Yesterday was my birthday. As a mother, that meant the day ran about the same as all the others but my kids and husband wanted me to be happy. Act happy. Look excited. Smile more (well, at all). Eagerly anticipate what household object they had gift-wrapped.
In short, I needed to be as excited as the boys all feel when it’s their birthday.
Like most events in life, however, I dread my birthday. I don’t like being the spotlight. I’m not a fun present un-wrapper. I’m not the life of the party. When birthdays or Mother’s Day roll around, I’d rather not be here to celebrate. This desire confuses and hurts my family.
The problem is that the day is still a day. My day of birth was a Saturday this year; but, when it’s a weekday; I still have carpool, cleaning, sports classes, dinner, dishes, bedtime, and attempts to bond as a couple.
The problem is that my entire life is to anticipate the whims of the house and its occupants and cater to them to avoid nuclear meltdown. Everyone else’s needs come first and I feel shallow thinking about myself.
The problem is, like with most events, I need to ask for what I want in order to receive it -and I feel bad for having wants in the first place. I’ve crumpled up and trashed anything resembling innermost desires; and feel like an indecent, filthy street beggar pawing through something molding when asked about them.
Why? That doesn’t seem healthy. Perhaps it’s not.
Acknowledging the problem or even testing out the whole “asking for what I want” thing doesn’t erase the guilt. Again, though, why not? And, more specifically, how can we erase the guilt? Lobotomy?
Frankly, I’ve spent the last few years in an intentional haze of semi-tiredness (very like a lobotomy) in order to avoid some of these bothersome feelings. I’ve numbed to avoid sadness and empty despair and hopelessness. I’ve pretended contentment and ignored myself in order to function.
Birthdays don’t have to be so heavy and serious, of course. I actually only cried because I wanted to a little yesterday. Then, my sister planned a surprise mani/pedi appointment and my mother took me to lunch afterwards. My husband, for his part, took the children and the housework for the day.
In all, even my Eeyore side had to agree that it was a good birthday.
Now, if I could just get over how guilty I feel that everyone did all that for me…
Sunday, March 17: “The Magic Clothes Washing Machine,” my scientific observations of what the clothes washer produces.
Monday, March 18: Wrote a poem for The Bloggers Bash competition titled, “Five More Minutes.”
Tuesday, March 19: Shared a quote by Christie Mellor.
Wednesday, March 20: Whispered my super secret tip about bread preservation.
Thursday, March 21: “In Case of Emergency, Interrupt.” Never ignore The Look.
Friday, March 22: Advised against Super Momming in “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?”
Saturday, March 23: Shared Unfiltered Mama‘s tweet about difficult kids.
Sunday, March 24: Today! Yay!