For the Mother Afraid to Call Herself Mother
And here we are on Mother’s Day. In another life, I was known as a mother. My step daughter from my former marriage and my foster daughter were the first children to gift me with the names mom/mommy/momma. I am forever thankful to know that gift.
The way divorces unfold and me not being a biological parent, nor a queer parent with court ordered rights, I no longer have those mother based relationships as a part of my every day living.
Do I perform motherhood daily? No. Am I a mother? Yes. Did motherhood change me? Of course it did, (for better and for worse). Alas there is no Hallmark card for those of us who have experienced motherhood in this way or in any non June Cleaver way for that matter. There is no Happy Mother’s Day card for those who have lost children on earth and in the womb. There is no card for those who choose to not have children and instead choose to mentor, tutor, teach and lead organizations as executives/artists/lawyers/economists/teachers/chefs, but also silently as mothers.
This is a love note is for all mothers, and especially for those who may be afraid to call themselves a ‘mother’ publicly on these narrowly defined holidays (that require non traditional moms explain explain explain) despite knowing in their hearts that they too are mothers.
You are the love you give to a child. You are the love you give to the dream of a child. You are the love you gave to that child who was here and then was not. You are the love you gave yourself when you chose not to have a child. You are the love we need on this planet for such a time as this.
Thank you for being the village, the hug, for holding the safe space and the watchtower. Thank you for the young people you mentor and guide. Thank you for modeling forgiveness, resilience and patience for them and for all of us. Thank you for being here. Thank you for caring. Thank you for doing the work of love.
Today is for every mother. Today is for the aunties, grands, foster & adopted mothers. Today is for the infertile, fertile, rainbow and surprise mothers. Today is for the queer mothers, the teen mothers, sister mothers, daddy mothers, for the incarcerated mothers, my mothers, your mothers and mother earth. Today is for those who sit silently with the memories of motherhood in every form.
Thank you for doing the work of love.
Thank you for being the work of love.