Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not The Mama!

First of all, before I get to the point I really want to make, I would like to wish all you wonderful mothers out there a very happy Mother’s Day. You do a lot of hard work and deserve the recognition of more than one day a year, but hey, I guess you take what you can get.

I love my mom. She’s done so much for me and has always been there even for the things that are really silly. I don’t know how the women survived before telephones because I call my mom so often for the silliest reasons. “Mom, how do you tell if ___ has gone bad? Will it make me sick?” “Mom, if I add this ingredient, what will it do to the recipe?” “Mom, my ___ looks like ___. What did I do wrong?” Even three states away she can still get me through most recipes and talk me out of kitchen disasters. She’s just so funny and always excited to hear from me. “Hey, babe! How are ya?” I can always guarantee that greeting when I call. I love my mom. I really missed her today. I watched a lot of the ladies in my ward sitting with their visiting daughters and a few sons. I wished I could have sat by my mom during church. Instead, I just sat there getting the message, Hey, no one wants you. You’re single and no one wants you. Did we tell you you’re single, no one wants you and you don’t have any children? It was great.

I’m sure church on Mother’s Day is wonderful for mothers. I sat in the congregation trying not to cry as I watched the little primary children singing “Mother I love you” and every song dedicated to mothers that was written for the Primary Children’s Songbook- knowing that I probably won’t ever get to be one of the mothers listening in the congregation. All the beautiful mothers sat and watched their little angels as they sang their hearts out to them. Even the older ladies who didn’t have their children there were smiling and happy, probably thinking of the days when their own children were so sweet and innocent, maybe missing their hoards of grandchildren.

Twice in church today Sherry Dew’s talk, “Are We Not All Mothers” was mentioned. It’s a great talk. As I sat and listened to her give it, I could not argue with one point she made. Yes, we as women have been given a special gift of being able to care for and nurture others. In that way, I guess we can be mothers. But you know- I’m just not. I’m not a mom. There is a difference between being a caregiver and being a mom. True, part of being a mom is being a caregiver and a nurturer but you can be a caregiver and not a mother.

I am not a mother. I don’t have a sweet little face kissing me goodnight as I tuck it in saying, “Goodnight, Mommy, I love you.” I don’t. You can become a mom in so many ways. You can do it the old fashioned give birth way (granted, I know this doesn’t MAKE a mom. There are a lot of people who have given birth who don’t constitute as “mom” so much as human incubator), you can adopt. I know lots of moms who have done that and have been able to bond with their children as if they were their own. And I think that is very admirable and kudos to those who do it. You can even marry into being a mom. I know people who have done that as well. Some succeed and some blow it which is totally sad. I myself had cause to contemplate the possibility of being a step mom at one time. I had never thought about it before. I had always figured I would do things the old fashioned way but… you know, maybe- just maybe I would end up being a step mom and I had to think about how I would handle that.

Anyway, in no way- according to these definitions, am I a mom. I’m all for honoring mothers. But wow, did I feel worthless today. It drove me absolutely crazy when people would tell me happy Mother’s Day. I just wanted to shout, I’M NOT A MOTHER! Then they would come back with, “didn’t you just listen to Sister Dew’s talk? We’re all mothers” Easy for you to say. You are a mother. Don’t try to tell a single person that has no prospects whatsoever and is probably never going to bear children that she is a mother. I can be a positive influence and a nurturer to all of God’s children. But I am not a mother. I don’t have anyone bringing me the marigold seed that they planted in a paper cup. I don’t have anyone clinging to my leg as I stand and talk too long after Relief Society. I don’t have anyone who cries as I leave them with their teacher at the nursery. And don’t call me a future mother because you just don’t know.

But to those of you who are true, legitimate mothers, Happy Mother’s Day!


Amy said...

Sheesh, sometimes I get really frustrated at church too. What you said makes total sense to me. And I have always been bugged by the Sherri Dew talk. I have some major bashing to do over things that drove me crazy about church yesterday, but I think I'll let them slide and just say that I feel your pain in a totally different, not-the-same way, but I feel you. And I LURVE you. And I know that there are a LOT of people 'out there' who feel the same way and I hope that they stumble across this post and feel like somebody finally gets it without being a crazy person. Or a bitter harpy. Which I know you are not even thought the blog title is totally appropriate. Although that new picture freaked me out a little.

Jessica said...

I hate that you have to go through that. You are much stronger than I would be. I'm sorry.