I Love My Kids, but Every Year on My Birthday, I Leave Them
We've all heard the saying, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to." While that classic Lesley Gore song is quite catchy, I vote we change the lyrics to, "It's my birthday and I'll do whatever I want even if that includes leaving my kids." Moms, we get two days a year that belong to us — our birthday and Mother's Day — so you should make them what you want. If you love being surrounded by your entire family on your birthday, that's great. But me? I like to get the hell out of dodge every single year. I still celebrate my birthday with my kids in our own way, but I also enjoy time away from them, because, damn, I need that break.
If you dream about doing something without your kids on your birthday, do it. It doesn't make you a bad mom.
For my birthday, I don't need a lot of attention, a birthday cake, or even the "Happy Birthday" song awkwardly sung to me (actually, please don't sing me that song). I don't need a fancy dinner out or even a short trip away. To me, birthdays serve as an opportunity to snag a babysitter for a few hours of much-needed me time. I adore my kids, but if there's a day when I don't feel guilty for putting myself first, it's my birthday.
It's become a bit of a tradition for me to plan a girls' night or for my husband and me to sneak away together. As long as I'm around adults only, I know I have the breath of fresh air I need. For a handful of birthdays, my friends and I have gone out to dinner and then back to one of our houses (where the kids are gone) to sit around a bonfire with drinks. We'll stay up late, indulge in too many cocktails, freely drop F-bombs, and listen to inappropriate music. Maybe it sounds like we're trying to hold onto our youth, but what's wrong with that? We're only as young as we want to be, and I personally like to return to high school one night every year.
Making my birthday about me also steers my fears about getting older more toward being grateful for another year. When I'm with my friends on that day, I feel young, free, and spontaneous. When I'm with my husband, I feel sexy, giddy, and energized. I don't sit at home and pick out my gray hairs while tending to sleep schedules and play dates. I get to do that every other day.
Whenever I don't celebrate with my friends, my husband and I take date night up a notch. We'll call in grandparent reinforcements and do things like drive to a nearby city, go to a brewery, catch a comedy show, or sleep in the next morning at a hotel. That alone time is so valuable, because after kids, it becomes so scarce. Do we miss our kids when we leave? Of course. But we also know that we need to prioritize each other, especially on a birthday.
So, moms, if you dream about doing something without your kids on your birthday, do it. It doesn't make you a bad mom. In fact, it makes you a better mom, because you're taking care of your own wants and needs, too. You should always look forward to your birthday every year. Yes, you're another year older, but that doesn't mean you can't spend your day being as young and immature as you want.
Editor's Note: This piece was written by a POPSUGAR contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of POPSUGAR Inc. Interested in joining our POPSUGAR Voices network of contributors from around the globe? Click here.