This year for my birthday, I would like the right to act like a “spoiled brat…”



I’m not the type of person who makes fuss about my own birthday. I generally don’t like to broadcast that my birthday is coming up (not even on Facebook), and I don’t like people to make a fuss about it. It’s pretty much just another day for me except that I usually ask hubby to give me a day free of household tedium – before kids, that usually meant that hubby and I might go for a nice run or hike together on the weekend closest to my birthday, and then would usually go to dinner later that night. For the almost 20 years that he knew me before we had kids, that was good enough.

Once the kids arrived, however, a hike/run and dinner together pretty much vanished because, as you know, scheduling these things when you have two little kids is effectively impossible. The first birthday I had as a mommy, I was 2 weeks postpartum, and I was happy to just make it through the day in one piece. The second year, I received sloppy infant kisses, a silly card that hubby signed on their behalf, and takeout. After two years of laxness, I guess hubby figured that I didn’t need anything at all, so last year, I got nothing, zero, nada. No “Happy Birthday” sung by toddlers, no card signed on their behalf, no takeout, nothing – just a pile of laundry, a giant sink full of dishes, and a LOT of housecleaning. Now, in his defense, it was a weekday, our lives were crazy, and I didn’t give him any indication that I was expecting anything, but for some reason when I put the kids to bed on the Sunday following my birthday, I was really annoyed. The truth is, I kind of lost it on him, which I know confused him because he comes from the school of thought of: If you want something, you need to TELL me; don’t make me guess because I will most likely guess wrong.

This year is a milestone birthday for me and after the incident last year, my husband is REALLY worried and stressed out about what is “expected” of him. He keeps asking me if I want a party (the answer was “no”). Do I want to go away for the weekend (“no”)? Do I want expensive jewelry (“no”)?


Finally, he blurted out, “Well, what the f*ck do you want for your birthday??!”

“I want a weekend free of your parents.”

Holy sh*t. Did I just ask that?? I sound like a SPOILED BRAT.


Here’s the deal. I know that my request is petty, selfish and immature, but I have seen his parents EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND (and more) for the past 4 months and prior to four months ago, they would LIVE with us for months at a time. So yeah, I really did ask for that (and only that) because I feel like I have earned the right to be a little bit selfish and spoiled on my birthday, just this once.

So, on the weekend of my 40th year on this earth (!!!! 40 is the new 18, right?!), we are going to spend the day as a family of four. We are going to leave early on Saturday morning and spend the day at the Bronx Zoo (my favorite place…), skip the kids’ naptime, and then go to dinner at City Island. Just the four of us – not a family of six (if we include one set of my kids’ grandparents), not a family of eight (both sets of grandparents), not a family of twelve (all grandparents and my brother’s family). Just our own little family unit. And you know what?? I am looking forward to it as much as a kid who has been promised a shopping spree in a toy store.


So, this post is really here for no other reason than to say that Moms, sometimes, it’s OK to make a day all about you; to act like a “spoiled brat.” You have worked hard and you should enjoy it. I know I will.

Snow Leopard Cub. Credit:

4 comments on “This year for my birthday, I would like the right to act like a “spoiled brat…””

  1. Maybe its just the spoiled brat in me, but I don’t find your request to be bratty or unreasonable AT ALL! Enjoy your day – it sounds fabulous!!!

  2. You go, Vivian! I am delighted to see that you made this happen. I was worried that your innate niceness would defeat your need to be SPECIAL! One freaking day a year — is that too much to ask? I have told my kids that there are 2 days a year — my birthday and Mother’s Day — where the joking must stop and the honoring and celebrating must take its place. But your hubs is right — if we don’t TELL the people in our lives what we really want, we can’t be disappointed if they don’t guess. It feels impolite and selfish to express these things but it must be done, and I am really proud of you for showing us all how to do it. Have a fabulous birthday!

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