A woman who has become a mother will unfortunately tell you that at least one person in their life has diminished their personhood to being a mother only.
But being a mother is only one aspect of a person’s identity, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ihatemyburthday was hurt when her birthday came around, and she was greeted only with gifts for her baby that she didn’t need.
But when she was accused of being ungrateful for the gifts, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was overthinking it.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for being upset with my family for giving me baby clothes for my birthday?”
The OP did not need anymore baby clothes.
“So I (30 Female) just had a baby a few months ago, and a lot of people have been really generous with buying us baby clothes.”
“I asked my family to stop because we have more than enough clothes.”
“We also get hand-me-downs, but some family members insist on buying brand new stuff for us because they don’t want my baby wearing ‘just hand-me-downs.'”
The OP was surprised by how her family responded.
“So, it was my birthday a week ago. and a few family members got me birthday gifts.”
“One family member gave me a huge fancy gift bag and inside was all baby stuff. Bibs, clothes, and soothers, and all stuff I already have and don’t need more of.”
“I guess I look disappointed, so she made a comment about how rude it was to not appreciate a gift.”
“Another family member sheepishly handed me another gift and it was another f**king ‘I Love My Mom’ type of onesie.”
“I tried to act thankful but some family members could tell I was upset.”
The family called her out for being “ungrateful.”
“Several people have told me I was ungrateful and selfish and that I should just appreciate what I’ve gotten.”
“But I’m so upset. I feel like no one cares about me just my daughter.”
“When I told a friend about this, they said I’m an a**hole for being jealous of my child and I should just appreciate all the nice things they got for my baby.”
The OP felt conflicted.
“Am I the a**hole for not appreciating what I got? Am I honestly being jealous of my baby?”
“”I didn’t want anything extravagant this year. I would have been happy with something from the thrift store as long as it was meant for me and not my child.”
“I felt like some people used my birthday as an excuse to go baby shopping.”
“I know everyone is excited about my baby, and I love them more than anything, but it’s like everyone has forgotten about me.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that mothers still have an identity outside of their motherhood.
“I honestly think a huge part of PPD (Postpartum Depresssion) is instantly going from more attention than you could ever possibly want while pregnant to being your child’s accessory the second they’re born.”
“Birthing a child is the only time I’ve been in the hospital and come out to nobody giving a s**t about me. Though, I will admit I now find being invisible wonderfully freeing.”
“What’s more, during postpartum, you tend to have an overwhelming amount of cheap or free baby clothes, but you often don’t have this clothing that fits yourself.”
“I’ve literally spent more money buying myself new undergarments after the birth of my second than I have buying everything for my second because of hand me downs. It’s one thing to get you gift certificates to do an activity with your kid or even a mom-themed mug or shirt, but just gifts for the baby is hurtful.” – Used-Situation
“I had two kids 15 months apart. My husband wasn’t much of help, and my entire family also lived on another continent and couldn’t help. I had a postpartum depression after the second one that turned into a general depression afterwards. It took me 6.5 years to feel normal again.”
“A big reason for all of that was me not feeling myself anymore and people around actively reminded me that I was no longer a woman, but a mother. I have very traditional parents that always told me that I needed to marry and procreate and not dream about becoming ‘someone’ in this world. When I had a baby, my father commented on how selfish I was to buy my favorite band’s new album, because it was not a motherly thing.”
“I returned to college when the youngest was 2.5. Even though I didn’t have enough sleep and still didn’t get help from my husband, I was still so much happier, because in college, I was ‘me’ again. I haven’t told anyone that I was married or had two little kids at home.”
“Why am I saying all of that?! YOU ARE VALID, just on your own without your motherly duties. So, you had a right to be celebrated as a person, not someone else’s mother.” – MashaSP
“I am in college and have a toddler. I try not to bring up being married and having a kid until later in the semester (if I ever bring it up at all) because then my classmates just know me as ME. I rarely get that anymore.”
“It’s hard being in school and being a parent, but I think I’d cease to exist as an individual person if I wasn’t because of how society treats mothers.” – SourNotesRockHardAbs
“My cousin and her daughter have the same birthday, and even THEN, the daughter has her birthday party in the afternoon, and then the grandparents babysit while the MOM goes out for HER birthday celebration.”
“So even when the baby DOESN’T have their own birthday, the mom still gets acknowledgement that it’s HER day, TOO.”
“And I am having a LOT of fun imagining the fit my cousin would have thrown if anyone had ever DARED to give her a birthday present that was really intended for her daughter.” – TogetherAgain18
“You didn’t disappear. You’re still here and to be honest, in my opinion, a mum who is still herself and treats herself on occasion is a mentally better than one who completely disappears.”
“Those newborn stages are great for baby smells and new beginnings but can take it’s toll so when you can get that little something for you it’s so so appreciated.”
“I don’t get why others are not getting that?”
“I mean, we’re still people! We still have needs and wants, for f**k’s sake!” – Deadleaves82
“I also want to add that it’s completely normal for new moms to feel like they are no longer important or are not as important as the baby (because everyone coos over the new baby), and then feel guilty about it.”
“Don’t feel guilty about this. You are a full person and should be treated as such.” – Traveling_Phan
Others theorized the family wouldn’t give the OP’s husband baby things for his birthday.
“I would love to know if for the husband’s birthday, they also gave baby gifts… It’s still not okay, but I’m wondering if they are only doing this to the mom, which I can totally see happening.” – GrabtharsHamm3r
“The thing a lot of people who gift mom’s baby stuff for their (mom’s) birthday seem to not realize is… They likely wouldn’t do this to a dad for his birthday, and that signals to the mom they’re now ‘just a mom’ and not a person.”
“I really feel for moms as so often people stop thinking about them as people with wants and needs and just as servants and caregivers who live to take care of their child (and far too often, their able-bodied, mentally capable male partners, as well).” – ghostofelysium
“These family members sound like the type of morons who would buy their wife an unsolicited kitchen appliance or vacuum cleaner for their birthday or Christmas, and not understand why the wife wasn’t ‘thrilled’ about receiving something for the house instead of for themselves.”
“Do they only buy each other presents that are really intended for their children?” – ObjectiveSense102
“Men get praised for stepping up and being an amazing dad when they do exactly as they are meant to do.”
“No, I will not praise my husband for helping with changing the baby. No, I will not say thank you when he ‘babysits’ his own child. No one tells me thank you for watching my own child, so neither will he. No, I will not fawn over a man doing the same thing as a mom is expected to do.”
“Men get it easy. Well, other men, my husband will tell you I don’t put up with that stuff.” – Appropriate-Pound-32
“NTA. Im currently pregnant, and will have the baby before my birthday. If my parents/family/etc. gives me baby stuff on my birthday, I’m going to be so p**sed off. Like you’ve said before, no one would do this for a dad.” – Valuable_Reputation1
“NTA and if you were the dad, people would never give you onesies for your birthday. It’s a no-effort, sexist thinking that got you these non-gifts.” – ChickyNuggies6789
Some also said there was nothing wrong with expecting a personal gift on their own birthday.
“To be honest, even at baby showers, I usually get a gift that is majority for the mom. A postpartum hospital kit, non expiring spa day, mommy and me type things, or just gift cards so they can get clothes to fit their new bodies. I do this cause I know majority of the gifts will be for the baby.”
“I can’t imagine giving baby gifts on a new mother’s birthday. That’s absolutely ridiculous, I’m sorry that happened to you.” – Virtual-Bus-3242
“NTA. As you said, these things are for your baby, not for you. It’s perfectly fine to want things for yourself and feel good about yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
“I got plushies for Christmas before the birth and a voucher for a baby shop for my birthday. But for me? There was nothing. Of course I’m grateful, but still no one thought about ME.”
“I think it’s generally the case in society that mothers are just mothers even on special days like this.”
“Also, did the child’s father only get baby things? And don’t forget. You also asked them not to give anything more.” – Blubberbleschen93
“If the family think that the baby is so much of a priority that OP would want baby related gifts, then at least make them something useful.”
“Like, takeout food delivery gift certificates, lotions, general gift card, gift certificates for spa, or family photo session, and so many other things that are completely appropriate for new moms but aren’t redundant onesies.” – Difficult_Leopard325
“NTA. It’s your birthday. It’s not unusual to expect the gifts to be for you and not someone else. Even if that someone else is your baby. They wouldn’t give you s**t for your husbbad instead of you either.”
“There is also the fact that you told them that you have all the clothes you need already.” – Fantastic-Focus-7056
“NTA. Your birthday is about you as an entire person. Being a mother is only part of who you are.”
“These gifts are for the baby, not you. It’s like receiving a gift for your husband on your birthday. No thanks.” – Wonderful-Intern-351
“I’m not very good at concealing emotions, and there are many times I feel guilty or regretful for not being able to hide how I feel. But this shouldn’t be one of those times.”
“Your birthday is the one day of the year where it should actually, in fact, be about you. The baby has their own birthday.” – StarInkbright
The subReddit was absolutely furious on the OP’s behalf. Her receiving baby gifts on her own birthday was absolutely uncalled for.
Even if the baby shower had taken place on her birthday, there still should have been an element of it being her birthday, in addition to the shower.
A person does not stop being a person with individual thoughts and interests the moment they become pregnant, has a baby, or adopts.