Mediocre birthday to you, mediocre birthday to you, mediocre birthday to whatever your name is, mediocre birthday to you…

Birthdays

Adult birthdays, that is. Your baby’s birthday is, of course, the most important date in the entire history of ever and anyone who forgets it is dead to you. But pregnant on your birthday? You can’t get drunk. In charge of a newborn on your birthday? You don’t even know what day it is. Hanging out with a bog standard baby on your birthday? Chances are their hectic routine of naps and nappies and nursery rhymes will have you too frazzled to celebrate. And just wait until they get to the toddler years – they might scribble in a card but, if anyone thinks to get you a birthday cake, they will take ownership of it, slobber all over the candles and shoehorn in a tantrum of some description. Maybe time to start planning your 50th, you might have clawed back some sense of self by then…

Valentine’s Day

Ha ha ha ha ha, as if anyone over the age of 16 gives a shit about Valentine’s Day. Oh, you used to? Well, we hate to break it to you, but those days are numbered. It’s in the middle of February, so your baby almost certainly has a snotty nose, which means you almost certainly have a snotty nose, and there’s nothing sexy about that, and come evening you’re just too tired to do anything other than veg in front of a box set. Any cards you manage to exchange with your partner will feature self-deprecating slogans about “loving you more than CBeebies” rather than sweet nothings. But don’t worry, once the romance-killer starts nursery you’ll be bombarded with heart-shaped handprints orchestrated by a smiley temp worker whose name you don’t know, and it makes it all worth it.

Easter

So, you don’t have to leave the house for four days and you can gorge yourself silly on chocolate. Big flipping deal – that’s basically every day with a Y in it when you’ve recently had a baby. Enjoy the relative peace, though… in a couple of years there will be a pre-schooler in your home losing their mind after eating 19 Creme Eggs in a row while you’re forced to scoff your own chocolately haul in secret. And then there’s the suffocating pressure to win the nursery Easter bonnet competition…

Halloween

There are two life stages where Halloween is a joyous occasion: when you’re approximately six years old and trick or treating is the height of adventure, and when you’re single and in your late teens and early twenties and it’s an excuse to wear something outrageous and snog strangers. When you’re a mum, it’s all about hissing at people to not knock on the door past 7pm, and, at best, forcing your baby into a cute pumpkin outfit just for the likes.

Random bank holidays

You’re on mat leave and turn up to your regular rhyme time session only to discover that the library is SHUT! You’re about to make an outraged call to the council when it dawns on you… it’s a bank holiday. And you thought your partner was just running late for work. Oh, how we miss bank holidays idly lounging in sunny beer gardens… now we’re lucky if we get an Ikea trip.

Other people’s weddings

Receiving a wedding invitation when you’ve recently had a baby is fraught with drama. Is the baby invited? They didn’t put their name on the invitation but should you ask anyway? Will they understand that it’s hard for you to leave them? Could one of the grandparents maybe come with you and do the babysitting duties nearby while you show your face? Can you get away with just sacking off the whole thing even though Karen and Dave schlepped all the way to Your Self-Indulgent Wedding Venue for your big day? Sheesh, we remember when weddings were something to look forward to, but it’s so hard to break free from the baby bubble and do the decent thing. See also: hen dos.

And one that hasn’t…

Christmas

Your first Christmas as a parent is a delight, a chance to erase any memories of all the crappy Christmases that have gone before, and create your own little family traditions. Or at the very least wear matching pyjamas and get quietly sozzled on the sofa. As your little one gets bigger, it will all get a little more hysterical (not to mention expensive…), but when they’re tiny, they haven’t a clue what’s going on so you can just bask in the joy of the greatest gift of all: your baby, and roast potatoes. Ahhhh.