It’s my birthday soon. I shalll be 21 again. Yes, again! Presents over there please, chocolate is my preferred cake, and please feel free to give me three cheers and a pat on the back. That’d be lovely. No thank you – I do not want a stripper, nor a full on party, but a boozy lunch with that handsome husband of mine, would be nice, followed by a nanna nap and a couple of boxes of chocolates for dinner.
Time was, only a plastic pony with purple hair could satisfy my birthday girl dreams. Years later, when I was 15, only a birthday perm and a new rara skirt would do. After that, the only way to adequetely mark the anniversary of my birth, was to gorge myself on an array of multicoloured alcoholic beverages that made my head hurt and turned my lips blue. Oh, and pashing strangers in night clubs, temporarily losing the use of my legs, and puking my guts up in the backs of taxis. I was younger, clearly had very low standards, and let’s just say I’ve had a good polishing since then.
I am somewhat more sophisticated now. You might think otherwise if you’d seen me yesterday morning, picking cake out of my boot, and feeding it to my baby. The 30 second rule applies to boots too, but I digress. Anyway, as I near my birthday, and am asked to consider how I’d like to celebrate, I’m absolutely stumped. I no longer covet bruise coloured plastic animals, even if they do come with their own hairbrushes and smell of strawberries. Drinking until I am comatose no longer has the appeal it once did, and let’s just say that the Fashion Police would have to call out it’s Special Ops team if I even attempted to shoe horn myself into one of my old going out dresses.
I did have a mooch around the shops this morning, looking for something to put on my birthday wish list. My husband asked me to write one, because he’s tired of losing the annual ‘no idea what to buy, so I’ll just buy any old crap’ game we play. The last round of that involves me rolling my eyes and calling him “unimaginative and unromantic.” I then take everything back to the shop, then spend the cash on other crap, like library overdue fines and icey poles for the troops. I know you’ve done the same!
This year, I am determined to avoid disappointment. The trouble is though, that I just can’t think of anything to ask for. I did open a new document on my lap top, and I even wrote a heading. After that, nothing came. I fear I’m headed for another small box with an elephant on it, and if he goes down the gym membership route, on the back of my comment last night about wanting to be a supermodel when I grow up, then I’m afraid he’s fired. Very fired!
The truth is though, and don’t quote me (as there’s always space in my heart for a new handbag), I don’t actually need anything. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m happy with what I have. I have lots of things, and there’s only so many things one person needs. In actual fact, I probably have more than my fair share of things, and I will probably never need any more things, as long as I live.
What I’d really like though, is something that only I can give myself, and that is time. I’d love more time in my day. If I had more time, I’d drink a whole cup of coffee without getting up even once. If I had more time, I’d take a walk in the sunshine, or stop for a snuggle with my littlies. I might even load the dishwasher without trying to make a phone call and dinner, feeding the baby and testing number one on his spelling. Just because I can multitask, doesn’t mean I always want to.
So tonight, I think I’ll write myself a list. It will be a birthday list, but not the kind of birthday list my husband will be expecting. He won’t have to max out his credit card on this list, nor will he have to tackle wrapping paper and ribbons. It will be a list of time I would like, of time he can help me to find. Time with him, time with my babies, and time with myself. I would like time for a bath, without an audience, and time to finish that book I started last summer. I’d like time for a lazy picnick, with just my hubby, and I don’t want to have to pop to the supermarket on the way home. I’d like more time for ice creams on the beach with my boys, for tickles, finger painting and silly dancing. What do you wish you had time for? Make a list, and when someone asks what you’d like for your birthday, tell them what time they can help you to find. Oh, and have a happy birthday!
Abi Gold recently launched Juggle Family and Parenting Consultancy, which offers counselling and support for busy mums and dads, by Skype and by phone. Abi is a real life mum of 4, a Family Therapist, Counsellor and Family Mediator, who specialises in perinatal mental health and families with young children. Abi knows exactly how tough it can be to juggle all the things that busy mums and dads do, and has some great techniques for survival! Look Abi up at www.familyjuggle.com.au or give her a call on 03 9028 5955