Community//

The worst Mother’s Day gift ever

2013 was my first Mother's Day as a new mom. My son was 3 weeks old. I was looking forward to receiving what should be a very special occasion gift from my then-husband. I never expected to get that.

My son was born April 29th. Which meant that right after his birth I would be able to celebrate my first Mother’s Day as a parent. The newness was that I would be receiving a gift instead of buying it. 

My family was never big on celebrations. Maybe we did not have enough confidence that we were able to have a good time just the four of us, so celebrations were very low key. Specially if we were celebrating my mom. Be it her birthday, Christmas, you name it, she would say she didn’t want anything and tell us not to worry about getting her anything. It was never clear to me if she was playing herself down in hope that we would try to lift her up or if she honesty didn’t care. Nevertheless my sister and I would always get her something. And she appreciated anything we would give her.

When it comes to me as parent, I can’t say I had it figured out by then. Or by now, for that matter. The thing is that it took me about 2 years to build a connection with my son. So much went on before, during and after his birth that instead of love all I could feel for a long time was pressure and guilt. I look back at a picture of us on that day and my stomach turns. I look like s***. I look ugly as hell. Bloated and unhappy. My smile showed how miserable I was but it was not the first time I had tried hard at faking it. It probably wasn’t postpartum depression. This feeling had been going on for quite a while and welcoming that bundle of joy to the world just made it more evident. 

Since it was my first Mother’s Day and I had bared that child inside of me for 9 months following a natural birth I felt I had earned the right to spend it with my family instead of my husband’s one. My son is 7 now and I have not spent another holiday with my family ever since. All gatherings at his parents house were pretty joyful, I have to admit. They are lovely people who have the time of their lives when they are together. Unfortunately every time we went anywhere with other people rather than his family or friends he would sit at a corner quietly, interacted as little as possible and would not eat.

So on we went to my parent’s house to celebrate. Mauricio was in a bad mood – although we would most likely go to his parent’s afterwards – he did not like being away from them at such an important day.

We arrived at my family’s house at lunchtime. Upon arriving my sister approached me and, with tears in her eyes, told me she had gotten me something. It was a golden necklace with a heart pendant with two small feet engraved. I had never been gifted jewelry before. I went to the moon and back! Which made my husband go from a bad mood to a pitch-black-dark one. Looking back I realize he was jealous. (insert eye rolling emoji here)

Later that day when we arrived back home he explained that my gift was not ready yet and it would arrive any day. Out of jealousy or just to make himself look better, he made fun of how happy and giggly I was about my sister’s gift. He said I looked like I had never seen gold before.

I accepted that his gift was not delivered timely. I even told him he didn’t need to get me anything and he need not worry about me. Just having a baby in my life was happiness enough.

A couple of days later the gift arrived. He came home with a big box that had a huge dark green bow on top of it. I recognized the store it was from. My heart skipped a beat because it was from a jeweler. But why such a big box? Maybe it was a diamond ring and he had it wrapped that way to trick me! I was so excited. He did love me. That meant that he cared for me and for some reason beyond his reach he was not able to give it to me sooner. He definitely made his best effort to have it get there on time but had been just out of luck. Life is unfair like that sometimes. I started thanking him, hugging and kissing him before even opening it. I held my son in my arms and with one hand slowly started to undo the bow so I would not miss one second of that emotional moment in my life. He must have spent a fortune. I was finally getting the gift that I deserved. This would be a breakthrough moment, a before-and-after in our relationship. At this point I did not care that we were not officially married. His gesture of getting me something so special made me believe that we were meant to be together, for better or worse, till death do us part. I felt like inside that box was, in a way, his heart. He was finally going to give it to me. He was finally willing to open up to a life by my side. It would show me how committed he was to me. It meant he was ready to give himself to me, be vulnerable, honest, accepting, loyal and dedicated.

I walked my son through every step of the gift unveiling. I wanted him to participate in this special moment. I took the lid off the box. I unfolded the crisp white wrapping paper and I was finally able to see what was inside. And there it was.

A vase.

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Wisdom//

    Cancer Took My Mother’s Life But It Will Never Take Her Lessons

    by Erin C. Sullivan
    Well-Being//

    The Daffodil Has a Very Special Meaning for Me

    by Patricia Eales
    Community//

    Happy Mother’s Day to our Daughter’s Birth Mothers

    by Ty J. Tonander

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.