Friday, 19 May 2017

Birthday Blues

“Did you have a good birthday?” they ask. “Yes it was great thanks” I reply, trying to smile. Because that's what's expected isn't it? You are meant to have an amazing day on your birthday. But it wasn't amazing and all the messages from everyone kindly wishing me a fabulous day just made me feel worse.

It can be hard being a stay at home mum when one day blends into the next, even if it’s your birthday. It’s hard when your partner works long hours and you crave adult conversation, but you struggle to make new mum friends. It can be hard when the whole world expects you to be happy and celebrating, but you’re alone and you want to cry.


My birthday involved getting up early and opening a couple of cards and a present while trying to get two small people dressed, breakfasted and out the door to school. (Yes I know "breakfasted" isn't a word, but it encompasses so much more than just feeding them).

When I got home with Little I looked at the mess of the kitchen and decided to put the dishwasher on, do some washing up and clean it all up. All great birthday treats. A few hours later with the sun shining I strapped Little into the pushchair and headed out on foot to town. Some weeks ago I arranged to meet a friend for birthday lunch because spending the whole day alone with a toddler didn't sound like "an amazing day". Actually I invited two friends, but the other one didn't reply so I didn't push it. I struggle socially and I'm not the best at making or keeping friends. If I ask someone to meet up with me and they don't reply or they sound vague I'm unlikely to ask again in a hurry. It's not that I'm offended, I just assume they don't want to see me.

So we had lunch and it was nice. We had a chat, the children babbled away and I started to feel better about life. Then as we were about to pay and head to the playground her son pulled his hand out of his backpack with a bee attached to his finger. The poor boy had been stung and he didn't stop crying while we paid or while we walked to the unhelpful chemist or while we walked back to put him in the car. I can still see his sad face filled with shock, pain and confusion.

Rather than go home I decided to head to M&S to get something nice for dinner. As I walked down the road it started to rain. Big, fat, heavy rain drops. I honestly felt like crying. I thought about turning back but what was the point? I would get wet walking home and I would have nothing for dinner.

I wandered round Marks & Spencer's feeling down. With M at her Dad's that evening I would be on my own with Little until G came home and that could be 8 or 9 o'clock. G was going to give me his presents when he got home so there was a long afternoon blankly staring at me. For once none of the food in the shop excited me so I just grabbed a couple of bits and headed home.

During the afternoon the weather got worse. My cat sat in the window and looked at the persistent rain. I think she was wondering why I wasn't turning it off. It reflected my mood so maybe I was causing it?

The afternoon was nothingness and more nothingness interspersed with occasional messages from friends:
“Happy birthday"
"Hope you have a lovely day" 
"Have a great day"
"Have a lovely day"

Each one popped up on my phone and my mood lowered. This was not a lovely day. It was a normal day with a brief but lovely lunch sandwiched between dullness.

I couldn't even turn to cake. I hadn't bought a cake because I was hoping I would be given one. Dairy free cakes are often rubbish, but there are some good ones or I could have made one. Still it's better to be bought a cake right? My afternoon tea was just a cup of tea.

Late afternoon I received a text from G saying he would be home earlier than usual, I started counting the minutes until he got home. Eventually he walked in with flowers, a present and cake. Due to my rubbish mood I wasn’t as grateful as I should have been to have the wet, but beautiful bunch of flowers placed in my lap, or for the rather dry Free From Everything Carrot Cake or for the vast amounts of money he spent on a present which wasn’t very practical and should probably go back rather than be left unused or broken.

I hated the way I sounded. G had made an effort and I appreciate the thought, but often what I want most are those gifts which aren't easily bought. It was lovely to have G home early. We did the bedtime routine together and once Little was asleep we spent some quality time together. Spending time as a couple made me happy again. Talking and attention and time were the presents I needed. I don’t want to be bought things, I just want to feel loved.
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2 comments

  1. Sorry your birthday wasn't great. I'm not keen on birthdays, they're just another day really and feeling like I should be having fun just makes it worse.

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  2. �� so sorry to hear your birthday wasn't the greatest. And it really wasn't huh. I would happily meet up with you for a belated birthday day of fun if you fancied it.

    I believe birthdays are for celebrating. Every birthday is a special birthday as it's a celebration that you made it another year when so many don't. If my other half can't take the day off for my birthday which is rare now he's self employed, I try and make plans with my mum and we go out for lunch but hubs is there in the morning or leaves me a surprise before he leaves.

    I'd explain your disappointment to G so me t year isn't a repeat. Ps. For Xmas my hubs bought me a giant telescope. I said I wanted on but not that big when we are struggling for space in our two up two down lol. It makes you feel like an ungrateful bitch but sometimes you just want practicality or as you say, time rather than gifts.

    Seriously tho. If your Essex based I'd happily meet up xxx

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