My boys are my reward
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 31, 2011 | 1603 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
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I recently learned that some women expect to get more out of labor than a baby.

For example, reality star Rachel Zoe received a 10-carat diamond ring from her husband when their son was born. Nick Cannon gave Mariah Carey a $12,000 pink diamond and sapphire necklace for carrying their twins.

These “push presents” aren’t just for the rich and famous.

A 2007 survey of more than 30,000 respondents by BabyCenter.com found that 38 percent of new mothers were rewarded for bearing a child and 55 percent of pregnant mothers wanted a gift from their mate.

I’m surprised that so many men are going along with this trend. I guess after years of hearing us complain about what we go through during pregnancy, they feel guilty enough to buy just about anything.

As one woman told The New York Times, “It’s a way to honor a mother giving her emotions, body and hormones over to a baby for nine months.”

I did not enjoy being pregnant. However, I tried to keep my whining to a minimum and I certainly never expected Zac to pay me for my trouble.

If anybody owes me anything, it’s Wyatt. He is the one who got to live rent-free in me and sponge off my stomach for the better part of a year.

That’s not how motherhood works, though.

I am supposed to dedicate the best years of my life to Wyatt knowing full well that he will eventually leave me.

When that day comes, I won’t present him with a bill for all of his meals, housing, medical care and miscellaneous expenses. Those debts were paid in full the first time he said, “Mama.”

I don’t like the idea of push presents because Wyatt’s birth was not about me.

I didn’t form his fingernails, place each individual hair on his head or start his heartbeat. All I did was push when the nice ladies told me to.

I suspect that the mommies who demand push presents are the same women who thought their wedding was all about them.

I don’t understand why some brides spend tens of thousands of dollars to play Princess Di for a day.

I’m just as married as any of them, and I took my vows on a baseball diamond in flip flops and a blue dress that I bought at Belk because it matched the stripes in Zac’s Cubs jersey.

Although Zac and I were the center of attention that day, I wanted our love and happiness to be the stars of the show.

Eleven months later, the spotlight shifted to our firstborn and it will remain on him for the foreseeable future.

As the saying goes, we stopped being the picture and became the frame when Wyatt was born.

Our time, money and hearts now belong to a handsome little man with red curls and bright blue eyes.

I didn’t get a diamond ring or gaudy necklace for him, but Zac rewarded me in other ways.

Zac wanted to be a father long before I wanted to be a mother, and one of the few fun things about pregnancy was going through it with him.

Although I never experienced morning sickness, there were some days when the thought of eating anything made me want to gag.

On one of those occasions, only something from Taco Bell would do. The problem was that I was craving five different things.

Zac drove to the nearest Taco Bell and brought back everything on my wish list, which made me and my hormones very happy.

Now one of Zac’s daddy duties is to feed Wyatt. They usually leave a nice mess for me to clean up, but it’s worth it when I think about Wyatt trying to shove one of his Apple Jacks in Zac’s mouth while Zac is coaxing him to finish his cereal.

There was a time that Zac was much better at getting Wyatt to sleep than I was. His secret was singing, and his repertoire was broader than “Rock-a-bye Baby.”

When Wyatt was at his crankiest, Zac could almost always calm him down with “Turn the Page” by Bob Seger.

I have also heard him serenade our son with “All Star” by Smash Mouth, various Christmas carols and, of course, “Go Cubs Go.”

Sometimes Zac was so good at putting Wyatt to sleep that he nodded off too. One of my favorite pictures in Wyatt’s baby album is of the two of them conked out in what we call “the cool dudes chair.”

When Wyatt falls asleep on Zac’s chest these days, the proud papa usually whispers to me, “I love this feeling.”

Other mothers can keep their expensive jewelry. I prefer something that’s priceless — love.