With our 6th birthday here at Twin Cities Mom Collective on the horizon, we are talking all things celebration this week! Join us right here as we commemorate this incredible, inspiring and thriving community of moms in the Twin Cities.
I am thirty years, one hour and fourteen and a half minutes older than my firstborn. Had he been born on the west coast, we’d be sharing a birthday each year. But, instead, I spent my thirtieth birthday giving every bit of who I am for my baby boy. And in some ways, I’ve spent every birthday since in a similar way.
It took me about five years before I realized or remembered that each year my son had a birthday, I did as well. In fact, just this weekend I had absolutely no idea of my actual age (to be honest, I don’t think my mom was even sure) and in looking for a relatively recent picture of myself on my birthday to add to this post, I found nothing. Of course, the people around me shower me each year with celebration and greetings on my birthday. I always feel so loved. But, my real love and celebration is always focused on my son and his upcoming special day. Present and party prep, blowing up balloons, doing whatever I can to make sure the next day is as special as can be. I go all in.
And although it might sound a bit sad, please don’t feel bad for me! I love spending my day this way. In a kind of cheesy way, it’s always felt like a symbolic reminder of the birthday a few years ago that I spent preparing for his arrival (read: back labor for days). Bringing joy to others is my happy place.
By nature, the Enneagram Type Two in me loves spending my “special day” like this. I am a helper and a nurturer and this mom stuff feels like the icing on the cake. But inside, the person who forgot she was even aging each year, is realizing she hardly blinked and her thirties are coming to an end. Something tells me this probably isn’t always the healthiest thing to do.
While I do think it’s important to take care of myself and I am pretty aware of the parts of “me” that struggle to find a place since becoming a mom, I truly think that I am more alive and well now than I was before. I love this stage of motherhood and am okay having this be a big part of my identity. I’m guessing this will ebb and flow for the rest of my life. This is my nature and in many ways little-girl-me dreams are becoming real, and while I tend to cringe at all the self-care talk being thrown around us, I know it’s important to remember who I am.
I should, at a minimum, know how old I am.
So, I’m thinking, as a gift to myself, I will begin to look for ways to be both the mom who stays awake late blowing up balloons and the woman who will do something special for herself each year. Not in a way that will add more to my load, rather, in a way that acknowledges who I am.
And if I don’t plan a big getaway for my fortieth in a couple of years, at least I’ll do something to remember that even though my eyes don’t have crow’s feet yet, I am getting older and with that, have accomplished much that deserves to be celebrated.