How do you celebrate your birthday as a single mum?...(42 Posts)
...or do you just not bother?
I have a choice of either just completely not bothering and treating it like a normal day or organising my own fun type day by maybe taking the kids out for a meal I can't afford etc. I feel totally miserable about it really.
I miss having a husband or OH to buy me flowers or get the kids to make cards and bring me badly made breakfast in bed etc!
As a single mum, how do you spend your birthdays to make it a different type of day or do you not bother either?
I'm not a single mum officially, but my dh is away for months at a time and I've spent many birthdays on my own and know how you feel. Still, I try to make an effort, last time I went out for lunch with a friend, so I had some adult time and then in the evening took the dcs to Pizza Express.
How old are your dc, obviously with younger ones it's trickier?Mine are 12 and 10 though, so were able to organise themselves to make cards and they tried to make a fuss of me (even though it was quite stressful watching them make cups of tea etc and I had to give them money to buy me presents).
I really urge you to do something nice with them and a bit different - you have to look after yourself and splash out a bit for your morale. Happy birthday from me in any case
yes I do bother. I take the day off work and treat myself. if I can afford it I go to the spa at my gym for facial or massage. If not lunch at the coffee shop, in peace and quiet and read the paper. I do try and go out with my son for tea.
My oldest is 20 but away the weekend, my next down is 17 but has PTSD and is in relapse at the moment, I'm her carer.
I have a 13 and 4 year old too. To be honest between the, they should be able to organise a card and make me a cuppa at least yes?
I guess I should book a day or meal out for us, it just the expense and being broke that's putting me off. Thank you for the replies
Mine are 2&4.
Yes I absolutely will make the effort.
My mum is very good at getting the kids involved and will probably help them sort out a card and gift.
But if not, I will book a table at pizza express, (probably use Tesco vouchers) and take along a small cake and ask the staff to bring it out to me.
If that sounds silly I don't much care cos it's just as much about my dc as it is me, if not more about them
I think you should expect your DC to organise at least a card and flowers - they are old enough. If nothing materialises this year, you should be upfront and tell them that you are upset and that next year you would like a card and present. Then, nearer the time, remind them that your birthday is approaching or get a family member to remind them. My ex and I always reminded the DC about important dates (birthday, Father's Day etc)and helped them buy cards and presents, but they now do it themselves - I saw it as part of helping them to be thoughtful and appreciative of other people.
Try and make it a lovely day for yourself OP, it saddens me that at your child's age they can't make an effort, your child who is away at the weekend can they not leave you a card and a present? I understand the poorly child cannot but the 13 year old could make you a card and maybe help the youngest to do one too. I know money is tight but the homemade things are always the ones you remember. If you have some spare cash why don't you treat yourself to a nice coffee and cake somewhere. As you get older birthdays seem less important but you must try to treat yourself, especially if no one else does.
Thinking about it, why don't you just say jokingly "what have you organised for my birthday?". I did something similar with DS last Mothers Day (DD wasn't around) and between us we agreed (after very unsubtle hints from me) that I would buy the ingredients for a roast dinner, but he would cook and clear up afterwards. I had a nice meal, he remembered the card and flowers and also felt good that he had done something nice for me.
Mine was yesterday. I took DC to my parents for tea, my dad got me one of those little Tesco finest cakes and did candles for the kids. At the weekend I took DC to Tesco and gave them a tenner to choose a card and present for me.
Maybe they will do that and just havnt said anything yet.
My eldest told me she was away and when I said oh don't forget it's my birthday, it was obvious she'd forgotten.
Also they never seem to do cards but do get me thoughtful presents.
My daughter with PTSD isn't good in crowds or busy places and she often has a melt down if we go out to restaurants or at best I can see she's uncomfortable. It's quite restrictive!
Maybe I'll try to be totally selfish and take myself out alone for an hour for a coffee and cake in peace?
I remember last year my son wanted to get me a present, I gave him some money and he chose a teddy bear from a range he had many of, so we now have matching bears!
You do that OP, I always treat myself to a new piece of make up on my birthday. I just can't help it!
I'm actually starting to think my teens are a little spoilt/selfish 😕
I do so much for them every day and although they do seem to appreciate it, it's rarely reciprocated. I know that's a mothers job as it were and I don't resent being a good and involved parent but a bit of thought and attention on my own day would be nice. It's not like they are toddlers?
I have a December birthday so if it's a weekend we usually spend it doing something Christmassy.
This year it's a Tuesday so it'll be a semi normal day with school runs etc but we're bunking off school on the Friday & heading into Edinburgh for the day to visit the castle & the winter wonderland.
My mum always makes sure that the kids have gifts for me & they do make me breakfast in bed - thankfully the eldest can now use the tassimo so it's decent coffee even if the toast is a tad on the burnt side
I had some miserable birthdays then decided sod it, so am now utterly enthused and over the top about them. Ds is nearly 5 and I make a big deal of us having a party tea (going out also to restaurants also not much fun here!) Where I set the table with cheesy table cloth and use paper plates and party food I like. I buy myself presents and wrap them up, and give ds money to buy me a present too.
I hope you have a lovely day op, in your shoes I would own it - say now to them all, "you know, I have not been looking forward to this birthday so I need you all to help me. Let's plan a lovely meal, and you had all best get your thinking caps on for some brilliant presents for me so I'm spoiled!" Say it flippantly, frequently and with the expectation that it will happen.
I'm actually starting to think my teens are a little spoilt/selfish
I think lots of teenagers are selfish and self absorbed, but usually without meaning to be IYSWIM. I think you have to stop hoping they'll remember and set out clear expectations that they will remember and mark your birthday and other occasions in some way. In 2 parent families that expectation is set by the other parent, but single parents often have to do it themselves.
Absolutely I do.
I will be quite upfront about it and direct them with some ideas. I'll buy a few bits for myself and there will be some sort of celebration (take away, meal). I will insist they come off their gadgets and join me in doing something I want to do.
If they did nothing - not even join in - I'd be hurt. We deserve to celebrate, organise something nice for yourself. Make them a part of it.
Actually that's really no different than when I was with the DCS dad....
I make sure I book the day off work. Go to a gym class. But something nice, laze around and take the dc's out for a meal at tea time.
last make sure you do something nice for yourself, on your own if you have to. .
ohfor I managed to get the dc's to buy me a nice nail varnish last birthday. I did drop some very unsubtle hints when we were in the shop though.
First two years just ignored it as DCS quite young and EX dick for brains did not bother to get the DCs to do anything.
two years ago, eldest DC realised in the evening that it was my birthday and no card, present etc - I watched him get v agitated. He disappeared up stairs and found a bracelet which was stuffed in a drawer, wrapped it up and made a card. He was so desperate to make me think he got it himself it was cute but v sad.
Next year, he got my brother to take him out and buy something. Brother said he did not realise this had happened and would sort - mothers day, Xmas etc.
This year - EX has now left his DP and he remembered. Eldest DC told him not to worry, his uncle sorted xmas, mothers day and my birthday now, infront of friends and family. Cut to very embarrassed EX who is now on admission to make it better - till the next shag comes along and distracts him!
I would recommend your buy your own flowers for the day!
It is my birthday Sunday luckily a friend I have known since childhood is coming up to visit and stay with me and ds for the weekend so it will be fun. We will go out on a couple of pleasure trips. Eat some decent nosh and drink some booze etc. Girly girly chat. All in all quite good fun.
I must point out when ds was much younger I did not do anything much at all so it took a long while to get out of my mindset rut and organise something for me. We don't have immediate family whatsoever so I end up buying my own card and ds just signs it but next year once he is 12 he really will have to buy the card himself and arrange it on his own he is old enough now.
The ex may remember to send a card who knows several years he forgot or did not bother he is a bit erratic like that.....
I think that's it Satinthrdark - I can't bear the DCs realising and feeling bad. They are children and need prompting, we can't really expect them to remember and feel that responsibility. Mine are older and I would expect to remind them and put some though into it. I also expect the older ones (15/13) to sort the you get ones (12/9).
Plus they would want to join in and celebrate. We make a lovely deal of their birthdays, why would we send the message that we aren't worth it too?
I think there's so much more to it.
Agree - mine was 6 at the time.
Now he asks me for money and then coerces my brother into a bit more!. I think the hardest thing is I take them out and make sure they buy something for EX - has to be something they want to do with him - interesting choices and write a card.
I suppose a decent human being would do the same -this is about teaching our DCS , how to be decent caring humans!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.