Happy Birth-ing-day


My favourite café is attached to the organic grocery store near my home. I just love the feeling of relaxed warmth it exudes and I always leave feeling completely energised and inspired to live a ‘connected’ life. Of course, life has a way of eroding that feeling, but I always know I can go back for a top up with a flat white (decaf, of course).

The other day I dropped The Lion off at his one-day-a-week-adventure-at-family-day-care (which he LOVES!) and I stopped in at The Cornerstone. Blossom was complaining loudly that “Two hours between drinks is plenty, thank you!” so I had to get my boobs out somewhere, right?

As I ambled in, I noticed a girl I have met on a few occasions. You know how it is – you’re friendly but not quite a friend; she’s the friend-of-a-friend and you’d love to befriend her but you don’t quite know how to bridge the middle-man?

Anyway, she was there talking with a group of women seated at one of the tables. They were having a raucous laugh and, at a quick glance, I could tell they were all ‘school mums’. I’m still a couple of years off graduating to that rank, so I made the immediate decision not to intrude into what appeared to be the inner sanctum.

But Blossom breaks down all barriers. As I was ordering my decaf, one of the women said “Speak of the Devil! She’s gorgeous! I want another one just like that!” to which friend-of-friend turned, recognised and greeted me with a warm ‘hello’. Inner sanctum reached without graduation. Blossom rules!

These friends were marking one of the women’s “birthing-day”. Her daughter was turning 12 and they were celebrating that incredible rite of passage that all mothers have to go through. And I thought that was pretty great, so I tried it last week end when my Little Lion celebrated his second year.

It was beautiful to just ponder how clever I am, to have a glass of wine and congratulate myself (and Mr D, of course) on our parenting. Whether good or bad, we always try to come from a place of what is best for our kids and, having done two years of that, it was really nice to pat ourselves on the back. I’ve been to the Olympics and trust me, raising kids is bloody hard!

It also reminded me how, on her birthday, my mother always sent her mother a bunch of flowers to say “thanks for having me”. My sister, being naturally sentimental and always the thoughtful one, carried on the tradition. It often made me feel like I was being selfish for not saying “thanks” in the same way on my birthday.

But now, in becoming a mother, I have realised that it’s not about getting a “thanks for the effort” on your child’s birthday. It’s about remembering the incredible gift we have been given as women; the privilege, the effort and strength inherent in becoming parents.

We get so engrossed in making the birthday a magical time for our little ones, a time to show them how glad we are that they came into our lives, that we forget the role we, as parents played in that event.

So, when your little charges next mark another year of growth and development, take some time to celebrate the miracle of motherhood, the journey of fatherhood and that stupendous moment when that little being entered the world and took their first breath.

Just think – YOU DID THAT!


4 responses »

  1. Great post! Part of me wonders why the hell women, including myself, go back for round two of birthing…isn’t that just insanity itself? But I am increasingly becoming fascinated with the whole thing (absolutely glued to the TV for One Born Every Minute on SBS) and bloody proud of what I achieved. The competitor in me urges me to go back and do it again, but the reality of the result (being a needy newborn, turn trying toddler…etc) convinces me otherwise!


    • Hi Penni!

      A Tale of Two Babies – Part 2 is why we go back for seconds. Read and take heart!

      And I have yet to see a full episode of One Born Every Minute, but I always know when it’s on, because Mr D sobs like a big girl every time!


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