This year for my birthday I face a couple of extra challenges, I’m heavily pregnant with baby number eight, then there’s the pandemic which we all face and perhaps even more out of control than even that… is my mother.

I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down, but I knew that for the sake of my health, I needed to decline my mum’s request to come over on my birthday.

Honestly, I simply wouldn’t have the energy to chase after seven kids as well as meet all of her demands on the day. Of course, I suspected that it wasn’t going to be taken well, but heavens, I didn’t expect the epic meltdown that she had over my appeal!

It’s My Birthday And I Can Say NO If I Want To!

When she called to let me know that she would be coming over with my brother I politely declined, letting her know that I didn’t want to do anything this year. I explained that I wasn’t physically up to it and asked her if she had ever visited me and actually seen me sit down while she was there.

I couldn’t think of anything worse on my birthday than to be rushing around cooking, cleaning and making sure everyone else around me was having a wonderful time! Selfish I know, but true nonetheless.

What I Really Wanted!

My hope for my birthday was just spending the day with my children, my hubby and hopefully my dad… relaxing at home, doing nothing in particular. And that’s what felt right, it’s what excited me and realistically I think it’s what is safest at this stage of my pregnancy.

Added to my huge desire to be lazy on my birthday, I actually didn’t want to have them come over. I’ve been self isolating myself for months and my mother works in a medical centre, my brother works in a shopping complex which has just been placed on high alert after having positive COVID-19 cases through their centre and it didn’t make sense to be in close contact with either of them.

Under these circumstances one would think that they themselves would want to keep their distance so as to keep my family and I safe – they can see that I’m doing everything I can to protect my family so why aren’t they capable of respecting that I’m being cautious.

I Can’t Use My Phone In Front Of Her

I also wanted the freedom to be able to answer my phone on my birthday! The last time my mother visited I was forced to miss two important calls all because I’m not allowed to use my mobile in her presence. In fact whilst she was over the last time and heard my mobile ringing she yelled out to me in the kitchen asking ‘how long are you going to take with the drinks’ I was making as a subtle reminder not to answer my phone!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to convince her that I’m not feeling physically up to entertaining anyone on my birthday when she called. So I waited a while, called her back and took a different approach – “Mum why are you forcing me to do this on my birthday when you allow your favourite child to do whatever he wants on his birthday?” I asked.

You Don’t Do It With HIM!

She wasn’t sure how to respond so I continued firing questions. Is it because he’s a boy? Or that you just love him more that you give him the freedom of choice to do whatever makes him happy without any excessive pressure to make him do what you want?

I told her again that I am struggling to keep this baby in and that I simply didn’t want to be exerting myself on my birthday.

My mum snapped, telling me that it wasn’t her fault that I had so many kids and throwing it in my face that she knows what it’s like to be pregnant but at least she had a full time job – unlike me.

Nasty Nasty!

Goodness she turned nasty! Accusing me of all kinds of wild things – even that I was throwing myself a birthday party and not wanting her to be there! She gave me the ultimatum that if she wasn’t welcome to come over on my birthday that she would never visit us again! Actually, this didn’t seem like too bad of a punishment really.

The call left me mentally and emotionally drained – but empowered all at the same time!

Stood Up For Myself!

I had stood up for myself. I didn’t back down and allow myself to be placed in a compromising position for the benefit of others and in being true to myself I felt so freed!

Sometimes in life if you’re conditioned to making another person happy to maintain the peace in the relationship it’s beyond challenging to do what is right for yourself. But it is so incredibly important and absolutely worth it!

What’s Right For ME!

It may have taken me decades to break free, but it only adds to the joy of finally doing what I feel is right for myself, what my heart desires.

In all these years nothing has stopped her from organising something special for me if she wanted to. There’s a big difference between making someone’s birthday special for them and making their birthday special for yourself. Besides, she said she wishes she had never had me on this as well as countless other occasions. So why bother seeing me on my birthday?

Secretly, a big part of me just wanted this to be the year where my mother doesn’t accuse me of being a murderer on my birthday. The one where she doesn’t remind me that if not for me, my grandmother would still be alive.

And now, thank heavens, it just might be my greatest most peaceful birthday ever!

Have you ever had to stand up to toxic people in your life…on your birthday or any other time? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Life is way too short for dealing with toxic family members.


  • The only person losing out in this is your Mother and the only person she can blame is herself. She has some serious life lessons to learn. Just because she is your mother does not give her the right to be a toxic negative person in your life. You were born to be an individual adult and that is what you have become. Don’t carry any guilt this is all on her. Have a fabulous birthday with your family and be the best Mum that you can be. One thing you can be grateful to her for at least is what sort of Mother not to be.


  • Well done for standing up for yourself. How dare she tell you she should never have had you and accusing you of being the reason your grandmother isn’t alive. I think she is the one who is the cause of it all. Instead of thinking about herself, she should realise how dangerous it would be for her to visit you at this stressful time. I wish you love and health for your birthday and the upcoming birth of your next child


  • Loud and long applause! Well done you. A version of this story could have been written by me. I applaud you and congratulate you on standing up to your Mum. I did it in the past couple of years and after just completing a whole load of therapy I am strong, there are boundaries, and I have never been happier. You do you! It feels amazing.


  • This will be so hard for you.


  • So sad…


  • WOW.


  • I prefer spending my birthday with my babies and my husband that is it. I definitely understand!


  • I hope you have a good relaxing birthday WITHOUT the stress of your mother there!


  • I think you are enabling her behaviour a little. What would she do if you did answer the phone? Snatch it from you and hang it up? When she rings ignore the phone. If she asks why you’re not answering tell her she doesn’t like you answering it. If you don’t want her to come over at any point in time, don’t open the door. If she keeps knocking and getting irate, either get in the car and leave (pretending you didn’t see her there) or tell her that she is harassing you and if she doesn’t stop you will be forced to call the police!


  • No I have never had to do this but good on you for eliminating something that wasn’t good for your well being. Regardless if it was your mother.


  • Good on you!


  • Congratulations for standing up and breaking free !

    • And oh my goodness, the fact that she said she wishes she had never had you on this as well as countless other occasions is beyond hurtful. Bless you, bless you bless you. Amazing that you lasted this long before you stood up. I hope you’ll stand firm !!


  • I completely understand how you are feeling I just flat out don’t want to see mine either on my Birthday which is next week. So I made up plans so she won’t come.


  • Sometimes you feel so much better getting rid of toxic people, family or not


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