Chicago mom: My birthday is just another day…for now

How old are you going to be on your birthday mommy?

Hmmm, I don’t remember. Let’s do the math.

Aside from the bonus of making a child excited about subtracting 2 four-digit numbers, this was when I realized I was finally an adult. My birthday had become little more than a day on the calendar and a number I had to do math to remember.

As a child, your birthday, much like everything else, is a huge deal and all about you. You count down the days, the minutes, excitedly planning what you want, what’ll you do and what you’ll wear. I have jokingly referred to my birthday as the next holiday after Valentine’s Day.

This year it has left me in a funk though, feeling lost at sea and reminded again that I have given up a lot of what was once “me,” to be the mother I want to be.

My kids’ birthdays are February, March, April and May. My husband is in April. Then there is Easter, spring break and the regular deadlines and school performances. Honestly, I don’t want to think about planning one more thing, one more party or celebration or dinner or anything. Like many other things and times, I realize that me and my birthday has fallen off the to-do list.

It’s easy to do when there are small children at home. I would rather nap and cuddle than take that shower or go work out. After a long day of running around with two toddlers and an evening of helping kids with homework I have little energy for more than watching TV and maybe answering some emails. But as the number flips from 36 to 37 (I had to do the math there to remember) I’m reminding myself that it’s just a number, and it’s just a phase.

They won’t be little forever.

I won’t always be exhausted.

I won’t always be at the bottom of the totem pole. Wait, actually that won’t change, I’ll always put my kids first. What I mean is that they won’t need as much from me.

So here’s looking towards 40 with excitement instead of dread. By then I should have had enough sleep to plan something fabulous and fun. In the meantime, I’ll be meeting friends and a whole bunch of toddlers to celebrate with cupcakes.

According to my kids, it’s not a birthday without cake, and I think that this year that will be just perfect.

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