My son and I came extremely close to sharing a birthday. So close in fact, that I spent my birthday in early labour. Luckily he waited until the next day to actually be born. Even though he was already a week late, I begged him to stay in my belly. Ain’t nobody got time for childbirth on their birthday. (Especially if you LOVE your birthday, like me.)
So, instead of sharing a birthday, we have my birthday on August 22, my son’s on August 23 and my husband’s birthday rounds out the week on August 28. Everyone in our household is born in the same 6 day period.
At least one person just read that last paragraph and said, “Awww, that’s so cute!” Thank you, you are very sweet, but shut that down. Shut it right down. While it may seem sweet to share (or almost share) a birthday, it is not always a good thing.
Here are 3 reasons it sucks to have your birthday close to your child’s birthday:
People forget your birthday:
Yup, no one will ever remember my birthday again. Even those that remember are just being polite because they really care about my son’s birthday. Not mine and definitely not my husband’s. I may be in my 30’s, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about my birthday anymore. I know some people hate their birthdays because they are a reminder of their their increasing age. I have never been this way.
I love everything about birthdays – the get-togethers, the cake, the games and the birthday cards. I am the type of person who (probably wrongly) expects that only good things should happen to me on my birthday. You know what was not good on my birthday last year? Being in labour. You know what is not good about this year’s birthday? No one remembers it. So, I’ll just be over here, eating cake and feeling sorry for myself.
You look selfish when you complain that no one remembers your birthday:
Okay, I am not asking for a big deal on my birthday. I don’t care about presents. I just want to be acknowledged on my birthday. But as an adult, this makes me look super selfish. I am not sure when it became unreasonable to expect attention on your birthday, but I think it is somewhere around age 25. I am discovering that the older I get, the less tolerant others are of excitement about your birthday. We are expected to treat it like any other day, because we are adults. This is only compounded when your child’s birthday is close to yours.
We went to a BBQ to celebrate a few family birthdays recently. At least, we thought it was to celebrate all the birthdays. Except ours were not even mentioned. Of course we didn’t say anything, because there is no good way to remind someone that it is your birthday without sounding whiny (at best) or desperately needy (at worst). I told my mom about this and she said, “Welcome to parenthood.”
Well, yes and no. It is only natural that my son’s birthday will take precedence over mine. I want to make a really big deal about my son’s birthday. I will celebrate the crap out of it. However, my son having a birthday doesn’t mean that mine ceases to exist. The complete erasure of my birthday wouldn’t happen if we had birthdays in different months. So, I can’t celebrate my birthday because no one remembers/cares and I can’t celebrate on my son’s birthday because that makes me look like a jerk (even though I did all the work for him to be born). So I’m in a weird birthday no man’s land forever. Damn.
We miss out on our own celebrations:
I have not had my own birthday celebration since my husband and I started dating 13 years ago. Since our birthdays were in the same week, we always celebrate our birthdays at the same time. This is just more convenient for our families. I don’t mind sharing my birthday celebrations. Now that there are 3 of us with the same birthday week, it just makes more sense to combine them. After all, no one is coming to celebrate 3 different birthdays on 3 different days in one week.
But while I am perfectly happy to share a birthday celebration, but I don’t want to be cut out of it all together. Just write my name on the cake. (That’s right, I haven’t had my own birthday cake in 13 years, because it seems silly to get two cakes for my husband and I.) You don’t even have to sing my name in the birthday song, but please don’t assume that I want to stop celebrating my birthday because I have a kid.