It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Happy My Birthday – to the Woman who Deserves the Credit

February is birthday month in my family. When we were very young, my mother used to throw one birthday party for the three of us in the middle of the month, to which we could invite two friends each. Good strategy, mum!

Now that I, too, am a parent – of three, even – I look back on the young woman my mother was with a mixture of awe and astonishment.

Imagine, if you will. You are twenty-one years old, pregnant. You give birth in February. Then you do some mommying. Mommy, mommy, mommy. You are a good mommy, too. Mommy, mommy, mommy. You must do some wifing in there somewhere, though, because by May, you’re pregnant again! Woo-hoo! And you have baby number two the following February, eight days after your oldest’s first birthday. And now you do lots and lots of mommying. Double-duty mommying.

Mommymommy, mommymommy, wifemommymommy. Oops! How’d you let that slip in there? How’d you have the time? Too tired to argue, I’m thinking, and now it’s May, and you’re pregnant AGAIN!! And the next February, along comes baby number three, ten days before your oldest’s second birthday and 18 days before your second’s first birthday.

Four months before you turn twenty-five, you are the mother of THREE children, the oldest of whom is TWO!!!

You know, I’m thinking never mind the birthday card for ME. I’m thinking that in about the middle of February, my brother, sister and I should get our mother something. Like a medal. Or a certificate of gratitude that she didn’t lose/throttle/forget/maim one of us in the blur that must have been those early years.

So, for my birthday, Mum?


February 16, 2006 - Posted by | commemoration, parents


  1. Happy Birthday to you and your siblings and your mum! That is HEROIC!

    Comment by jen-o-rama | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  2. My Great grandmother once made the cryptic comment to my mother (who had 5 kids under 6 at the time), that she had a baby a year for the first six years of her marriage until she worked out how to stop getting pregnant ever again.

    My mother never asked her what the secret was, which is a shame, since her youngest was born in 1910.

    I am soooooooooo glad I live in the 21st century and can chose if & when to have kids (even if they still come as a surprise).

    Comment by Mrs.Aginoth | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  3. Happy Birthday, Mary!

    Comment by Chag | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  4. Happy Birthday, MP!

    And congratulations to MP’s mom on raising such a smart, wonderful, funny, loving person!

    Comment by Candace | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  5. Happy birthday, indeed!

    Comment by Simon P. Chappell | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  6. Happy Birthday, Mary P!

    Kudos to your mom, too! Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do…but she seems to have done a brilliant job, too!

    Comment by LoryKC | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  7. Happy birthday! And yes, I think the mommies should ALWAYS be celebrated on the tots birthdays, no matter how old the tots are.

    Not that YOU are old–you know what I mean.

    Okay, now I’m going to pull my shoe out of my throat here . . . Happy birthday!

    Comment by Susan | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  8. Happy Birthday – my dad always used to call my grandmother on his birthday, to say thanks. I liked your tribute to your mum!

    Comment by Kristen | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  9. Happy Birthday Mary!!! I can’t even imagine having three children age 2 and under at any given time.

    Comment by Angela | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  10. Thanks, everyone!

    Now I’m going to celebrate my birthday by going to be eeeeaarrrrlllyyyy….


    Comment by Mary P. | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  11. Happiest of Birthday Wishes Mary!

    And wowie, wow, wow, wow. Your mom is someone I have the most respect for – and I don’t even know her personally. I just know that you are her daughter. And you are someone whom I wish I knew beyond this “blog” community. I am proud to know you, in whatever realm we are given. Mommy did something RIGHT.

    Comment by Andie D. | February 16, 2006 | Reply

  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, Mary & Siblings!!!!!!!

    And Great Job, Mary’s mom!!!!!!! 🙂

    Comment by Queen Bee | February 17, 2006 | Reply

  13. Happy Birthday to all.

    Comment by Granny | February 17, 2006 | Reply

  14. Happy birthday!

    Comment by Cheryl | February 17, 2006 | Reply

  15. Happy Birthday and kudos to your Mum, she must have had a rough few years!

    Comment by Boliath | February 17, 2006 | Reply

  16. Your mother has Irish TRIPLETS! Quick…get the medal of honor people. I Think she could easily qualigy for the Pulitzer, Academy and Nobel (in all categories)

    Happy birthday!

    The teen-years must have been as interesting in your house as the toddler years. Now we all understand where your patience is inherited!


    Comment by Heather | February 17, 2006 | Reply

  17. Happy, happy birthday. I hope your parents all got ya something nice. Since you’re so damn nice.

    Enjoy and on the topic of your Mum. Oh, man. That’s wild

    Comment by mo-wo | February 18, 2006 | Reply

  18. Happy birthday to you Miss Mary!

    Comment by kimmyk | February 18, 2006 | Reply

  19. Oh my god. And I’m whining about the two years of no sleep after a four year break? Good lord, I need to suck it up! Your mother is indeed a saint for spending that long in the trenches without stnagling or emotionally scarring you guys.

    And happy birthday Mary!

    Comment by MsSisyphus | February 19, 2006 | Reply

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