Stop the Mourning, Lets Party!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
The anniversary of my mother-in-law's death is on my birthday. Ever since she died five years ago, my husband has been lukewarm about celebrating my birthday. I don't need a big blowout party, but I would like to have my birthday acknowledged with some cake. How do I go about reconciling my birthday with his mother's death?
Dear Birthday Girl,
Happy birthday! Oh, I know it's not today but I'm of the school of thought that every day is someone's birthday so we might as well be celebrating. It's a small school and it doesn't get much in the way of federal funding. But still.
Your question is a toughie because I can see both sides of this. There is no statute of limitations on mourning and it is certainly understandable that for your husband to observe the anniversary of his mother's passing in a way that makes sense to him.
On the other hand, it is your birthday. And we only get one a year, so it is unfair when it gets short shrift. I know many people feel that as adults, their birthdays shouldn't matter. Or should matter less than an observation of the day your mother-in-law died. I don't agree. I think birthdays are a big deal, a really big deal, especially for those of us who don't often get to be the center of attention.
Discuss this with your husband. Tell him that you understand that the day is a tough one for him and you are supportive of him, but that it is important to you to have your birthday acknowledged. And then let him know how you would like it observed. Do you want him to make you breakfast pancakes? Take a walk together? Go to a spa? Meet him for dinner after work? Coffee and birthday cake? The more specific you are, the easier it may be for him. If he insists that he cannot do anything festive on this day, make plans with some of your girlfriends. Because you deserve that birthday cake. We all do.
Photo Credit: mattbrowne.