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10 Things Every Mom Really Wants On Her Birthday

Photograph by Twenty20

If you’re old enough to remember the John Hughes movie “Sixteen Candles,” then you’ll empathize with me feeling like the film’s lead, Samantha, whose family forgot her 16th birthday. This past week on my birthday, my kids Samantha’d me and forgot my special day. Let me tell you, it stung.

As I spent most of the day wondering when they’d remember or waiting for my husband to remind them, I thought about what I really wanted that day and realized that the things on my list were probably not something anyone in my family had even thought of.

If you're a mom reading this, I'm pretty sure you want these 10 things from your family on your birthday too.

Some good old-fashioned remembering: I want to say that it didn’t bother me that no one woke up remembering it was my birthday, but it did. We moms go above and beyond to make our kids' and spouse’s birthdays feel epic. A simple wake-up “happy birthday” isn’t too much to ask in return.

A present: It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but we spend so much of their lives doing and giving to others that a little token of birthday affection goes a long way for the gal who does your laundry and wakes up with you in the middle of the night.

Quiet time: This past birthday I found myself really wanting a little quiet time to myself. Because, what is that?!

Kid-free grown-up fun: I love my kids, but spending my birthday doing something they like doesn’t sound fun. A mom’s birthday should be about her being an adult, not someone’s mom. Grown-up fun should be had.

Basically, for our birthdays, moms want time off from being a mom.

A day off from drop-off and pickup: Hey, husbands, if you really want to make your wife's birthday great, give her a break from school drop-off and pickup. A break from all that mom-pooling will feel like a gift in and of itself.

No, you make the lunchboxes: While Dad’s making the school run, maybe he can pack the lunches too, so Mom can sleep in—or at least pretend like she is. Either way, give us a break. It’s our day.

Kids, take a break from fighting: Sibling squabbles are totally normal, but they can certainly get under our skin. So, if the kids simply stopped bickering for a day, it’ll help us have an amazing day.

A great meal without having to take anyone to the bathroom: Basically, for our birthdays, moms want time off from being a mom. So, if the birthday plan is to go out to a family dinner, Mom gets a break from the constant bathroom runs that have her never actually getting to eat her meal.

A glass of wine. Duh.

Simple wishes and phone calls. Don’t just post on our Facebook wall or text. Wish us a happy birthday the old-fashioned way—by calling! Even if a mom doesn’t answer, she’ll love hearing your voice later.

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