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.
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.