As happens with most of my birthdays these days, I tend to go through a period of self evaluation leading up to the big day. I ponder on things such as “am I where I wanted to be at this age?” and “if not am I happy with the alternative?”, “Have I done what I hoped to since last year?” etc. I don’t really freak out too much anymore about getting older as I am learning that age really is just a number, and my 30’s have become a phase of life where I seem to be most comfortable in myself. I would say though that I panic more over how fast time is going generally and how there is so much I want to do with/in my life that I wonder if I will have enough time to get it all done. Does that make sense?
Since becoming a mum I have felt pretty accomplished in life and over time become content that this is life right now – raising kids! The growth of our family makes me feel I am doing great things by raising (hopefully) good humans and I see it as the best use of my time now. There are still many lists of countries I want to visit, life things I want to do, charities I want to work with and things I want to become educated in, but I know in time and year by year with my little goals and plans I will get there!
But being a mother also means that now there are moments before birthdays where I think my birthday potentially will be boring, or rather like any other day. I don’t live too near my family and my friends are either my sisters/sister in laws or all random people now who I share one to one relationships with as oppose to a tight knit group, so I almost feel like life has naturally shifted away from girly nights out and partying together. That to me is a bit of a shame and if i’m honest makes me a little sad as I do love a night with good friends, and at times I do wish more than anything for that again, but life shifted around a lot after loosing Poppy and with age too, it isn’t what it once was and that’s okay…I am happy for those in my life right now who make the effort and want to help me feel special, who love me and get together when we have the time, but mostly I am just grateful that (even if it was a reminder from facebook) people everywhere from my life took time this year to wish me a good day. I just love that about social media and it certainly made me feel blessed and loved, and I can honestly say that 32 was a joyful day!
This birthday was joyful because that is exactly what I wanted it to be. I had a cake (surprise) with Nath’s family Sunday when we met for dinner, and I know something with my family will pan out soon. Friends hadn’t asked to do anything prior, so I didn’t bring it up and Nathan took the day off work. I didn’t want it to be like any other day and so I decided I would spend it with him – my bestie (and of course little Alice too), and it was an extraordinary day of lovliness! Being a new mum combined with motherhood generally could equate to a mad day like every other, but with some planning it was far from that, and so here’s what we did to help you see how to have an amazing birthday filled with fun even if you are “just a mum”!
1. Snuggles, songs, breakfast and dancing – This basically summed up the chunk of time between waking up and heading to school. The kids all came into our bed early and sang to me, kissed and cuddled me before giving me some chocolates, flowers and a mummy pig card! They were far more excited than me at that point and I just loved seeing how desperate they were to celebrate that day and that it was “mummy’s birthday” – It was perfect!
We had a lovely pancake breakfast which I made whilst we danced to birthday rap songs and “I’m feeling 22” by Taylor Swift (which I feel far from).
2. Cinema – It has been way too long since we went to the cinema and I found out recently that almost every cinema has baby sessions where you can go with baby and its appropriate sound lighting and atmosphere for parents. And so off we went…only it wasn’t the baby showing at all, but Alice was AMAZING and we laughed our way through the whole film whilst I snuggled her and she slept…the film was brilliant and the whole experience was so much fun.
3. We ate out…for lunch (or you could do dinner, though lunch is easier as most of the kids are in school). We went to Nandos and Alice chilled in her car seat whilst we enjoyed a lovely lunch with out crowd control in the mix.
4. Bake a cake – When you’re the mum there isn’t usually anyone to do this for you, but it doesn’t mean you need to pay loads for shop bought either. I made mine the day before whilst Alice was napping and the kids watched a film after dinner. It was everything I had been dreaming of – Chocolate and peppermint frosting!
5. Kid free shopping (kind of)…The plan was to go kid free shopping with just Mr Smith and Alice but sadly we had to go to the hospital to see a very sick family friend, and so that was put on hold. The idea was nice and maybe you can be more successful at it than I?
6. No house work! The house is a dump today but that’s okay. Nathan insisted I went out and had fun with him yesterday…doing things out of the ordinary to ensure it isn’t a mundane boring day like any other…and it was just that. No laundry to hang, no dishes to wash, no sweeping, bed making or any thing. The house was left and we drove in peace chatting and singing along to the radio!
So Mum’s, embrace the kids you have as the blessing they are and have a little dance party with them, make a special breakfast, cake and treats, and do something with your day you have been dreaming of! It doesn’t matter that you’re a mum now or whether family and friends are close. Fun and joy are created by us and by making some effort it honestly makes for a very happy birthday indeed! I have a gorgeous little family, a wonderful husband, brilliant family all over the place, my new little baby and pockets of friends I see here and there when we have the time who each bring great things to life – I am happy and I am excited for what I will accomplish at 32…