Holidays for moms just suck.
Moms don’t get any days off.
Mother’s Day is always a weird day.
My birthday is just like any other day.
I don’t wake up to a breakfast buffet laid in the dining room or presents and cards piled around my placemat.
And I tell myself that’s mostly ok.
I don’t even get to sleep in.
I wake up to my kids, before dawn, demanding breakfast, as usual.
Of course it’s not very popular to hate my birthday, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day…or any holiday, really.
Motherhood is an eternal negotiation of various selves — your own self with the lives around you — and a balancing of needs (by which I mean who gets to poop alone). Yes, it’s beautiful and crushing, infuriating and transcendent.
But Moms are expected to put themselves last, after their children, spouses, parents, in-laws, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, pets, neighbors.
I haven’t had new glasses in over ten years. I can’t remember when I got new underwear. I feel guilty when I get my hair done. I haven’t had a mani/pedi in over ten years.
Christmas shopping update: I bought myself something from my husband. I bought my husband something from me. I bought my in-laws something from us. I bought the kids something for my husband. And I bought my husband something from the kids. Any questions.Molly England
My parents don’t send me gifts. Not for my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas. I’m an only child.
My parents possess three SUVs, pay a $850 mortgage for a 3500+ sq ft house, receive 3 retirement checks each month. They constantly complain that they don’t have enough money.
Just a couple times a year, it’d be nice to have a special day of no responsibilities. It would be nice to think anyone cared about me at all.
I don’t get any time off.
My birthday was on a Wednesday this year.
So, of course, I dragged the kids to a field trip at a local grocery store.
They got to make Easter baskets and gorge themselves on candy and snacks while I learned about the store’s features and deals.
This may seem weird, but it’s a German store and I’m American and shopping on the German economy can be tricky sometimes and it’s a little different than shopping in the American stores I grew up with. So I didn’t want to miss the lessons.
Oh, and on Wednesdays, we have music class.
We went to the playground between the store field trip and music class because the weather was gorgeous.
I’m an awesome mom like that.
I enjoyed the downtime of watching my kids freely play while I soaked up some spring sunshine.
But it wasn’t a special day. No one even knew it was my birthday.
I remember my birthdays when I was little.
I grew up in simpler times with simple birthday parties.
Every year, almost my entire school class and some neighborhood playmates were invited to a simple birthday party at my house with pink crepe streamers and a plastic disposable game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, musical chairs, and hot potato.
When I was a teen, I invited my 2-3 besties for slumber parties. My dad was usually out of town.
As a young adult, I’d go out to a nice dinner with my significant other or friends.
My husband took me out to dinner around my birthday for a few years.
My birthdays lost their importance after I had a family.
I really, really try to make my kids’ birthdays special. I want my children to know I value them as people over mounds of stuff.
Pinterest makes me feel like an absolute failure with birthdays and holidays.
We did the crepe streamers and balloons against the bedroom door a couple times and that didn’t end well when the birthday child had a nightmare and woke up to more stuff of nightmares trying to get comforted and running into the spiderweb of birthday doom.
We don’t give our kids an expensive birthday party with a real-live pony carousel, petting zoo, rented carnival games, or gourmet have-to-order-a-year-in-advance storebought 6-layer cake decorated with real gold leaf that is more elaborate than my Publix wedding cake was.
We don’t reserve a party room at the local amusement park, bowling alley, indoor playground, movie theatre, skating rink, or water park and invite everyone we know in hopes of reciprocation.
We don’t even invite any people over anymore to celebrate events. No one comes and no one RSVPs. A few times we were left with too much cake, snacks, décor, and lots of empty chairs. I was more upset than my kids.
The stress level of competing with other moms over the kids’ birthday party events and décor is too much for me.
We just have a lovely homemade banner and from-scratch cake or pie and a homemade dinner of choice. I buy pretty paper napkins (this is special because we normally use cloth napkins!). We often go to the pool, bowling alley, a movie, trampoline park. or somewhere special and fun as a family to celebrate. We’ve had success for a few years having these frugal birthday celebrations.
As a mom, it’s hard to see time and money spent on me.
I can’t get past the cost of cut flower arrangements, a mediocre and stressful dinner out, or frivolous presents that will just collect dust or get broken or lost in our many moves as a military family.
Also there’s the dishes awaiting me from the meals that my husband and/or kids cooked. The kitchen is an absolute disaster.
I’m trying desperately to teach my kids not to feel entitled or focus on stuff. So I need to change my attitude when I get irritated that my day isn’t special. I need to adjust my expectations.
It feels like a “Mommie Dearest” kind of a moment to sit them down and demand that that my kids do something for me.
But they all miss the point: The true gift any mother wants is not to do anything.Lyz Lenz
I won’t steal my kids’ joy by refusing the blessings of their adorable handmade gifts and cards on holidays.
While I’m in the shower.
Because moms get no privacy either.
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