My earliest recollection of “mothering” takes me back to the early 90’s. I was 12, and I was caring for my baby nephew. Soon after my mom was gone, he started to cry and I could tell that something wasn’t right.
It was a desperate cry, and as I held him his body temperature climbed at a noticeable rate.
I stripped him down to his diaper and tried to feed him a bottle. I had heard some moms talk about fevers being dangerous for babies. I knew that I could get ahold of my mom to come home as soon as she reached her destination–but in a land before cell phones, it was going to take some time.
I took some wash clothes and made them cool, and laid them all over the baby. And then I sang. Every song I could remember hearing my mom sing. When I ran out of those songs–I sang whatever songs I knew.
When my mom got home, I filled her in on what I had done so far…and she cried.
She cried because I had done everything right and she was proud of me.
Most of us are born with this instinct to care and nurture. As this Mothers Day approached, I realized that “Motherhood Status” has so many stages.
By the time Violet was born, I already considered myself a mom. I was a bonus mom. (I don’t like the term “stepmom”…bonus is more my style). Ethan’s mom is alive and well, and present and loving. I never tried to take her job–I always just tried to be the best mom-like figure I could be for him when he was in my care. I love that guy so much–and I always will. I hope that he always knows how much he means to me, and that I’d do anything for him. No. Matter. What.
So to all of the Bonus Moms out there: Happy Mothers Day. There are so many variables in blended families, so many challenges, heartaches, joys….but at the end of the day: You, are “Momming”. I celebrate you.
Giving birth doesn’t make you a mom. Having a piece of your heart walking around outside of your body makes you a mom.
Many people only started to wish me a Happy Mothers Day once Violet was born. That first Mothers Day doesn’t leave me with fond memories. I was a newly single mom–with this most perfect little bundle of baby. I was depressed for about a hundred reasons. I missed Ethan. I was exhausted. I was scared… But I was also to thankful. Violet kept me going. I found strength I never knew I had, because of her–I am eternally greatfull to her for that. She picked me to be her momma because nobody can love her better than I can.
So to all of the Single Moms: Happy Mother’s Day. You are the definition of Fierce. I see you. I am sending you love, light, and strength. Motherhood is hard and you are slaying. When I think of all of you today (and the other 364 days of the year), I am full of pride. Be proud of yourself. Love yourself.
Today: today I am sitting in a big comfy couch watching my baby boy sleep. His dad has spoiled me rotten for Mothers Day, and he is currently on his way to a Long Island bakery to get me some Linzer Tarts. Violet is playing with her BFF Jenny. She is loving life.
Momming is hard. Momming breaks your heart sometimes. Momming builds your heart back up. Most nights I need a drink as strong as the woman Violet is growing up to be. Just when I think I’m going to loose my ever-loving mind–Violet gives me a hug with a “I love you Mommy, with my WHOLE HEART”. And then Luca smiles so big I can see his tooth. Violet makes him giggle and I get a game-text from Ethan because he is kicking my ass at text message Battle Ship and it’s my turn to send a bomb even though I know I’m going to miss his ship because he beats me at every game.
I know this level of Motherhood won’t be here for long. It will elvolve to older kids. Grown kids. Maybe one day Grandkids. I’m excited to experience each step. Motherhood means so many different things to so many different people.
To my mom. You are my rock. Thank you for being a super hero and for showing our whole family unconditional love every day. If I can be half the mother you are, I’ll consider that a win. ❤