A Fantastic Day

On Saturday, Mr S turned 6.

I am still not sure how that really happened. 6 years have gone by in a flash.  (You can read my feelings about that here).

So on Wednesday night last week, only a few days out from his birthday, my mother phoned me to find out what plans I had for his birthday.

I was like “What?”

Silent pause.

The cogs in my brain creak and tick over.

Oh.

Crap.  

His birthday is this weekend.

Plus, my hubby and I both had to work on Saturday Morning.

The guilt whispered in my ear.

Worst. Mother. Ever.

Mr S has never had a ‘party’ for his birthday.

Sure, we have had family celebrations – our little brood at home, at the beach or at a restaurant, with my mum and stepdad and my sister and her kids, a barbecue or nice meal, presents and cakes.

But now that he is in grade 1, I was really hoping to organise a birthday party, and invite some of his friends from school and after-school care.

But I left it too late to organise anything.

The guilt whispered in my ear.

Worst. Mother. Ever.

I made sure Miss O had a party when she was in grade 1.  Why am I not doing the same for Mr S?   I am not treating them the same.  Mr S is disadvantaged.  He will think that I don’t love him the same.

Worst. Mother. Ever.

STOP!

I will not let this guilt consume me.

I can make a big mud hole and wallow in this self-pity and self-disgust or I can believe in myself and make a plan.

I am a good mother.

I am enough.

So, I made a plan.

Step 1: The Birthday Lunch

Seeing as my hubby and I both had to work on Saturday Morning, I would need to take all 3 kids with me to work.

(I am so lucky that I work in a wonderful family-owned business and that I can actually bring the kids to work if I need to.  Best bosses ever!).

After work, we would head down to our local pub and have a nice lunch.

Our go-to for occasions like this is the Grafton. It’s modest and laid back – not posh or overstated. They have a kids playground, and a kids entertainment area with some computer games.  It’s usually not too busy so the kids can eat, play and have fun while the adults relax.  The food is moderately priced and the staff are always friendly.

We arranged to meet Mum and my Stepdad there at about one o’clock.

Step 2: The Birthday Present

I was at a loss as to what I should actually get Mr S for his birthday.  So instead of wondering and worrying about what was the ‘best’ thing to get him, I thought I would let him show me what he wanted.

Step 3: The Birthday Cake

In keeping with the theme of letting Mr S choose what he wanted, I decided to buy a cake and let him choose.

Sounds like a plan to me!

On Thursday night after work, we went to the Toy Aisle at Big W to have a look for some of the things he was interested in.

After looking and looking and looking, he finally chose a Transformer toy. That was what he wanted.  Nothing else.  And it was only thirty-eight dollars.  I agreed he could have it for his birthday and I explained that we would buy it straight away but that he couldn’t have it until his birthday.  He was happier than a pig in mud and agreed to my terms and conditions.

My hubby wasn’t 100% happy with this.  He felt like the present should have been a surprise. But Mr S was 110% happy.  He knew that in a few days, the precious Optimus Prime toy that he had chosen would be his.

On Friday night, I read a post on facebook from one of my closest friends. She had also been suffering from birthday guilt as they had elected not to have a party for her one year old.

She was feeling the same way that I had been.  How many of us suffer this guilt?  We put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything!  Meanwhile, our kids just want us to be there!

I replied to her, engraving this on my own heart and mind as well, for the next time I decided to beat myself up.

“You are a great mother. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Have a little cake with your beautiful family, and your folks if you like, and take a couple of happy pics.

Spend the time that you would normally take running around to organise the party giving your beautiful baby girl hugs and kisses and helping her play with her toys : )

In years to come when she looks back at the photos you have taken she won’t remember not having a big celebration.”

And that, in essence, was exactly what I planned to do.

Take the pressure off myself.  Enjoy my child.  Be there.

I am so glad I did – what a great day our family had!

Mr S was so excited when he woke up and realised that it was his birthday, and was super-excited to get his Optimus Prime Toy.

My kids were (mostly) well-behaved at work and after work I picked up my hubby and we stopped in at the cheesecake shop.

Mr S chose a delicious Strawberry Torte, because he likes pink.

We headed down to the Grafton, and the kids took off immediately to play on the playground and on the computer games, while I ordered our lunch.  My hubby and I both had a 200g steak with salad and chips with mushroom sauce (only $12.00 each) and I ordered a cheeseburger and chips for Miss O, nuggets and chips for Mr S, and pizza and chips for Mr J. Kids eat free every day if accompanied with a parent meal, so two of the kids meals were free.  Altogether the food only came to $30.00.  Mum and my Stepdad arrived, and they ordered the same steak, salad and chips meal.

The food was ready quickly and we had a great relaxing time, chatting, while the kids ate and played.

Eventually it was time for the cake, which was a total hit with everyone.

Then we went home and had a rest for about an hour, before we headed off to Mount Whitfield to walk the Red Arrow bushwalk.

We started walking the Red Arrow together (or as I like to call it The Never-Ending Stairs of Doom) but it wasn’t long before Mr S and I were lagging behind.  (Did I mention I need to lose 20 kilos?).

I am sure that Mr S could have kept up with the others, but he preferred to stay with me.

Mr S and I got to chat about all kinds of things on the walk, and it was a really special time, despite feeling like I was literally going to die.

There were times that I had to stop to catch my breath.

My beautiful Mr S took it upon himself to encourage me. “Come on Mummy!  You can do it. You just have to try.”

I don’t know if it is possible to be humbled and proud at the same time, but that is exactly how I felt.  Those moments were priceless.

Eventually, we made it to the top. The view was beautiful, and Mr S and I took it in for a bit before beginning the descent.

Although the walk was exhausting for me, I was glad that we had done it.  The kids were beside themselves and buzzing with excitement and want to do the walk together on a regular basis.

All in all a fantastic day – and I didn’t have to stress at all!

Sometimes the simple things are the best.

9 comments on “A Fantastic Day

  1. Pingback: Falling Off The Wagon | MumSpeak

  2. Awww, what a great mummy you are! Loved this post! It is a good reminder for me, we have my birthday coming up {May 4th, send cake, pink is cool with me} and then my Miss A’s 9 days later… It can be so full on trying to ‘impress’ everyone with birthday things, but I LOVE that you went for a walk and did some special family things. LOVE that. Really.

    This was a nice Twitter wormhole to fall into. Hope you got some more hits! Do you get many from Twitter? I only get one or two, my readers come from Facebook…

    • Thanks so Much B! A few months ago I had a party for my daughter turning 10 and I was so stressed the whole time. It was really great making Mr S happy and just doing stuff together. By the way, I Loved your Anzac Day post.

  3. looks like an awesome birthday to me! and yes, damm that mother guilt! I am sure he will remember the fun of the day, and be thankful you did so much to make his day special xx

    • Thanks Alicia! It was an awesome day. And thats the funny thing! I actually didn’t really do much, but I am pretty sure he enjoyed it more than he would have with me running around stressing out trying to ‘do it all’. And he got to choose the things that he wanted / liked.

      • Our sons bday this year was the best one, and we kept it simple too, I see your boy had a Cheesecake shop cake, looked very familar to me, as I work at the smithfield one, I hope you all enjoyed it!

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