wine. Eat two pieces of cake. You are worthy. You, with your unconditional love and your ability to kiss a wound and magically heal it. You, with your multi-multitasking. You, with all you give because you love being a mother and nurturing. You, because you do things that need to be done even when you don’t feel like it.
This is your day. This is your turn, and you should take it. Just because you are a mom doesn’t mean your birthday should fall short of anything but fabulous. Just because you make things nice for everyone else doesn’t mean your birthday has to slide through the cracks. Just because you do, because you deliver, follow through, make, create, oversee, double-check, worry, and show up every day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deliver for yourself too. In fact, it’s all the more reason to celebrate. You know it, and I know it.
Don’t play the busy card. Don’t play the “It Doesn’t Really Matter to Me” card. It does matter. You matter to so many. You should celebrate your ass off, no matter what that looks like to you. You are another year older and another year better, and that should be honored. You should be honored.
So this year on your birthday, put on your party dress and ask for what you want. Create your perfect day. If no one does it for you, do it for yourself. Enjoy it. And then do it again every year. Promise yourself that you won’t let another year go by without acknowledging your place in this world. We all deserve one day, and you are no exception.