Favorite Things, Humor, Life

Birthday Week: Make it a Thing


First published May 1, 2017


Birthdays are important.

My parents, particularly my mother, have always made me feel this way by asking what I want for gifts, as well as what dinner and cake flavor I prefer.

I’m the same way with my children; we plan their birthdays weeks in advance. I want them to understand how important their birth is to me.

However, I did not always do this for myself.

My first husband never made my birthday special because it wasn’t on his radar, despite the fact that I expected him to. In retrospect, I realize that wasn’t fair to him. It wasn’t fair to me to get a Yankee candle for my 30th birthday after just giving birth to our daughter six weeks before, but alas.

I made sure to divorce him before my next milestone birthday. 

When I remarried, I made a point of finding someone who made birthdays special. He dropped the ball a few times because he has a penis and doesn’t perceive birthdays the same way I do.


Men Holding Red Pink and Yellow Balloon Under Blue Sky during Daytime


I only recently realized something about my birthday: only I can make it as spectacular as the expectations I’ve created in my head. My spouse and children could never live up to what I felt I deserved on my special day.

I refused to ruin another birthday by feeling sorry for myself because another human being was not seeing me. I can see myself. I don’t need others to appreciate me on my birthday. Birthday expectations differ from person to person. I WILL NOT POUT ON MY DAY.

I also don’t want to make my children feel bad because their adult parent didn’t get or didn’t do something. It is also never their fault. Emotional maturity is essential in this situation.

So I resolved to celebrate my birthday the week before and/or after it, as well as on the actual day. A good time does not have to be expensive or complicated. It is simply doing small things to increase my delight.

There should be one week a year when you treat yourself better than usual, when you lavish yourself with love, when you do little things to woo yourself, when you replace your holey underwear, etc..


Landscape Photo Of Green and Red Balloons


To give you some ideas, here’s what I did during my birthday week:

  • I ordered something that had been sitting in my Amazon cart that I really wanted
  • Bought a plant for my desk when I was at the store buying groceries
  • One day, I made an old favorite recipe just for myself for lunch.
  • Got a manicure and pedicure with my mom
  • I went to lunch with a friend at a restaurant I’d always wanted to try.
  • Visited friends we hadn’t seen in a long time
  • Wrote every single day
  • Took my dog with me almost everywhere I went (it’s his birthday week too!)
  • Watched the Real Housewives of New York City on Hulu every night
  • Skipped my youngest daughter’s soccer game because it was 40 degrees out and stayed at home with a Starbucks and Pinterest instead

I had no remorse for doing any of the preceding. It was the best birthday I’d had in years, and it’s something I’ll do every year from now on for myself.

I hope you do this too. Because we all deserve to. ❤️

24 thoughts on “Birthday Week: Make it a Thing”

  1. I have a guy friend who celebrates all month . He calls it H.B.M. Every day he would post a picture of what he ate that day and or share an interesting story about himself on facebook.

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  2. You deserve a birthday YEAR just for how often you make me laugh. (And then I get off the hook for failing to wish you a happy birthday during your birthday week.) You keep being you. Please. And treat yourself more than once a year.

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  3. This is awesome! I love my hubby, but he never makes a big deal out of my birthday. I don’t want to divorce him over it though – he does have other good qualities that make up for it. 😉 I do treat myself extra special on my bday, but all week? Hmm, that might have to become a thing! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. Oddly enough I read a blog post this morning saying the exact opposite: birthdays are irrelevant so why bother with them. Like all topics anymore there are many opinions. 🙄 That being said I’ve enjoyed your birthday month.

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  5. You do know how to make your day/month special. I grew up with the opposite – very little focus birthdays. It was sort of an after thought. My brother’s bday Dec 27th, mine Dec 30th – people were pooped. Gifts were scarce. Not much celebration to be had. My favorite birthdays as an adult are the ones when Coach takes the day off and makes everyone BEHAVE. My guy is NOT a good gifter. I once got a potato peeler for Christmas. For years he would go to the Irish imports store and just buy something, cause I’m Irish. I finally put the kabosh on that because I really don’t need socks with the flag of Ireland on them (no joke). Nowadays he and I usually get dinner at my favorite restaurant. I might have to borrow some of your ideas and maybe avoid after-Christmas related chores. I have some time to plan it out.

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    1. Use my ideas all you want! I think part of the biggest problem is that we expected go big or go home for our birthday and if we don’t get that even the little things don’t matter. But the little things save me.

      I really think you need to do a week in January that is just yours. Instead of December. For real. Once the kids are done with break. It doesn’t have to be big, just little nice things for you. Like taping the morning news and watching it alone while eating cake. 😚

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  6. With a mid-December birthday, I don’t know that birthday week can ever be a thing for me. Maybe I should borrow yours? A birthday in the middle of spring sounds kinda wonderful.

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    1. Yes! I just told another friend to do that as well.

      Anna had a friend who has a December birthday and she always had her birthday parties in the summer and celebrated her half birthday. 🙌🏻

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  7. My sister in law (and her entire family!) joke that she has a whole birthday month!! I try to do nice things like that for myself year round– not all the time but just here and there because I am starting to realize that I am important and while my husband and kids love me dearly they are all guys and therefor just don’t think of doing those small little things very often. I’m quite lucky if they remember mother’s day, my birthday, or even Christmas gifts. They want to but often wait until the last minute and then complain about all that they wanted to buy me but couldn’t find.. they typically have great ideas too just no the foresight to plan ahead. I really do think it’s got to be a gender thing.. I hope you had a fabulous birthday week even if it was in the midst of a pandemic this year.

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  8. I remember my mom giving me a big birthday party when I was five, with all the neighborhood kids in our basement. That was the only big birthday party I had. Otherwise, we had a birthday cake and a present after dinner, but that was about it. Our family just didn’t make a big deal out of birthdays. Now as empty nesters, Brian and I spend our birthdays out on a day trip…birthday person’s choice of where to go and where to eat.

    This year, both at the end of July, Brian is going to be 60 and my mom 80! I am hoping to have a small family party here.

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  9. I should definitely have taken more time to process that this was a post reblogged (quarantine brain is so much slower). I was stunned by all of the things you did while socially distancing and then realized Anna did not have a prom this year

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  10. It’s weird to say but my birthday is the only day where I feel like it can all be about me. I pick everything we do, and I feel no guilt about it. I hate that it’s not like that all the time, but it’s just not how I’m wired. I love my birthday, and try to always eat lots of sweets, cupcakes if I can get to place that has them. I’m not sure what I want to do this year. The kids keep asking me but I don’t want to think too much about it. I don’t want to feel like I don’t have a choice for what we do, even though I’m sure we’ll still be in quarantine.

    I absolutely love what your husband did for you! I’m still on husband number one, so I’m not holding my breath for that kind of treatment, lol.

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