My son woke me up at 4 a.m. today to tell me his head, tummy, throat, and ears hurt “really freaky bad.” He didn’t wake up his sister or the dog. He woke up me, because I am Mom. Later, when it was time to wake up, I realized he probably had an ear infection and needed to go to the doctor. I was three hours late for work for a 15 minute appointment. His dad wasn’t late. His aunt wasn’t late. His gramma wasn’t late. I was late, because I am Mom. When his father realized that my son forgot to bring his medication for said ear infection home, I left the comfort of my home to drive to his dad’s house to drop off the medication he would need. His dad didn’t drive over here. I drove over there, because I am Mom.
Yesterday, while my daughter was a doctor’s appointment about her injured knee, I texted her dad over and over to find out the progress. I worried that she had seriously injured it. I looked up all the different things it could be this time around. Her friend didn’t do it. My friend didn’t do it. Her teachers didn’t do it. I did, because I am Mom.
When my kids’ guinea pig died, I held a funeral in the back yard, praised what a great friend Miss Piggy was, and found a way to bury her so that the wild animals wouldn’t get to her and traumatize my children for life. Because I am Mom.
My job is 24/7/365, for almost 14 years and counting. I do not have the privilege of deciding today is not a good day for me to take care of my children, or to say I’m too busy doing something else. Even when they are at their dad’s house, I still do my fair share of watching sports, toting kids around, feeding, clothing, and generally caring for my children. I do not have the privilege of taking time off, but I do have the privilege of being Mom.
I know I am really going to tick some people off, so I will say right now, if you want to post your disagreements, please do so respectfully, or the comments will be deleted. On a related note, what I am about to say has been my view since I was a young child, so don’t be thinking that now that I’m a mom I want my day in the spotlight.
Mother’s Day is approaching. It is Mother’s Day. Not, Wants to Be a Mother’s Day. Not, I Love Some Kids a Whole Lot Even Though I am Not their Mother’s Day. Just Mother’s Day. I am not discounting all the wonderful things women have done for me and do for others. Without strong female role models and caretakers I would not be where I am today. However, these women are not my mother. I would no sooner wish them a Happy Mother’s Day than I would call myself a mechanic because I can change tires or check oil or replace air filters.
No one besides a mother, except perhaps a father, can truly understand the love, work, and joy that goes into caring for our children. This could be biological or adoptive mothers, but still they are mothers. Other women who care for children are to be commended for the great things they do to help make this world a better place, but that does not make them mothers.
I am truly sorry for all those women out there who have a lost a child, never been able to have children, gave their child up for adoption, or do not have children of their own for any other reason. But, please, I beg you, please do not negate the important work that moms do day in and day out by claiming you are “like a mother.” It just isn’t the same.