Pages

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Birthdays: Before and After Kids


Everything changes when you have kids. And never is this more obvious than on your birthday. Before kids, birthdays were an excuse to indulge, to slack off and to drink. After kids, only one of those is still true.

The Birthday Bash

Before kids: On your actual birthday, you have a boozy lunch at work and a “quiet” dinner for 12. On the nearest Saturday, you throw your Birthday Bash. You exchange roughly 200 emails about it and worry you won’t be able to find a venue that will hold enough people and stay open late enough. You are asked to reach a “minimum bar spend” to guarantee your reserved corner of some sweaty hole – you scoff and exceed it within the first hour. Fancy dress is obligatory – the only trouble is choosing a theme that hasn’t been done recently.  Your hangover is an annual legend.

After kids: You don’t want to do anything. Then a week before, you decide you want a quiet night out, just the two of you. The day before your birthday, you decide you will not let another year of your blessed life go silently into the night! You go crazy and book a table at a local restaurant. Your old friends are still in the city or in their own corner of the commuter band. So you ask your lovely new friends. They chorus, “Yes! As long as we can get a sitter.” You get mellowly drunk with the few that make it and are delighted to be home by bedtime. As you stumble into bed, the baby wakes up.


Birthday Cards

Before Kids: You’re touched to receive them.  You leave them in the pub.

After Kids: You hover near the door waiting for the postie. Surely someone will have remembered? You check your Facebook page again to see if anyone has noticed it’s your birthday on their timeline. You say you don’t really mind that your husband didn’t get the kids to make you a card. But you do.

Birthday Presents

Before Kids: Spa days, wine-tasting, fun fashion from your friends, well-chosen books, a weekend away, jewellery, posh toiletries – your birthday was your oyster.

After Kids: What you want for your birthday is simple: time and       space      . But that will have to wait a couple of decades. Meanwhile, you're happy if someone else takes the bin out.

The Birthday Cake

Before Kids: You buy M&S’s Colin the Caterpillar cake for the office. It's ironic. The restaurant sticks a sparkler in your tiramisu that night. At your Bash, there is no need for cake. A friend may surprise you with one - which nobody eats and is later used as an ashtray.

After Kids: You may not want a cake, but telling the kids that is like saying Santa doesn’t exist. The birthday cake IS the birthday. You have to make it yourself. You have to let the children help. It is chocolate with jelly diamonds and marshmallows. You hate chocolate cake, jelly diamonds and marshmallows. But birthdays are no longer about “me, me, me”. They are about the kids. But it’s OK, you get a new day for “me, me, me”. Like the Queen, it’s the second birthday of mums everywhere: Mothers’ Day.

The Birthday-Giver

Before Kids: You don’t give your mother much thought, except to loudly thank her when she rings you in the pub for the card and present she will always remember to have sent.


After Kids: You ring her and try and convey in one call how amazing she is, how much you love her and how much you now appreciate all she has done for you, ever since the day she brought you into the world. Your birthday. She cuts you off. You now know how she feels. You have given her more than she could ever have dreamed, that special day in time. Your birthday.

Make my birthday wish come true: nominate me!

MAD Blog Awards

30 comments:

  1. So very true!!
    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fab day x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha!! Very true. Fab post. Have a great day (and a sneaky gin!) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Plenty of boozage was consumed.x

      Delete
  3. Happy birthday and another fab post..... and I couldn't agree more about what we all want as mothers for our birthdays now..... space :o). X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Let's hope we both get a bit of space before our kids are growed. x

      Delete
  4. So accurate & funny! Happy bday, hope you got better presents than 'bin service'. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I did get the recycling taken out too - WOO! x

      Delete
  5. Fab post lovely and so true! Hope you have been spoilt (a bit anyway!) xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy Birthday!! This is so spot on, I think, it's been 26 years since I had a birthday before kids ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much! Wow - hope you do actually get spoilt on your birthday now!x

      Delete
  7. Haha so true, and very funny!

    Pocolo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Visiting from #PoCoLo. Great post, made me chuckle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! What is grooming but an opportunity for giggling?

      Delete
  9. Happy Birthday! Enjoyed reading, so true :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ha ha, so true! Happy Birthday and I hope someone else puts the bin out for you! #pocolo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, the bin was indeed emptied, and not by my hand. After I'd pointedly left it open.

      Delete
  11. Soooo true. I love my kids, but I do miss my old birthdays. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - kids just hijack them; they even unwrap my presents for me. xx

      Delete
  12. When you get to be my age, they sing you this birthday song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coIv4gwXlIo

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy Birthday! This is brilliant - and so true! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday lovely, hope you had a great one. All of the above is so true. And the cake was definitely an ashtray. I once put a cigarette out in a work's do salad, but that's another story. I was well cool before I had kids, clearly... :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha ha - fag butt in the salad! You are allll class! x

      Delete
  15. Brilliant! And all very true. I have to confess I much prefer Mother's day to my birthday these days. Lots more opportunity to rest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband was away for Mother's Day last year, so I'm expecting something BIG! I've not had any of this "rest" - what is this? x

      Delete

Leave a comment, do. They make my day!