Mamas all over the world, in so many different ways, celebrate their children’s birthday. Cake, parties, gifts, invitations, special dinners. It is a given that we want our children to feel special on their birthdays. So much thought, preparation, and energy goes into preparing for a child’s birthday — even the most modest and natural of celebrations takes so much of ourselves — that it is easy to lose sight of the day’s meaning.
Part of that meaning that can so easily get lost in the selecting of the perfect gift, hunting for the tastiest recipe, or the making of the sweetest card is that it is your birth day as well. Whether you are looking at the birthday of your first and only child, or your eighth precious one — this is a day to be shared. This is a day upon which you performed an enormous feat and birthed, in whatever beautiful way, your delightful child.
Let’s practice some self-care and self-love, some reflection and meditation, by taking moments during our children’s birthdays to celebrate our own magical birthing experiences. Here are a few natural and inexpensive ways that you can acknowledge yourself on this special day.
Did you have a special playlist loaded up and playing during your labour and delivery? Grab your ipod and start your day by listening to a couple of those meaningful songs. If you are alone in your listening, close your eyes and head back to those powerful moments of your birth experience.
Soak it up
For many mamas, at some point during pregnancy and labour, a bath or shower plays an important role. Whether for pain management, relaxation, or delivery, water plays an intensely important role in many natural births. Sometime between blowing up balloons and frosting the cake or maybe after putting your little one to bed — give yourself permission to soak in the warm waters of a bath or shower.
Like most big events, birthdays give our minds pause to reflect on all that has happened. Whether it has been one year or twenty since you gave birth, take some time to meditate on your thoughts and feelings about your birth experience: How has being a mother changed you? Consider writing these thoughts down in a journal, or write some lines of poetry.
A Deep Stretch
Yoga is used by many mamas to find peace in birth, and balance throughout motherhood. Start or end this day with some home practice. Stretch and bend into your visceral memories of birth and the early days of your child’s life.
Connect with Your Child
This may seem like something that doesn’t need saying — it is your child’s birthday, after all! But, sometimes celebrations have a way of getting away from us and we can lose ourselves and each other in the excitement of friends and family visiting, or a big meal being concocted in a kitchen all day. Even just two mindful moments of connecting with your child and considering your little one in that very moment will be a gift that you give to yourself.
Of course, birthdays are focused on our children, as they should be, but don’t shy away from using a few of these little actions to help you acknowledge and celebrate your own amazing birthing journey.