Tuesday, May 12, 2015
In the month of May we celebrate mothers. Moms are fabulous and worthy of receiving this recognition but I think our recognition falls short in including the mothers that I think about. We think about the dirty diapers and car pools and that certainly is a challenging part of motherhood. The following are the mothers or mother figures that might not come to mind for others but I think about.
1. The moms of the sullen beasts called teens. Oh boy if this is not a stage of motherhood that a glass of wine should be on hand at all times. We had three teens in our house at once. Luckily only one was the sullen one. A mom is always left to wonder what the hell is going on? Are they mad at me or just angry at the world? Moms of these teens take heart, you may be the target but they are mad at the world. You get lots of advice on how to handle these years and many moms fall into the trap of trying to be friends with these aliens. Do not! This is when you are really needed to be a mom. Yes be the square peg that wants to ruin their lives because try as you might they will never really consider you a friend. They will keep secrets so don't be fooled, and they will make mistakes so expect it and keep wine on hand.
2. Moms that never got to be moms. Some woman through medical issues or just relationship circumstances never got to be the mothers they wanted to be. Mother's Day can be so painful for these would be moms. No one recognizes them because in the true sense they are not technically mothers but this doesn't mean that it wasn't their greatest wish unfulfilled.
3. Moms who lost a child. I cannot imagine the pain. Maybe they still have other children but they will always be mothers to the one they lost. If they lost an only child the world may not see them as mothers any longer. I do. They are mothers with a pain that will never go away.
4. The nuns in my Catholic schools who mothered me and others. I know most people have horror stories but I like to remember the nuns who showed me kindness. I was lucky to have some gentle, loving, and sweet ladies teach me. Not all were, but I can say the same of some of my lay teachers. Nuns showed us a selfless love similar to a traditional mother. I learned compassion, kindness, and humility. One of my best qualities, as pointed out by my husband, was taught to me by a nun. She called it a warm fuzzy and it's just a simple thing that makes a big impression. Simply saying something nice to someone about appearance or a quality they possess. I never forgot that lesson and have used it my whole life.
5. I think about moms who have children in prison or accused of a terrible crime. It seems ironic considering I was a cop but my heart knows that this is a mother few think about. I have met mothers in the station house that of course love their children but are horrified by their actions. Maybe they weren't the best mothers but I know that not one of them gave birth hoping to raise a murderer, pervert, or drug addict. I have no sympathy for their children that made those horrible choices but I do think about the mothers. I am especially humbled by the amazing, godly woman who are the victims' mothers that after a trial can go over and hug the criminals mom. That is the an ultimate level of forgiveness that I am not sure I possess.
6. I think about all the step moms out there. I speak from experience that it is much more difficult than traditional motherhood. I always tell people it is like being put in a boxing ring with both hands tied behind your back. I applaud these moms who try hard to help co parent and often are given very little recognition for their efforts. I congratulate you for working at loving children that may not love you back. Keep trying and if all else fails have that glass of wine with the mother of a teen.
Everyone knows there are no instruction manuals given out when the strange creatures we call our children are born. We do the best we can, we pray, we cross our fingers, and then I personally saved for a good therapist. I give thanks to all mothers and hope you will join me in encouraging other mothers, mother figures, and wonderful dads filling in for moms. Happy Mother's Day to you all.