How I stopped hating my birthday - and embraced it with joy instead

Five things I did to make my birthday fun again

Group of young people enjoying the birthday party in backyard at night
Five things I did to make my birthday fun again Group of young people enjoying the birthday party in backyard at night Photo: iStock

When you're a parent, birthdays aren't that exciting anymore. 

For your kids, you strive to make their birthday the best day ever, full of magic, love and surprises. You want to make them feel extra special, but when your own birthday rolls around, it's a different story.

If you're anything like me, you want to hide away and ignore the fact you're getting older. But that's no fun at all.

So, this year I did five things to help bring back the birthday magic I felt when I was a kid:

1. Got dressed up.

Instead of hiding away in my trackies, watching back-to-back rom coms on the couch, I put on my favourite clothes (you know the ones you save for a special occasion).

I gave myself a facial, did my hair and put make-up on. I decided if I wanted to feel special, I needed to look my best. And I felt amazing.    

2. Had a party.

OK, it wasn't an actual party with invitations and guests - it was a house celebration with my kids and husband. There were balloons and a party banner, as well as fresh flowers and birthday sparklers. And then to top it all off, I put on my pjs and watched the Bachelor with a glass or two of wine, and it was perfect.

3. Organised catch-ups with friends.

Each year I secretly hope that someone will organise a special surprise gathering for my birthday. It never happens and I'm often a teeny bit disappointed, which is totally my fault.

So this year, I reached out to a few people and arranged my own birthday catch-ups. Spending time with friends who take time out of their busy lives to make you feel special is the best.

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4. Ate all of the things.

You know how all the best kid's parties have fairy bread? Well, this year I made some of my own and it was delicious. I should've done it earlier, I mean, why should children get all the good food? Then my husband made an amazing dinner, complete with a four-tier sponge cake with fresh cream and strawberries.

It was a day of delicious food and I didn't have to cook any of it! Or clean up afterwards.

5. Embraced my birthday with joy.

The main thing I did this year was to remind myself of how lucky I am to be turning another year older. Many people don't have that opportunity.

Ageing isn't something to run from, it's something to embrace. It's a gift. And that's why I'm going to make sure I celebrate each birthday with joy and excitement, just like my children.

Birthdays are special, celebrate other people's special days with gusto and always remember to ensure when it's your turn, to make it awesome. I did and I felt really happy and so very loved. It was the best.