Even moms and dads need to blow out the candles!
by Pamela Stock
for Real Families, Real Fun
onsidering how much fuss parents make over their kids birthdays (theme parties, special dinners, cupcakes at school, etc.), and how little fuss they make over their own ("oh, I don't want anything special this year, honey"), you'd think birthdays were something you outgrow. While turning 33 may not seem quite as momentous as turning 3, or 13, you never outgrow an excuse to celebrate.
Your birthday is the perfect opportunity for you and your spouse to plan a date, start a tradition and take a break from the grind to remember that you can still have fun. Here are some tips from parents on how to make the most of the grown-up birthdays in your life.
- Start Early
Abby Ross and her husband Adam continue his family's tradition of waking the birthday mom or dad by loudly playing the Beatle's "Birthday Song" and opening gifts at a decorated breakfast table. "It's a great way to start the day," she says.
- Surprise on an Unexpected Year
I recently attended a surprise 44th birthday party for a very busy professional mom of twins. Her husband called everyone two weeks in advance, got her out of the house for a bike ride (she thought they would be going out to dinner, later) and returned her to a house full of balloons and friends. Because this wasn't a "biggie" -- like 30, or 40, she was truly shocked. And thrilled to see friends she hadn't seen in months because she was just too busy.
- Be a Weekend Slave
Donna Drach's husband offered to send the kids to grandma's for the weekend so they could go out of town on their own. Instead, Donna said she wanted to spend the child-free weekend cleaning out the house, getting rid of clutter and organizing -- everything we kept saying we would get to, but never did." He complied, and she reported it was one of the best birthday gifts she ever received.
- Have a Day Date
Anyone can hire a sitter and go out to dinner and a movie. Make the day special by having a sitter come during the day, and spend the day biking, hiking, or enjoying a decadent brunch followed by window-shopping or a leisurely drive. For her husband's first birthday as a dad, one mom left the baby with a close friend, and took her husband on a short ferry ride for a day of biking complete with a picnic on a beach. "We couldn't have spent an overnight without the baby, but this felt like a mini-vacation and was definitely memorable." Another couple I know routinely takes the day off from work on each other's birthday and (still sending the kids to school) "play hooky" for two days each year.
- Make It a Tradition
Whatever you do, be it breakfast in bed, Chinese take-out for lunch, eating a cake made by the kids, let one part of the birthday celebration continue each year so you will have something to look forward to after the special day is over. Even grown-ups can have post-birthday let down.