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Monday Mom challenge: Throw yourself a great birthday party

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Celebrate you

How many birthday parties have you planned in the course of your life as a Mommy? Five? Ten? Fifteen? More? Given all the terrific effort you put into making your childrens' birthdays special and fun, it's time you put those creative ideas and planning skills to work - for yourself. It's time to throw yourself a real birthday party.

Birthday party for mom

Moms often shortchange themselves when it comes to celebrations. It's easy to say, oh, I don't need it, or whatever. Yes, it may be true that you don't "need" a celebration...but wouldn't it be fun? Wouldn't it be great to cast aside whatever it is that stresses you out for a few hours of fun with your friends? In that way, we could learn a lot from the way our kids celebrate and enjoy their birthdays.

One day about you

Moms are notoriously selfless. It's in our job descriptions, it seems, to think about everyone else first, everything else next, and ourselves last. But a birthday is the one day a year that is ours. We share holidays with everyone, and Mother's Day is shared with other mothers collectively, but a birthday about us. It's the commemoration of our life - and without out lives happening first, our kids would not have their birthdays, and so on. Think of it as the source celebration for the celebrations for your whole family.

Get beyond the issues

Some people, moms included, have birthday issues for various reasons. They feel strange about them, or anxious, or something - and they certainly aren't alone in those feelings. Those feelings are fairly normal. While throwing yourself a birthday party won't eliminate those issues, they can help you move beyond them. Knowing that you aren't the only one struggling a little with your own birthday - and knowing that your life has beget great things already! - are reasons to make this year's birthday a celebration. Tap into the collective psyche and decide to make it a great day.

Big or little

Birthday celebration don't have to be bigged, themed extravaganzas - but make them more than just your family. Choose something you enjoy doing and ask your friends to join you. It can be dinner, brunch, or afternoon tea. Invite some friends to go for a bike ride and have some cake afterward - or go to the movies and refuse to feel guilty about extra butter on your popcorn. Make it a theme and dress up in 70s costume and listen to old rock and roll. The possibilities really are endless.

Birthdays are days of great anticipation and joy for kids; make it the same happy day for yourself!

Get tips here on throwing yourself a wine tasting birthday party.

More of our Monday Mom challenge:

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