Dear Husband,

Every year, without fail, I wrack my brain trying to come up with a reasonable answer for you to the question of what I want for my birthday. Usually, I just shrug my shoulders and say, “I don’t want anything, I have everything I’ve ever wanted already. I have you and our children”.

OK, so maybe there is something I want. Maybe there is something I think about every year that I am hoping you come up with. Or maybe I just think that asking you for what I really want would put too much pressure and stress on you, or just be too much to ask for in the first place.

So, now I am opening up and really saying what would make me happy, and what would make my birthday truly special.

I have always viewed birthdays as special occasions but since having children of my own, I find that I am looking forward to their birthdays more than my own. Their birthdays mark the anniversary of welcoming them into the world and I remember all the emotions I felt then. I get out the photo albums from that special day and I cry tears of joy that I was blessed with another year with them in my life.

So I forget to celebrate myself.

I forget that my birthday is also special, that my mother is probably feeling the same emotions I do about my children’s birthdays. I forget to voice what would make the day feel special to me, too.

So, my dear husband, today I will tell you how to make this blessed wife and proud mom feel special on her day.

First, make it about me. Throughout the year we are so focused on everyone else. I know you love me, oh, do you ever love me. And I know I am your number one, always. But I also know that my needs and wants are pushed on the back burner because I am in the stage where our children depend so greatly on me. Infants and toddlers have been the focus of the last four years of our lives and in that four years, we have been placing self-care last on the to-do list.

So, on my birthday, I would like to be the focus. I want to wake up on my own. I want someone else to get the kids when they wake up and take care of them while my body resets.

I want us to take the day off from work and be together as a family for the first part of the day doing things I haven’t had to plan, but things you know I enjoy. I don’t want to cook or decide where to eat. I want you to decide everything for me, with what I would like in mind. Maybe a picnic in the park that you and the kids packed or perhaps a birthday breakfast with the whole family at my favorite place.

Second, I want you to make me celebrate myself. Maybe it’s an hour-long massage, maybe it’s a gift card and shopping trip, maybe it’s a manicure and pedicure, or maybe it’s just a stroll around the block. But I want you to make me take just an hour to myself so I can reflect on the years and how happy and blessed I am. You know I am always last on the list of things to concentrate on and an hour to myself does so much.

Third, I want the evening to ourselves. I love our children more than I could ever describe, and you know that. But I also love my husband; I loved you first, and I will spend as long as God allows right by your side. So, on my birthday, I want to spend the evening hours just with you, so I can celebrate us and reflect on our relationship and how grateful I am to spend another year with my best friend. Maybe we share a bottle of wine together while the children sleep, or maybe we walk hand-in-hand under the stars while the kids are off at their grandparents’ house. Maybe we go out to a quiet dinner at a new place. The possibilities are endless.

Fourth, I want to feel appreciated. I appreciate you, so much. I know you appreciate me, too. But sometimes, it would be lovely to not have to worry about the floors needing to be vacuumed or the dishes needing to be done. I would be flabbergasted if you were to clean the house or pay someone else to do it. Maybe this seems petty, but you know how I stress about the state of our home daily and because of this, I can’t relax. My day would be so much more enjoyable if I didn’t have to worry about cleaning later that evening or the next day.

So, next year, when you ask me what I want for my birthday, I have an answer for you, and here it is.

Maybe I am asking too much, but here it is, anyway.

What do you want for your birthday, Husband?

Love always,
Your grateful wife

Anastasia Smothers

Anastasia is a mother of four children under four and a proud wife to a veteran. When not with her children, she works full -time and also has a part-time position as a substitute teacher.