Have you ever stopped and thought about your birthday as also being your parents' birth–day?
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! Another year older, let the celebrations begin, bring on the presents and let’s have a party! But have you ever stopped and thought about your birthday as also being your parents' birth–day?
The day you entered the world making them parents? No? Well, you wouldn’t be alone if you haven’t.
Were you the eldest, middle or youngest child? Maybe you are an only child. Maybe you are adopted or fostered. Whatever your status in the family group know that the day you arrived you made your parents a mum and dad, either for the first time, the only time, or perhaps, for some, numerous times. For me, my son is my only biological child after several heartbreaking miscarriages.
I never fully appreciated the fact that my birthday wasn’t just about me but it was also about my parents; my parents bringing another daughter into the world and into their family; a new sibling and a new grandchild. I did not appreciate that until I was celebrating my stepchildren’s birthdays with them and also more so when I had my own son.
The special day for them is also a special day for you both. The joy my husband and I felt when our son was safely delivered was the best; the day we became parents together, completing us as a family; providing a little brother for my stepchildren to love and to cherish; a new grandchild for our parents and a new cousin and nephew to our ever-growing family.
It saddens me when divorced parents bicker or cannot agree when they should each see their own child or children on their birthdays. Some think birthdays are a good time to take revenge on a partner by not allowing them access on the child’s birthday or simply by organising the child’s party on their time, a party the father is not invited to attend.
Just as the case is for mothers, fathers are also entitled to see their children on their birthdays, divorced or simply separated. Not allowing a father to see a child on their birthday or the child to see their father on their birthday because of a bitterness you continue to hold against your ex-partner is doing no-one any good, not you and especially not the child involved.
You as a parent have no right to prevent a mother or father (without REAL reason, and revenge is not a reason) from seeing their children on their birthdays, especially not if they went to see each other.
Also what about grandparents? Your arrival made them grandparents for the first time or once again. Your arrival into the family also affected them. They may want to see you and celebrate with you. If there is bitterness between parents then how are grandparents supposed to see you and celebrate with you on or around your birthday?
A lot of love and joy is felt by many when a child is born. A celebration of a birth-day is beautiful and should encompass more family and leave bitterness behind.
I now make a point of wishing family and friends a Happy Birth-day as well as wishing a Happy Birthday to their child. Love, life and laughter. Life is short, enjoy it to the max.
Kathryn Maile is stepmum to three children and mum to one of her own. She will happily share more ‘food for thought’ on step-parenting and the challenges faced throughout in her blog, www.mystepmumandme.co.uk. If anyone would like to get in touch please do so via her email [email protected].