I sat down to journal “a little bit” in the weeks and days leading up to my kid’s 2nd birthday, and what came out ended up being more like a novella instead of a simple journal entry. Turns out I have a lot of Feelings + Thoughts™ on all the motherhood matters. So instead of posting them all at once, I’ve made it a series, if only to make it seem like I’m not pressuring readers into reading 10k words in one sitting. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But maybe you DO have time for a couple of posts on motherhood. WHATEVER. Here’s part 1, on kid’s birthdays, and how it’s really more about me LOL.
I am all onboard for giving people – kids, grown-ups, otherwise – a day to celebrate themselves and their existence. I personally LOVE birthdays and I always treat my own birthday as a sacred day, week, and month, during which I plan fun things for me to do with myself, favorite foods to eat, favorite places to go, favorite work to skip.
It’s all about treating myself and I enjoy having an excuse for an extra dose of self-love and self-care in many forms for basically the entire month of June. I think we all agree by now that we don’t need an excuse to treat ourselves to nice things, but I enjoy saving some things and making extra effort (read: spending more money) on myself in various forms and having my birthday as the excuse or occasion. Gotta justify those budget items to the husband somehow, eh? Heh-heh, feminism!
Kids CERTAINLY deserve to be celebrated and taught to celebrate themselves, that they are special, and who – as a kid – doesn’t love to have an entire day (or week or month) ALL about them, with all the fun shit I just described that I do for myself?
I assume MOST kids love this, but I guess I wouldn’t know since I don’t know all kids.
I’m excited to participate in making Boy feel special AF every February 4th until he turns into his father and claims to hate birthdays and tell me that he wishes I wouldn’t bother. [This is true. Man-Piece does not care about his birthday and sometimes I don’t even buy him a present! It’s not a form of love he wants, so I save that money for my OWN birthday presents 😉 ]
HOWEVER. At the moment, my kid’s birthday feels more about ME than it does about him. He’s only 2 years old, after all. He knows NOTHING, Jon Snow (are we still doing that joke?).
I give him special meals, special play time, new toys (aka shit I have hidden away in a closet for a month or two that he’s forgotten about) randomly, and extra special trips to… the BASEMENT – which right now are, to him, as fun as a trip to Disney world. I can DO special, for my boy. Like, you’ll NEVER GUESS where we’re going next! THE BACKYARD!!!!!!
Who among us parents isn’t a master of making something special out of nothing!?
But as his birthday approaches, I guess maybe it’s natural that what I’m really thinking about – especially since I’m not inviting anyone to my house or having any sort of party – is ME.
I am the one who gave birth after all. I am the one who grew him from scratch. I am the one with stretch marks. I am the one still attempting (probably) to repair my diastasis recti. I am the one who lost my…self, my sanity, my sleep, my hair, my MIND to postpartum depression, anxiety, normal newborn worries, and absolutely psychotic hormones.
I AM THE ONE.
All he did was bruise my tailbone on the way out and immediately look really cute while yawning and making mysterious newborn faces.
It makes me think of Game of Thrones (again), where they had a “name day.” I kind of like this concept better. If we’re going to give people a day to celebrate themselves and their existence, why can’t it be a different day than the day they actually are born, since again, they had no real role except being present. Moms do all the work. Sure doctors say things like “baby will come when he’s ready,” but we don’t mean that baby ACTUALLY DECIDES for himself that yes in fact today IS the day I will journey down the birth canal and emerge from this watery darkness into the light. Hi-ho, here I come!
THIS way, moms everywhere get what they deserve, which is MORE days that are JUST for them! Their own birthdays (yes I see the flaw here but it’s my fantasy so zip-ya-lid!), their children’s birthdays, AND Mother’s Day!
Perhaps one can reclaim one’s own day of birth once one has had one’s own children? This concept needs work, I see that now.
Forced to say again, it’s my fantasy, I can make AND ignore rules.
So I guess modern science still doesn’t really fully know what causes labor in all cases? I mean whatever, this isn’t a medical journal but regardless, I think we can all agree it’s not the baby’s CHOICE. It just HAPPENS (or in less “magical” cases like mine, is medically induced), and the mother – though also not necessarily having a choice – is the one who does the work and bears the consequences.
“Pushing,” shitting herself, enduring the fear + risk of a c-section and recovery, lots of other medical scary-baddies, and offering food from her actual body.
PLUS (but wait, there’s more!) let’s not forget, not only do mothers have to grow the kid from scratch thus allowing and even nurturing a parasite inside her, she then [if she wants / is able] feeds her young from said war-torn body, thusly making it even more war-torn. Double war! Yay!
At this point, I have basically convinced myself to adopt his birthday as MY day. Like what about he gets the day we baptized him? He didn’t pick that either but let’s give THAT day to him to celebrate himself, give him gifts, express how glad we are that he’s in the world, etc. etc.. I will keep his birthing day to myself, to celebrate what an absolutely exceptional job I did cultivating him like prized State Fair produce in my uterus, allowing him to ravage my as-of-then-pristine body on his way out, providing 100% of his nutrients for the first 4 months of his life, and even potentially saddling myself with long-term anxiety as a result of the whole Thing.
When I write it like that, it seems fair, does it not? LOL.
WHO’S WITH ME!?
Good grief there’s so much more, y’all I wrote a TON. This is basically the comical introduction to the book. There’s more: more comedy, more tragedy, more serious evaluation of the institution of motherhood. Join me for part 2, where we discuss boundaries.