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Did they Forget my Birthday?

Every year when my birthday rolls around, I make a big deal about advocating for yourself. I stand up, loud and proud, and say- get YOURSELF something. Don’t use a giftcard you were given to buy the kids something. Don’t sit there and hum and haw about how the kids could use new socks, or shoes. Of course they can. The kids ALWAYS need something. But so do you. And even if you don’t need it, even if it’s frivolous, you deserve it. Be “selfish”- it’s okay. It’s YOUR day. Take that shit. Get something you want that no one else can use. Eat the food you like, even if no one else likes it. Take the day off from the responsibilities around the house calling your name. Laundry can wait. Feeding your kids, ehhhhh maybe not- but the rest can hold off another day.

After a decade of not doing anything for myself for my birthdays, of them always being more about someone else than myself, or about nothing at all- I took the reigns last year. I took them, I got exactly what I wanted, and it was the best birthday I’d had in as long as I could remember.

This year was a bit different. I’ve been a bit down, I’ve been stressed, and dragging, and with my birthday creeping up (as I type this, it is tomorrow, which is January 30th), I just didn’t feel like having to bug my family about my birthday. I didn’t feel like making my own big plans. I just wanted, for once, for someone else to do something for me–instead of me taking it all on myself. I wanted to sit back for once. Not have to worry about it. Not yell it from the roof tops.

I received confirmation today that nothing has been planned for my birthday. No meals, no gifts, no cards–not from anyone in my immediate family. This isn’t one of those sitcom moments where they’re going to surprise me at the last second and make me feel like an asshole for expressing my disappointment- they’ve literally done nothing.
I want to be mad. After the huge deal I made about it last year, and no one even though to get a card? I want to feel down, and unappreciated- but I don’t deserve that on my birthday. I deserve to feel good about myself, and while I think the disappointment will stay- the sadness will not.

Thing is, we parents spend so much time taking care of everyone else- that those we take care of don’t realize that sometimes we need to be taken care of as well. They think we’re so solid, so dependable, that we don’t occasionally need to be treated. And it SUCKS. But I get it.

It’s not because they don’t care that they didn’t make any birthday plans for me. It’s not even because they forgot. It’s because I made them think I didn’t need it, didn’t want it. That was partially my mistake, and one I won’t make again–because teaching my kids to appreciate the ones in their lives that they love, even with just small things, like homemade cards, is a lesson worth teaching. And standing up for myself, and speaking out about what I want, what I need, and when my feelings are hurt, is one I’m still learning.

 

Posted on January 29, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
Holdin' Holden

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    Sending you a virtual birthday hug. Thanks for sharing your humor and your honesty. It’s a real gift, from you to us. Wishing a birthday full of unexpected surprises or at least a big ole bar of chocolate and a Netflix binge.

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