Why Birthdays Make Me Sad.

October 31, 2013 · 14 comments

Today I turned 43.  (Yes I am THAT OLD.)   Hippobirdy to me!!    Having deposited all my children where they need to be I’m now sitting snuggle up under a cozy comfy blanket on my bed with a cup of coffee and my laptop – one of my  happy places.    I’ve been feeling just a little teary and emotional since early this morning.  Stupid I know, it’s my birthday I should be celebrating.   But alas that’s the life of an over emotional female.  Tears are common place and I’m often left riding the waves of my oceans of feelings.     In fact the very reason I started writing was because it helps me navigate my emotions.   When the feelings become words the waves turn back into  ripples and I can enjoy their gentle buffeting without getting thrown of course.

A grew up with the understanding that birthdays are special.  Like most of us children of the western world I was given gifts and love in  abundance on my birthday. I felt celebrated and that my friends is a wonderful thing.   Even though my family was not  rich or at all outlandish with their spoiling I still knew my birthday, and hence my birth, was special.  I miss that.    You see these day I am the one who makes other people feel celebrated. I am the Mum and in our culture that is our role.  And though I wouldn’t change a thing there is still a deep need inside me return to my childish desire to be celebrated.

I’ve talked to other mums and I know it’s not uncommon to feel a bit forgotten on your own birthday.  I believe there are some husbands/partners who are actually very good at birthday spoiling.  But despite his many good qualities my Nature Boy is not one of those people.   Over the years I’ve learned to plan my own birthdays and buy my own presents.   This year the thought of doing it just left me feeling hollow so I didn’t.   Instead I’m spending time right here in my happy place thinking and just letting it all wash over me.   We are all responsible for our own happiness and I firmly believe you must choose happiness and not wait for it to choose you.  I’m contemplating this little hole in my heart that wants others to celebrate my birth and letting it speak to me before I explain to it that I’m a grown up now and really need to act like one.

As mums we get used to giving.  We give of our bodies, emotions, sleep,  finances, time and love at an alarming rate.  You simple don’t understand how much you have to give until you become a mum.  There is no way that giving can really be compensated and nor should it be.   Today my own love tank is feeling a little low on fuel.   I want to be a child and feel that heart melting sensation when your family smothers you with love and joy just because you did them the honour of being born.   Ridiculous when you think of the fact that my own mum did all the hard labour on that front – but it is the truth.   As  much as I complain or kick up a fuss I know that as an adult that feeling is not going to be handed to me on a plate ….. even though I really want it to be.

So today, on my 43rd birthday I am going to head off to the kitchen to make myself a beautiful carrot cake to share with my family.  I’m going to thank God that I was born 43 years ago and have been blessed with such an amazing life.   I am going to remember that I have family and friends who have not been lucky enough to live as long as I have and I am going to celebrate the day I was born.  Happy birthday me!



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah July 28, 2014 at 6:43 am

Everything you put in here expresses what I’ve struggled with describing since the birth of my first child. He’s almost three and since his birth my world revolves around him…by my choice! He’s the best thing that ever happened to us…however since his birth any holiday that focuses on me (Mother’s Day, my birthday and my husband and I’s anniversary) make me sad and almost depressed. I could never put into words why though. All other holidays make me super happy and I love spoiling others and making them extra memorable for my son. Now I realize how much I let go during “my” holidays and expect someone to do the same for me and make me feel special…and sometimes they try, a little, but not like I do. I guess I just want a day when someone makes a fuss over me and goes put of their way to make my day extra special. It was refreshing to read this and put words to my feelings and know I’m not alone (tomorrow is my 28th birthday). Thank you for this post.


2 Denyse November 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I know exactly what you mean……. I also know that you are a very much loved person who would really enjoy someone spilling her (noticing her?) a bit more every so often. Caz, you are a wonderful person! So pleased you shared & made your birthday yours…. D xx


3 Dorothy October 31, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Happy birthday, Caz!

I have to organise my own celebrating and even then not many people seem interested in celebrating with me. I guess I just have to wait ’till the boys are older and can spoil me, if they want to, which I hope they do, given how much effort I put into their birthdays.

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4 Caz October 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Thanks Dorothy 🙂
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5 Cate October 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Oh, you’ve just put into words my anxiety about turning 40 next year!

Happy birthday!
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6 Caz October 31, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Happy almost 40 Cate. Hope it turns out to be all kinds of wonderful 🙂
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7 Kate October 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Spot on as always. Birthdays are an excuse to indulge, so do whatever you want to, Caz, and that includes wallowing xox


8 Caz October 31, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Thanks Kate. I think my two pieces of carrot cake have taken care of the indulge part 🙂
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9 Kylie October 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Love the sound of the carrot cake but wish we lived closer as would love to have hand baked a cake for you myself 🙂
Indulge yourself today, but perhaps also in time as your little pinks get older, they may realise your birthday is a very special day. Some hand picked flowers, a homemade card or some hand made craft would be just the thing.
Hopefully some takeaway is in order tonight (to go with that delicious carrot cake)
Love and hugs xx


10 Caz October 31, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Kylie 🙂 So true – my girls do make me feel very special. My big girl is away at camp this year …… which just added to my sad face moment. But all is good. I’ve really had a lovely peaceful day. Not much spoiling but still a lovely day.
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11 Carly Wilson October 31, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a fabulous day!

Mmmm carrot cake .. yum (as long as it doesn’t have sultanas in it LOL)

Yep .. being a Mum and having a Birthday …I’m hearing you ……

I love reading your posts 🙂 Have a special day and know that you are appreciated … not just by your own family but by all of your blog and FB followers …. xoxoxo Carly


12 Caz October 31, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Thanks Carly 🙂 You make the most beautiful comments – so glad to have you reading along!!!
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13 Mel October 31, 2013 at 11:59 am

Happy birthday to you !! Have a guilt free snugly day


14 Caz October 31, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Mel 🙂 Yep – putting my two peices of carrot cake right into that guilt free category!!!
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