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quickly thrown together birthday
It’s My {Birthday} Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

It’s that time of year again! My birthday is coming up and right on cue, one week out, I’ve about driven myself into a tizzy. Every year I swear I won’t do it, but I still end up obsessing over how to turn the day into something similar to what should have been Fyre Festival (gone right).

Who am I kidding? There will be no festival, no string bikini, no hand-fed grapes, and no sipping bubbly on a yacht in paradise in celebration of the day I was born.

woman sad about her birthday with balloons

As moms, we usually end up lame-ing out on our birthdays despite our deepest desires. We do something easy and convenient that pleases the whole family and does not cause us next day debilitation. We “party” by tiredly scrapping together something for ourselves, last minute. TGFH (Thank God For Huey’s).

Over our single scoop of vanilla ice cream, dimly lit by one lonely candle, we smile at the sound of the bing coming from a text sent by a neighbor from two houses ago, “Have fun today, let’s catch up soon”. Later (9pm), in bed, we peruse 76 Facebook messages (36 from people you have no recollection of “knowing”) that read “HBD! Hope it was great (birthday hat emoji)!!” We go to bed feeling sober, bloated, and unsatisfied to wake up the next day just a little bit older, still wearing the pants we did not party off…

dinosaur birthday
Let's be honest, birthdays are for the kids.

Sulking in my pre birthday blues, I turned to my Co-Memphis Mom Bloggers and asked:

  1. Am I alone in my own birthday madness? How do y’all feel about your birthdays?

  2. What is everyone's favorite adult birthday "celebration" or tradition?

  3. What are the best places to celebrate a birthday in the Memphis area? "Going out to dinner" doesn’t count.

The responses below were perfection. They A. Proved my distraught state valid B. Gave me hope for my birthday celebration future C. Offered spot-on go-to celebratory destinations in this great city of ours:

Moms who can relate:

  • I think it goes back to moms carrying the mental load of the family. We're the planners. We know when all the stuff is. We keep up with the traditions. So, unless we do it ourselves, it ain't going to happen. Which sucks.
  • I can SO relate. I am a complete birthday princess, and I get let down every year. I am always the one throwing my other friends surprise parties and planning special things for them. When it comes to be my turn? Nothing. And I am super bitter about it. My birthday falls during the holidays, so we usually end up celebrating everything but me. Such an afterthought. It’s obvious nobody gives a poop about me, so I’m going to take care of it myself. I think I’ll plan a “me” day and just leave. At least I appreciate me. I think I’m pretty great. So there!
  • My birthday has felt sad and usual for years, usually my husband is working late, the kids are too young to care, etc. I think for us moms, unless you’ve got a super thoughtful husband, we have to take over and just plan our day to do what we want to do.
  • My husband had the nerve to think he didn't have to buy me a cake!!! Like seriously. Then I called my sister for a cake, but I knew she would go the cheap way and get me a nasty cake. It's better just to suck it up and plan it yourself. And yes, I'm the one that makes everyone else birthday super special.
  • My last birthday was two weeks after our daughter was born and I got no cake. My mom felt so bad for me, she had my sister buy cupcakes and celebrate with me when she was in town a week later
  • The year I was pregnant with my last child, we were out of town on a family vacation for my birthday. You would think that it would be extra celebration but no, it just felt like a regular day. I finally lost it and got upset. My husband felt so badly that now he makes sure to make it special.

Adult Birthday Celebrations/ Traditions:

  • My birthday is March 24. I announce it March 1. Anything I want to do that month I do. Oh? Ice cream for lunch? Yep. “It’s my birthday!” The kids literally cover their ears by the 24th because I’ve said, “because it’s my birthday!” so many times. Also we make a big deal about EVERYONES birthday — #bigfamily — so it’s NO surprise that I like to celebrate ME!
  • This past year, it was my first birthday since becoming SAHM. My daughter happened to be in mother's day out that day. I did a massage, mani pedi, met a friend for lunch, another for coffee, and just treated myself all day. And it was great!
  • I am somewhat of a birthday snob. I usually plan everything for myself because, clearly, I'm the only one that cares enough. One year I threw myself a birthday party. Another time I did a staycation. One time I was a tourist in Memphis and did stuff I normally wouldn't do. I want to do a super sexy photo shoot cause I know I still got it...somewhere in there.
  • Birthday month starts on August 1 for me. I don’t cram it all into one day because not all my friends are available on the same day. We make a biiiig deal out birthdays...decorate the living room for the person, they pick the dessert, dinner. Absolutely no one else gets an opinion if it’s not their day. They know better than to complain. Also, a lot of the celebrating of me has been taught to the kids by my husband. But we all celebrate eachother, and they love it. We have lots of family celebrations throughout the year, so birthdays are just another one.  
  • Birthdays are a huge deal, especially a Mom's birthday! On the actual date, I celebrate with my family and indulge in my day of favorites (food, activities, etc.) The weekend following, there's always an itinerary of new things I want try, in state or out of state. I end the weekend with a brunch of those close to me. There is usually a formal dinner in the mix just so I can dress up. My most favorite birthday was right after I had my baby. My husband gifted me with a getaway and I slept the entire weekend!
  • Listen, I'm not going to lie here. We don't make a big deal about my birthday - half the time I forget about it on the actual day! I usually just buy myself something that I really want and tell my husband thank you for the gift. He brings me 1) magazine that I never buy for myself, like People, 2) grocery store bag of candy, which I love and 3) lets the kids "surprise" me with chocolate chip pancakes. It probably sounds lame, but I love it!
  • I used to be pretty martyr-y about my birthday - didn't do anything, I'm not worth it, nobody wants to celebrate me, etc. The only thing I would do is buy myself a gift and when I was working, I'd take the day off. After my 39th, my daughter noticed we didn't celebrate me the way we celebrated her and it hurt HER that I didn't blow out candles or open wrapped gifts. I talked to my husband and said we have to make an effort to make a bigger deal - for them. Because I don't want them to inherit this idiocy. And that attitude gave me the courage to find something I wanted to do for my 40th ( Zoo Rendezvous). I had a blast and it felt nice. Afterwards it didn't matter one bit that I was the one who arranged it.
  • As a birthday tradition, I do a girls/ Sisters trip! The hubs has it covered! It’s good for me, helps me refresh, and honestly I am a better mom when I come back!

Where to celebrate a birthday in the Memphis area:

  • Axe-throwing! I ran around swinging an axe, telling everyone it was also my birthday! 
  • Cooking class at Sur La Table was a perfect celebration for our small group
  • I’m a big fan of a kid free getaway to Greenwood, MS to stay at the Alluvian. What could be bad about a spa and Viking Cooking class?
  • Escape rooms are my jam. Memphis has a great one.
  • Rec room: So. Much. Fun. 
  • Mollie Fontaine’s is my fave for dancing
  • I love a good progressive evening through Overton Square 
  • Lafayette’s, Zebra lounge, Silky’s are never without good music
  • Alfreds on Beale - always a go to for a good night out
  • Main Event or Billy Hardwicks on Quince – Boozy bowling is the best
  • Dave and Busters – The "adult playground"
  • Putt Putt has laser tag. Oh what I wouldn't give to take out my husband with a laser gun on my birthday...
  • Pottery class at Belltower Artisans – Ghost anyone? Then go home and get busy.
  • Brewery hopping. Start early and go all day. Just make sure you have a sitter lined up for most of the next day too. There’s a lot of beer to consume…
  • A “staycation”. Hubby takes the kids overnight and get the house all to yourself


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