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It’s my birthday (and I’ll get a babysitter if I want to)

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Today is the big 3-4. I’m not going crazy in terms of celebrating but if you ask me, all birthdays are special birthdays, so I’ve got to do something good. My family offered to have a big family dinner and I respectfully declined. Spending the evening--and trying to enjoy a meal--with five kids swarming around is just not my idea of a relaxing birthday….


Maybe if I didn’t see my kids or my family as much as I do, I’d want to spend every minute of the day with them. But I get to see everyone a lot (we have family dinners all the time) so on my birthday, I kind of want to get out of dodge. Of course I understand that it’s important (and fun!) to let the kids celebrate my birthday, too. And they have. Yesterday evening we met my sister’s family at my parents’ house for a cocktail. The kids ate pasta at the counter while we chatted and then they sang me happy birthday and we ate cupcakes. It was perfect. Particularly since Nick and I then went home, put our kids to bed, ordered Chinese and ate it in front of the fire while watching two episodes of Homeland, our new obsession.


This morning we opened presents while the kids ate oatmeal and then Nick and I dropped them off at their respective schools and we went to the diner for breakfast. Once I post this blog, the rest of day will hopefully go something like this:


Jump on the treadmill for about an hour and watch Wednesday night’s episode of Revenge while power walking (don’t judge, I’m a walker not a runner and it works for me). Shower. Send a few work emails. Get mani/pedi and a half-hour foot massage. Grab a sandwich and giant unsweetened iced tea from Bay Deli. Check facebook. Answer a few work emails. Maybe duck out for a quick back massage from the kind-of-dodgy-but-cheap place up the street. Have Nick pick up kids at school. Hang with kids for a bit then bolt with Nick to have dinner/drinks at a yet-to-be-determined establishment (Monday birthdays are tough because many restaurants aren't open and the not-dodgy spas are closed, too!).


It’s not so much that I’m dying to go out to dinner (I eat out more than I should as it is) it’s basically that I want to skip the power parenting hour. I want someone else to feed the kids and clean up their considerable mess and bathe them and help them brush their teeth and read them books and put them to bed. I do that every night and tonight I want someone else to take charge. That someone will be my mom, which is awesome. A. because the kids will be excited to see her so there won’t be any guilt about leaving and B. because she’s not gonna cost me anything. (You don't even want to know what we paid our sitter Saturday night.)


Sounds like a pretty great day, right? I better get started now, time’s a wasting!  But I'm curious: What do you like to do on your birthday? Do you celebrate it with your kids or would you rather have some alone time? And do you feel guilty if you don't want to hang with the fam all day? The way I look at it, it's your birthday, not theirs!