Let me paint you a familiar picture, moms. It’s the day of your child’s birth. You are swollen and sore and whether that baby is coming out of your belly or your vag, your body is going to go through the ringer.
At the joyous moment when your baby is placed in your arms, you feel a love stronger than any you ever thought possible. All of the pain and nausea and time and sweat and tears were worth it. You look in your baby’s eyes and take in how special this moment is. You try to remember it forever, exactly as it is right now.
And then you sneeze and feel some pee come out of you.
Exactly one year later, you will celebrate the destruction of your pelvic floor — I mean the birth of your darling angel — with balloons and cake and streamers and hats. Babies are fantastic, and birthdays are awesome.
But would it kill everyone to maybe tip their hats to the one who made it all possible?
I love celebrating my children’s birthdays. Making the cake, picking out the presents, decorating their rooms, planning the parties, I enjoy all of it. It’s extra work, but it’s exciting and meaningful. I would give them the world if I could, and I try to show that on their special days. But I wouldn’t protest a little acknowledgment for, you know, letting them gestate in my uterus, rent-free for nine months. That was a lot of work, after all.
My proposal? A tiny bit of celebrating every mother’s You Gave Birth Day.
We don’t need a cake or a party or anything like that. The focus should, of course, be on the person whose birthday it is. But dads? Maybe make the mother of your beautiful child a card. Maybe get her a nice flower. Maybe give her a high-five, a wink, and tell her that you remember how much she screamed she hated you while in labor and that you really appreciate all she did and that she didn’t deck you in between contractions.
Also, maybe when your baby grows to be less of a baby and more of a tiny human capable of holding a crayon or saying a few words, encourage him to thank Mommy for being the queen of bouncing on a birth ball, and you know, giving him life.
Now, I can hear some of you rolling your eyes from here. Does this sound like a millennial attempt at one more participation trophy? Are you wondering why the hell some lady on the internet is trying to add extra thank-yous into your day like you don’t have enough to worry about? Well, obviously kind and emphatic individuals of the internet, motherhood is a full-contact sport. Everyone should get a trophy for participating because mothers get their asses kicked left and right every day.
We are all winners.
We get Mother’s Day, yes, but it’s not like I’m advocating for a another holiday. Although I would be completely within my rights to ask for a week or month or football season because, like I said, asses are getting kicked from all sides on all days. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t kill anyone, or put any significant hardship on each of us, to extend a little extra appreciation to the person who not only made the birthday possible, but is also likely doing all, or most, of the legwork to make sure the birthday is celebrated to the full extent of the law, as well.
Being a mother is a largely thankless job, and we know that. But an additional sprinkling of gratitude here and there would put any mom over the moon. And if she’s willing to give you the world, what’s a puny little moon?