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Birthday Reflections: Celebrating My Daughters and My Motherhood Journey

I wholeheartedly believe each day is one to celebrate life, oneself, and the people in our lives… and yet, I love the sentiment behind birthday celebrations. 

It’s the one day where, if you give yourself the chance, for 1440 minutes it’s all about YOU!

You’re showered with tokens of affection, attention, and appreciation and you get to intentionally reflect on your past years, while looking ahead to the years to come.

Celebrating Our Children Is Worth It

I’m a very spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment, “let’s go with the flow” type of mom, so I avoid event organization as much as I can.

And, believe it or not, I never had a birthday party growing up and I had my first (and last) birthday cake on my 40th birthday.

I also try not to participate in celebrations that might not directly reflect my faith or that may seem to have material motives. However, birthday celebrations are something I fully embrace and cherish. 

Yes, acknowledging and celebrating the anniversary of your birth means that you are grateful for your life – or at least for having survived another year. 

When it comes to celebrating your child, psychologists and child development experts agree and have published numerous studies about how birthday traditions and celebrations are a necessary part of childhood.

These rituals foster deeper connections in the family and community and allow for essential social-emotional benefits in childhood – and beyond. 

So, every Summer and Fall, I make an effort to put my party planning pants on and set aside a portion of my budget and a lot of my time to make sure my daughters feel how special their birthdays are for me.

Celebrating The EF Girls

This year, I decided to team up with Betty Crocker™ to not only celebrate my four daughters, my four treasures, my four gems, the four chambers of my heart… but to celebrate myself as their mom, too.

We went to our neighborhood Walmart store and bought 2 boxes of Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Delights French Vanilla Cake Mix and 4 boxes of Betty Crocker™ Whipped Fluffy White Frosting and we made a vegan 3-layer cake together. We had my sister on speed dial, so to speak because she’s the resident expert.

Betty Crocker™ products have the homemade taste and texture with speed, convenience, and ease, and without preservatives or artificial flavors.

We bought all our other ingredients (fruit, jam, and egg substitutes) and decorations at Walmart, as well, since we are regulars at this store.

Why Celebrating Our Daughters Matters

Celebrating our daughters sends them some important messages that are vital to their sense of self and their mental health.

You are worthy. It’s important for our kids to get the message that they are worth celebrating, that they are a priority, that we honor and respect them and we take a whole day to do that.

I am grateful for you. I love telling my daughters that I am grateful for who they are and the joy they bring to my life.

You matter. When people gather, whether physically or virtually, to celebrate someone, they can feel loved, important, and special.

You deserve so much. Our kids need to learn the art of receiving. Many of us have trouble asking for help or asking for what we want.

We often feel awkward when receiving support, gifts, or even compliments, so I’m always looking to upgrade my daughters’ sense of deservingness. 

Your life is a gift. Birthdays are a great chance to highlight how much our kids have grown and all they learned the past year, and I also like to add a list of all the blessings they have received.

There is so much going on that sometimes it’s easy to forget the joyful, blissful, miraculous moments of our lives, and reminding our kids is going to help them count their blessings (one by one) and that sense of gratitude is going to make life much sweeter and easier!

Your life has a purpose. This may sound like common sense to you, but in the dark days, when I struggle, I need to remind myself of this.

I want my daughters to know that their birth was a major event. We celebrate that glorious day and each day they are here!

Your mere presence brings joy. When babies come into the world, they are not wearing anything and there are no expectations to meet or responsibilities to fulfill.

Their mere presence is joy.

When we remind our kids that this essence is still within them, they understand that they are loved unconditionally, which makes up for the days where they might be lectures, grounding, or even yelling.

What Children Learn When We Celebrate Them

There are three ways to assure you learn something: impact, immersion, and repetition.

Celebrations are impactful and having a full day of festivities and acts of kindness is an immersive experience.

You can turn a birthday celebration into a very purposeful teaching moment that you can build upon each of the remaining 364 days of the year.

The Value of Relationships.  Children feel special when they can feel that those around them love them. They can learn to celebrate other people and want others to feel what they feel.  The skill of doing something for another person and helping them feel special, 

Gratitude and Thanksgiving. Whenever children receive, we can teach them about the feeling and attitude of gratitude, and we can teach them to give thanks, too.

Every stage of life is important. According to Asheville child and family psychologist Heather Ulrich, Ph.D., “birthday celebrations and festivities help children and teens understand the process of growing up and the significance of their new age and development stage.” 

Why Celebrate Your Motherhood Journey

Sometimes we feel guilty about the times we didn’t quite do as well as we expected, especially in motherhood, so we don’t often feel like we deserve to be celebrated.

When we stop aiming for perfection, we can celebrate whatever good we do!

I am blessed. On my daughters’ birthday, I remind myself that being a mom is a privilege, an honor, and a blessing and that my daughters are mine for eternity, and what a gift that is!

I am strong. When I think back at many years parenting alone, and how far I’ve come as a mom, I am in awe and I don’t even know how I did it!

I co-create beautiful things. I marvel at each of my daughters’ gifts and talents, their heart, their beauty, and I feel immense pride, especially because I have been their only involved parent most of their lives.

My time is precious. I am valuing my time more since Elisha turned 18.

So much can shift in a year and I want to say NO, have firmer boundaries, and focus on savoring every second with them. 

I am human. I’ve learned to accept my humanness – sometimes I feel awesome, sometimes I feel awful… and I’m constantly telling myself “don’t beat yourself up and forgive yourself.” No guilt, no regrets, no judging myself for my emotions.

I matter. As I make it a point to value myself, care for my body, prioritize my emotional wellness, invest in myself, own my choices, do meaningful work, and live my purpose, my daughters watch and learn.

When I find peace, break unhealthy cycles, and feel whole, they do, as well. When I treat myself like I matter, I’m a better me and a better mom.

Each of my daughters inspires me to be the woman I would like her to be.

Who inspires you? Maybe you want to celebrate the day they came into your life and made it better.

The EF Girls

Ever since my daughters arrived, my life has never been the same – it’s been brighter than summer sunshine and more colorful than autumn leaves. 

I’ve had days of wonder and days of weeping, days of glory and days of grief, and everything in between!

I cannot thank God enough for my girls being the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Elisha F.  The miracle of seeing you transform from infant to little girl to the accomplished woman you are today, always making your mark in the world, has been a gift to me.

They say a daughter is a girl who eventually grows to be her mom’s best friend and that’s my biggest wish.

Elyssa F.  This is a milestone birthday for you and you certainly have become a remarkable young woman.

You have extraordinary talents and you make such a difference in the lives of your family, your friends, and everyone around you because you’re always ready to serve, support, and help. Thank you!

Eliana F. How has time passed so fast? You’re 8… and you’re great! I admire your boldness, your strength, and your persistence. You put a smile on everyone’s face with your wisdom, charisma, and joyful personality.

Please know that I believe in your dreams and in your ability to achieve them and I’ll always stand by you. 

Elydia F. You brighten my day and melt my heart.

You light up our whole family and I celebrate the day you were born into this world – my shining, glowing, shimmering star. I’m blessed I can be your mom and see you grow. 

My E.F. girls, my Eternally Faithful girls, always Exercising Faith.

I wish you every happiness. I love you endlessly and beyond measure. Keep being true, kind, and respectful… always BE ONE… and remember that life is like a cake!

Life Is Like A Cake

You gotta follow the steps, you need key ingredients…

And some faith in yourself.

It gets a bit crummy before it gets yummy,

and it takes how long it takes before it’s ready.

Don’t forget sometimes it can be easy and you don’t have to start from scratch, all you have to do is to use a little leverage.

And it’s okay to need a helping hand…

And sometimes you follow the recipe and 

you give it your best and the whole thing burns.

And you unclench your fists, put out the frown, 

and wipe up your tears, and you start again…

Because you had fun making the cake… 

and because you can bake a new one… 

again and again.

And you smile for all you learn, 

And  you’re proud because you share…

And there comes a time when you realize

you can decide to bake it your way…

Because it’s your cake… 

your own filling, your own flavor, 

your own frosting, your own topping… 

and it’s wonderful, just as it is.

Ways to Celebrate Our Kids

One of the main lessons I’ve learned with celebrating my daughters’ birthdays over the years is that there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate yourself or someone you love, as long as it’s fun and memorable for them.

It’s okay to ditch traditions and trends when you’re focusing on sending a clear message of “I’m so happy you were born and I love who you are!”

My daughters all have different personalities, different interests, and different love languages, and being attuned to that is the best gift I can ever give them.

One thing all my daughters have in common is that they really enjoy cake and it is something that makes them feel special – they got it from their grandpa. 

I was almost due with Elyssa on Elisha’s first birthday. (Yes, you read that right – they are one year and seven days apart).

I was a brand new mom with an abundance of hormones, fatigue, and birthday-party-cluelessness, and I ended up going to her little friend’s birthday party and we just took pictures of her there and brought our own cake. It was great – and I was so grateful for our friend coming up with this idea!

So whether we have a party with friends, a movie day in, or an adventure-filled family field trip, we always make time to bake a cake, to eat a cake, blow some candles – and sing “Happy Birthday,” and “Feliz Cumpleaños!” 

Birthday Celebration Ideas

There are so many ways to celebrate birthdays and I want to give you a few ideas. Make sure to incorporate Betty Crocker™, too!

  • Birthday breakfast in bed.
  • Birthday picnic.
  • Birthday memories watch party.
  • Bake a Betty Crocker™ birthday cake together
  • Queen for a day (No homeschool and no house chores!)
  • A balloon invasion
  • A door heart-attack
  • Go see a musical
  • Write her a letter 
  • Birthday tiara
  • Special road trip
  • A scheduled character call
  • Unplugged mom (no electronics)
  • Studying a lesson together
  • A spa day
  • Visit the local bank and make a deposit on your children’s bank account.’
  • Take a lesson together
  • Driving around with “Honk with [my child] a happy Birthday.

Don’t be afraid to get creative. For example, my brother gives Eliana one dollar for each year of her life. And my dad and I planted a tree together, and he made me my own school chair, too!

The most important thing is that your child sees the intention behind it. 

Celebrate with Betty

I invite you to celebrate your loved ones’  birthday with Betty Crocker™ cake mix and frosting or give a birthday to someone who hasn’t had a celebration in the past or who has missed celebrating.

To celebrate, shop for Betty Crocker™ Cake Mixes and Frosting in-store at  Walmart and via online grocery by driving product discovery.

My daughter’s births are the happiest day of my life and I’m so happy to celebrate ourselves today.

Who will you celebrate? Share with us in the comments below.

Elayna Fernandez - Bestselling Author - 
Transformational Trainer and Keynote Speaker - Mentor to Mom Entrepreneurs

© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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