My son turned four this past weekend. For his first birthday, I went big. As a mom who sucks at crafting, I found my inspiration on Pinterest and paid people on Etsy to execute my vision of Mason’s little man birthday bash complete with bowties, mustaches, musical entertainment, photo booth, and of course, signature cocktails served in mason jars. Everyone knows a child’s first birthday party is actually for the parents to celebrate surviving the first year of parenthood, where they have successfully kept the tiny human they are now responsible for alive. They have figured out how to fit showers into their daily routines, become accustomed to regularly getting spit up on, peed on, shit on, caught throw up with their bare hands, and if they’re lucky, the accomplished the amazing and life-changing task of getting their child to sleep through the night.
I didn’t stop celebrating myself after Mason’s first birthday. Why should I? I never take any attention away from him. I don’t get presents. It’s his birthday. His party. But there are little things I do each year for me too, because his parties always serve as a reminder of the first one, where I can remember stopping to think that “Wow. I’m a mom--Mason’s mom, and I got this whole motherhood thing.”
Here are five reasons why I think my son’s birthday is my birthday too.
- The day my son was born was also the day I became a mother. It’s my birth day into the world of motherhood.
- I always choose that day as one to break with whatever diet I happen to be on at that time to binge on cake—lots of cake.
- It might be the day of his birth, but it’s also the day I labored with him for 24 hours, tried to push him out of my vagina for two of them, and ultimately had my stomach sliced open so he could come into the world. That deserves at least a very large piece of cake.
- What I wear is almost just as important as what he wears. Each year I buy myself a brand new outfit, something fabulous that matches the theme of his party if there is one. Thorough research is done and approval is sought from best mom friends who do the same. Last year’s purchase? A Marcus Lupfer sequined Mickey Mouse sweater (on sale thank god) for his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse bash and a tutu.
- I serve alcohol at his birthday parties. I sip on a cocktail or wine while his friends and he sip on their organic juice boxes. Parents, you’re welcome for this.
- I take a moment to pause, look around at my son with all of our family and friends, and feel grateful for him and that I get to be his mother. That it’s been another year since I got healthy. Another year since I fought to overcome the postpartum depression that convinced me I didn’t even want to be a mother.