The eldest of four children, one woman has questioned a long-standing tradition in her family – their mum receives over-the-top gifts for herself on the kids’ birthdays. A ‘birth anniversary’ or ‘celebration of motherhood’ for mum, if you will. Thoughtful or greedy gift-grab?
Yes, you read that right. For this family, a child’s birthday is not just about the child, but mum too. Presents for all!
I don’t think kids’ birthdays are supposed to be about YOU. via GIPHY
Is it the push present taken too far?
It’s not unusual to hint for a “push present” – a gift to say thanks for growing an actual real-life human being within your own body and then expelling them out of it to the outside world.
It’s not completely unreasonable to receive something (other than your precious newborn bundle, which is of course a gift in itself) for all the arduous work of pregnancy. But a present every year kind of takes the cake.
For a split second, I actually thought this was a helluva good gift-receiving idea. Until I was reminded that isn’t that what Mother’s Day is for? Touche. Good point. I retract my enthusiastic nodding and wishlist.
Daughter turns to Reddit for opinions on birthday celebration
Of course, when it’s opinions and justification you seek, it makes sense to turn to the internet for everyone in the entire world to weigh in on your dilemma.
Posting to Reddit, this woman explained the odd gift-giving scenarios playing out in the family home for the past twenty-five years, asking if she was being… difficult.
I have three siblings between the ages of 10 and 18. I’m the oldest at 25. Every year on every single one of our birthdays, we’re expected to celebrate my mom as well. We’ve done it since we were little.
It was taught to me as ‘giving thanks for carrying and giving birth to us’. Which I’m all for, I am grateful as we wouldn’t be here without her. The issue is though, it becomes less of our birthday and more so an anniversary for the day our mom gave birth.
Every year on our birthday our mom gets gifts too. As we got older, we’re now expected to get her monetary gifts (not cards or homemade stuff). Just recently it was my birthday and I was gifted some much-needed clothes and dishware for my new apartment.
My dad however got my mom a new MacBook. My siblings all got her gifts too. My youngest brother isn’t expected to give much, but my 16-year-old sister and 18-year-old second brother work so they’re expected to give gifts too
My sister pulled me aside before my birthday and said she was sorry she couldn’t get me much (she got me a sweater, I love it!) and that she wanted to get me more but our mom was pressuring her to get a certain necklace for our mom. Apparently, my mom had been dropping hints for months and my sister was worried our mom would be upset and feel underappreciated if she didn’t get it.”
The Reddit poster went on to explain that she later had an argument about the ridiculous gift-giving with her mum following her mum opening her presents after she (the birthday girl) had opened hers. As a result, mum was reduced to tears and the daughter has been called disrespectful, selfish, narcissistic and jealous by other family members.
On top of ALL of that kerfuffle, two weeks on from the argument, her mum still isn’t taking her calls or talking to her. She’s also taken to Facebook posting “inspiration quotes about letting go of the toxicity in your life” to no doubt passively-aggressively make her point.
Wait up. Say what?
Say it loud for the people in the back, Oprah. via GIPHY
Mum is nuts, the internet says so
And as you can expect, the internet unleashed their advice which, not surprisingly, mostly supported the daughter’s view.
“Holy crapbucket. How the hell can you feel entitled to a 300$ gift from your kid (at 18). And expecting 5 birthdays a year. Your mom and your enabling family are messed up. I would have cut them off asap. Maybe leave an olive branch for your siblings if they wanna run at some point as well.”
“There’s a really cool holiday called Mother’s Day. That’s when your Mom should get gifts for carrying children. Not on your birthdays. This is total BS.”
“Start demanding gifts on mother’s day because she wouldn’t be a mother to celebrate if it wasn’t for you and your siblings.”
“I get the idea of all moms giving birth and everything but seriously! It’s ridiculous. It’s your special day!!”
“Lol what? celebrating the mom on someone’s birthday is not a thing. Your mom is crazy and you’re being more than accommodating by going along with it at all over the years. This is like the scenarios where another child gets a present on someone else’s birthday and we all know what the judgment on those ones is and….your mom is an adult.”
So it’s unanimous then. DON’T steal your kids’ birthdays and foolishly celebrate motherhood with outrageous gifts for yourself. No Macbook requests, no necklace hints… just a quiet and discreet proud pat on the back is sufficient if you need to. Got it.
Discreet. Like, VERY discreet. And only if you have to. via GIPHY
A final note… still no Macbook
We get it, motherhood isn’t always a walk in the park and that’s a very good reason why we have to grab Mother’s Day with both hands and run with it. MILK IT FOR ALL THAT IT’S WORTH. Be it macaroni necklaces, handmade cards or more.
Nope, you still don’t have to buy a Macbook but sometimes it’s REALLY nice to recognise mums on their kid’s birthday – especially if you ARE attending a first birthday party. Do go out of your way to tell the parents they’re amazing. That first year of a child’s life can feel gruelling and a test of survival a lot of the time so it’s nice to hear, “Hey, well done, YOU DID IT!”.
Motherhood – the best kind of mostly thankless but highly rewarding ‘hood and club to be in and celebrate ONCE a year.