Happy third birthday to me! Did you know this past Saturday was my third birthday? Okay, it was really my son’s third birthday. He was evicted from my stomach on March 26, 2013. I heard a stand up comedian say that once–that he was delivered via c-section, meaning he was evicted from his mom’s tummy. Hilarious! So I stole his line…because if you know me, you know that I love my c-section…because all my lady parts are still intact. No tearing, no peeing when jumping or laughing, just the same old ‘gina from from before the days of pregnancy. Moms, do you hear me? There is no shame in a c-section. There is nothing weak about undergoing major surgery to get that baby out. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman. The only thing that makes you less of a woman is making others feel like that for not being able to push a tiny human out of their vagina.
And now I’m getting off topic. Okay, back to my birthday…
So my yummy, delicious, adorable, loving, funny, hyperactive, wild and crazy, master manipulator baby boy just turned three. And he is all those things and more. It really is an amazing thing watching him discover the world around him. He is so curious. We call him the observer because he takes everything in. We have also entered the “why” phase, which is both charming and extremely annoying at the same time. Mommy knows a lot, but she doesn’t know everything. Sorry buddy, I don’t know why Goofy’s feet are so big or why we can’t see the power coming out of the power lines and poles on the sidewalk.
His two’s weren’t so terrible, which makes me fear for his threes. In addition to being all those things above, he is also bossy, demanding, and stubborn…your typical threenager. So many moms have warned me that three is the year of asshole. Great! That also means three will be the year of drinking more wine, eating more chocolate, and engaging in more retail therapy for mommy. Sometimes I wonder how all moms of toddlers don’t just magically turn into overweight alcoholics with too many shoes.
I threw a birthday party a week ago for my son, immediate family, and some close friends who might as well be family. As my son is very into trains and Mickey Mouse, the party took on the theme of Mickey Choo Choo. My husband and I decided that this was an adult party we just chose to invite kids to. There were train rides, a bounce house, and movies to keep the kids so the adults could eat, drink, and do adult things. See, I told you it was my birthday. Why else would I be wearing a tutu, sequined Mickey sweater, and have an always full white wine glass attached to my hand?!
When I celebrate another year of my son’s life, I can’t help but celebrate another year of being his mom. The fighter and warrior mom who worked her ass off to get to this place on the other side of postpartum depression. His first birthday was a huge milestone for me. I threw a huge Pinterest inspired bowtie mustache birthday bash in honor of me finally starting to believe that I got this mom thing down. I was me again. Life’s new normal was my new normal. I was this special little boy’s mom and I was happy. My smiles and laughter were real. My husband, friends and family knew they got their Jen back.
I know I refer to my postpartum depression a lot, but it colors every aspect of being a mom for me. I was absent for most of my son’s first year of life. I try not to dwell on that but it can be a huge weight on a mother’s shoulders. Sometimes it rears its ugly head in the form of guilt or regret for all the moments I missed–moments I can’t get back because he will never be a baby again. Memories that are simply glimpses into his first year of life because I spent most of it crying in bed or paralyzed by anxiety.
So I celebrate each year on my son’s birthday because I am present now. Three years ago, I could never have described my little one the way I do in this post…because I didn’t even want to be his mom. I didn’t want to be a mom at all. So every year on March 26, I remember that I can’t take back the past but I can experience the present and be here now with my son for all these moments and milestones. That’s what matters. And it will always be worth celebrating and throwing a fabulous party for.