Our family beat all the odds. Two bundles of joy, both with the exact same due date, but two years apart. OH, and did I mention that both exited the womb during the same week as Christmas and New Years? BOOM. Yeahhhh, I have already heard all of the jokes, like how my husband’s birthday “must” be in March, etc etc. So you can save those (though they are funny when you think about it, even though his birthday is in August).
Keep in mind, while my holiday baby ‘madness’ revolves around holidays in December/January, this post is for EVERY mama who lives the struggle, anytime of the year. I am talking to you my dear July 4 baby-mamas, competing with fireworks and crowded parks. Yes, to you as well, my Thanksgiving mama, where Black Friday shenanigans sometimes seems to outweigh the importance of your baby girl’s birthday party. AHHH, and yes, you, my lovely Valentine’s Day baby-whisperer, who cannot grab a birthday card to save her life because the entire aisle is full of last minute ‘love day’ card shoppers. I hear ya. I am with ya. But let us embrace it. Let us Rosie Riveter it up, declaring our “We Can Do It” attitudes while we roll up our sleeves and dominate both Christmas gift wrapping and birthday cake baking all in a 48 hour time span. Then we shall collapse on the couch. Truth.
I knew, from day one with my holiday babies, that I would make their birthdays special events. They would never be mistaken for ‘just another celebration on another holiday’, and there would never be ‘combination gifts.’ While many holidays do not involve gifts, I am shuffling the festivities between a day after Christmas baby and a New Years Day baby (oh, throw in a wedding anniversary between the two), so the amount of anxiety and purging that happens prior to our eventful December calls for a pedicure, massage, and a glass of wine. All humor aside (well not all), I not only must strategically plan for multiple Christmas celebrations, birthdays and the variety of wrapping paper choices that go with each, but prepare way in advance to respond to some ‘not so glorious’ statements made during this season of life. Last time I checked, no matter what day a baby is born, they are a blessing. They are a gift. They are a little human that decided to make their way into this world on the date that was set for them.
I will share with you though, from my passionate mama-soul to yours, there are a few ‘disheartening’ phrases and questions that make a holiday baby-mama cringe. In fact, “cringe” is a polite way to state the reaction to some of these statements. Replace the word “cringe” with “lightly smack you in the face” and it is probably more accurate (sorry, not sorry). The crazy part is that I have heard EVERY SINGLE one of the statements/questions I am about to present you with. Before you gasp in utter shock, or before you check yourself because you have stated some yourself, know that tomorrow is a new day. Awareness is everything mamas. SOO, here we go, in no particular order (GAH!):
“Gosh, doesn’t it stink that their birthday is on/near *insert national / religious holiday*?”
Actually, NO, it doesn’t! Being Christian, I view having a day after Christmas baby as even more special vs ‘stinking’. Add on top of that, a New Years Day baby, and all the feels happens. By nature of seasonal traditions, their birthdays are full of decorations, sparkles and lights. We stress to them how special it is that their birthdays ARE on specific days recognized by people all over the world. To say you were the 3rd baby born in the Dayton area in 2011 (yes, we missed being on the front cover of the newspaper, but no hard feelings), AND to have your right-out-of-the-womb baby hat be a red and white Christmas themed hand crocheted piece by an RN, well, it’s pretty cool. Make their birthday about their birthday, not about the holiday. While we have had instances where we HAD to celebrate a birthday during a family Christmas get together, I have ALWAYS made it separate from the holiday celebration. A few pink girly decorations, birthday specific cupcakes, party hats, and waahlahh. Christmas at 2pm, birthday party at 4pm. We all were together, but I made it about two different celebrations. It can be done.
“Ohhhh, I am so sorry! They (your kids/child) must hate that their birthday is on *insert national / religious holiday*!”
Actually, NO, they love it! They know no different. This statement makes just about as much sense as me saying “Ohh, I am so sorry! They must hate that their birthday is on a random Wednesday in the middle of summer!” A birthday to a kid is just that, a birthday! We, as parents, set the stage for how they respond to the world telling them that their birthday is any less special then anyone else’s. So start young by letting them know how special their birthday IS. We can’t control what others say, so let us be aware of what WE say as close family and friends. My eldest is proud of her birthday, in fact ask her, and she will not only eloquently inform you that her birthday is January 1st, but that it is also known as New Years Day. High five to my four-year-old.
“I would never want a baby born on *insert national /religious holiday*”
Welp. Sorry about that. See a few paragraphs above. A baby is a gift. Regardless of date of birth or birth story. My due date for both of my little ladies was Dec 16, but they had other plans. My first was 2 weeks and 2 days late. My second was 11 days late. I look back and think about how stressed out I was around the time of their births, when I realized they may be quintessential “holiday babies,” but I love it! In fact I LIVE FOR IT. All the craziness, all the extra hustle and bustle, all the insanity. It’s glorious. It’s for my babies, no matter when they were born. Truth. Fact. End of story.
Share with love, my fellow holiday-baby-mamas, as to why being THAT mama is fun and joyous. And approach with awareness, my fellow non-holiday-baby-mamas. Remember..no matter the birthday, the holiday, the ‘throw in the towel of motherhood day’, we are all in this together.