Thursday, May 5, 2011

To moms, with love

Before I even begin to type what I'm about to say, I would like to excuse what may seem like a bitter rant from a single, childless woman. I have no contempt and bear no ill will against those who do hold the title of "Mother," and I'm certainly not against any future prospect of being such. Just hold tight, and I'll try to explain myself to the best of my blogging ability.

Last night I was watching Modern Family. In this show, there is a gay couple who have been together for years and have adopted a cute little girl. I won't pretend to be well-versed in gay culture, but this particular episode discussed how one of the dads has taken on a more nurturing role when it comes to the child-rearing aspect of the responsibilities. He is, however, offended when his partner brings him breakfast in bed on Mothers Day and tries to celebrate his loving tendencies toward their child. As the episode progresses, this man continues to be distressed by everyone treating him like he is a woman, a "mother."



Strangely enough, this exchange got me thinking: do I get offended when people try to foist titles on me? Am I vexed when others try to pigeon-hole me into a role I don't feel I fit? How do I like it when I feel the judgment of others for not fulfilling my motherly purpose?

I've been told by a lot of people that I am a good mom. I get it. I bring the wet wipes on car trips. I make quilts for babies. I feed crowds and clean up after them. This is just the beginning of a list of qualities I have that many mothers have fostered and honed. And the thing is, I actually like doing these things. It gives me a sense of happiness and fulfillment to send someone away a little happier than when they came to me. I like being prepared and ready for whatever situation life hands me...unless it comes with sticky hands. Hence, the wet wipes.

That being said (uh oh...here comes the big BUT...), I would beg of everyone to please stop trying to make me feel better about not having actually borne any children of my own and being an actual mom. I'm not saying this to make myself feel better. I don't cry myself to sleep about it. In fact, I like being able to shore up some 'me time' for the future when I know it will be a scarce resource (kind of like stone in every game of Settlers of Catan I play...).

And don't play the biological clock card either. Ain't gonna work.

Just because they don't have days to celebrate who I am doesn't make me any less important. No, I won't have anyone bringing me breakfast in bed, but any day can be ice cream for dinner for this girl. I don't get cute drawings or cards from devoted children, but I do get to further my education at my own pace without feeling any guilt. Kids won't come hug me and call me Mommy, but I adore the times when I get to hug my niece and nephews and give them Eskimo kisses.

So I'm not a Mom this Mother's Day. I am so many other incredible things. The following titles are acceptable, and I will happily answer to any of them:
  • World's Most Doting Aunt
  • Friend With the Best Shoulder to Cry On
  • Best-Prepared Non-Boy Scout
  • Nearly-Perfect Daughter
  • Jeopardy Champion (Home Edition)
  • Domestic Goddess
Nope, I'm not a mom. But I know a lot of awesome moms out there who deserve props up the wazoo. I bow to your sleepless nights and endless dedication to raising good, decent children. I admire the commitment and loyalty you adhere to, day in and day out. And oftentimes, you don't get lauded like you should. It's a tough, mostly thankless job. I cannot even begin to fathom the sacrifice it takes to be a parent.

So here's to the women behind the scenes who don't always get to buy cute clothes when they want, mostly because they don't have it in the budget amidst all of the diapers and eye glasses for their children. Here's to the times when you would rather just sit down and veg in front of the television, but your child needs attention, so you read them a stack of books. When you forget a kid at school. Or when your child is sick and you sit beside them while they barf. Here's to when a kid wears you down to your last shred of sanity, but you still pour your heart and soul into them because they're yours and you love them.

I have to admit, I'm getting a little teary-eyed thinking about the sacrifices my own mother made raising seven amazing children. All the times we complained about not wanting to eat potatoes. So many fights we put up against picking up rocks in the yard or doing the stupid dishes. Rebelling against bed times. Wrecking cars. Saying angry, hateful things when we didn't necessarily mean them. We were not perfect kids, that is most definite, but my mom taught us how to work. She taught us the gospel. She taught us the practical things in life like how to sew and cook and budget and can produce and play the piano. The list goes on and on. She and my dad turned out seven great kids.



I think too often I give my mom a hard time for not understanding me and my situation in life (that of being 28, single, and having no children). Let's face it, she and I are very different people. My life path and hers are so unalike that the best we can do is respect the other and celebrate what she brings to the table. I've come to respect those differences and learn from her experiences and wisdom. One day when I do have kids and I've crossed to the other side of this diatribe, I hope to be able to call her in the middle of the night when I just don't know what to do. And I know she'll gladly walk me through whatever it is. Because I am hers and she loves me.

2 Comments:

Blogger heidikins said...

I love this post, absolutely love it.

Thank you for sharing, and Happy Women Rock Day to you! :)

xox

May 5, 2011 at 9:33 AM

 
Blogger Adrianne Miller said...

I celebrate Happy Annie Day once a week. It's usually on a Friday.

May 5, 2011 at 1:36 PM

 

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