Last Sunday was Mother's Day, and along with all of the 'Happy Mother's Day!' sentiments plastered across the internets, I over heard and saw a few sad comments as well. Comments from Moms who feel inadequate. Comments from Moms who feel overworked and underappreciated - even on Mothers day. And comments reminding all of us to remember that for some people around us, Mother's Day might be quite difficult - when Mothers have died, or when they have left their children to be raised by someone else.
For the first seven years of my life, Mother's Day was a day of longing. My school teachers would adapt my 'Mother's' Day gifts and cards to say 'Happy Grandmother's Day' instead - even though I knew it wasn't Grandmother's Day, and I knew that none of my friends were making crafts for their Grandmas. I tried calling my Grandma 'Mom', but she wouldn't allow it. I don't remember if I ever wrote 'a Mom' on my Christmas list, but I remember dreaming of a life that included her.
I suspect that my lack-of-Mom for those seven years is something that I could not adequately describe to anyone - and that anyone who has been raised by a mother who birthed them, and loved them, will never truly know the value of what they have. I expect my own daughters to take me for granted in so many ways, and that is completely ok with me, because it means they have the luxury of... well, me!
Just as someone who has never been without running water will never truly appreciate the convenience of a kitchen tap, and someone who has never been without food - and I mean truly without food - will never really appreciate a full pantry. I think it's ok for us to recognize our ignorance in some situations, because these are places we are ignorant because we have been blessed. Someone who has had two loving birth-parents who were there to watch them grow, will not truly appreciate their parents. I can say certainly that I took my Dad for granted completely - but I only realized that after he had died, and I couldn't take him for granted any more.
So, I wanted to write this to all of the Moms out there who might be feeling overworked, underappreciated and the worst - inadequate. Trust me to know that being THERE is the greatest gift you can give your child. I'm sure that making it clear to your child that you also love them dearly is important too, but in order to do that, you really have to be around. Whatever choices you make for your kids and your family, and however frequently you fail in your own plans and goals, know that it is not the success of these things that matters most - it was always the attempt. Whatever choices you make, I know that all of you Moms out there are making choices that you believe are best for your family - and whether or not they turn out to be, it matters so much that you are there and trying.
And if your kids take you for granted, which they will - from one little mother-less girl, be glad that they don't know what it's like to be without you. They are lucky. They are blessed. Just because they have you. Please do not ever feel inadequate, because who you are to your children is amazing and incredible.
Obviously this post is written for birth mothers, who are raising the children they carried inside them. Because of my experience, I feel an overwhelming admiration for the Moms out there who choose to raise children who were birthed by someone else. When I was 8, my Dad remarried and I was given a 'Mom' - finally. Choosing to be my Mom was the greatest thing she could have done for me, and nothing she did after that mattered as much as that initial choice.
Just be there, Mom!
*If my birth mother is reading this - please know that I believe every path my life has taken me down has been because God had this plan for me, and you were a part of that plan. I am not angry with you for leaving, and although I understand how I struggled as a result of missing you - I also understand how that has shaped the person I have become and for that I am completely grateful.
Grab My Button
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