I started receiving Mother’s Day gifts long before I even got pregnant with CharlieB. When I first started getting these gifts, as much as I appreciated it, it made me a little sad and I actually would cry. I was sad because I felt I wasn’t a mother (which I was longing to be), and I couldn’t be any more WRONG. I may not have been a biological mother, or birthed a child, but I was a mom. Mother, according to Merriam-Webster, has numerous meanings as well as tenses. There isn’t a one size fits all definition of what a mother is.
As defined by Merriam-Webster I have cared for and protected just like a mother would. I gave maternal tenderness and affection to each child who has been in my care as if they were my own child. I was in fact a mom, way before I became a mother, but it wasn’t until I had my own children did I realize this.
My friends and family know how much I love my nephew and no one, I mean no one, can tell me that he is NOT my son. I will fight you, LOL. Seriously he is my baby, even his mother says I’m his other mother. I took my nephew EVERYWHERE, and I mean everywhere. My Nephew’s even in CharlieB’s newborn pictures. He even tells anyone that the girls are his sisters, and do not argue with him. He said what he said. My hubby even had to claim him in order to be with me, because we were a package deal. I looked forward to spending the weekend with my Perfect Prince. He has his own stuff at my house. He is my baby, and I am his Auntie, and his second Mom.
Somehow mothering became a natural instinct for me and until now, I didn’t realize where this came from. My Aunties are my Moms; the one who started raising me and the one who finished raising me. These two women showed me what true love is and what it means to be a mother.
Growing up was very rough for me, but because of my Auntie’s love, because of her ability to be a mother, my aunt not only helped me, but she also taught me how to be a mom. She taught me that adults can be wrong and that it is important to apologize to children. She taught me that it is OK to not know the answer. I was taught that children should feel comfortable in expressing themselves and that they are entitled to their feelings and it is OK. It is our job as the nurturer to help them express it in the correct way. She taught me that children are just little humans, and they have feelings the same way we do and that if we want respect from them we should respect them in return. She taught me that love can heal if you just give it time. My Auntie taught me to never stop believing, never stop praying, and to continue to reach for the stars, because one day I will be able to touch them.
Being a mother is much more than just carrying a child to full term. Being a mother is about the excitement of that first heartbeat and promising to try to protect them from the harm in the world. Being a mother is about seeing a child and caring for them the way they need, not what is convenient for you. Being a mother is being there and believing even when the child is insecure. Being a mother is wanting this child’s life more than you want your own, even if the child doesn’t make it to full term. Being a mother is about the love you have and want to share with that child. Being a mother is about the sacrifices you are willing to make for the sake of this other person.
Being a mother is more about your heart than it is what your body can conceive. Because I was fortunate to have more than one mother in my life and I had the love I needed to heal me, I became a mom in 2011. So for this I thank my nephew for making me the mom I am today, CharlieB for giving the strength I needed, and to Alex for keeping mommy on her toes. Today I am a mom of three and I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to the mom who holds her child in her heart, to the mom who buried her child, to the mom who adopted her child, to the (community) mom who gets little credit but makes sure she provides nurture that is needed, to the mom who doubts herself but loves her child more than life itself, to the mom who is struggling, and to moms all alike Happy Mother’s Day.