Inspiration comes to me in the most unusual ways. Earlier today, I was out taking care of my rounds, and as I was walking past the mailboxes, I saw a woman sitting on the utility box talking on the phone. Something she said grabbed my attention: “Why is it such a struggle to be a Mom? I mean, I do all the things I'm supposed to do, and it still isn't enough! I don't get it!”
Well…. It got me thinking. And me being me, I tend to think differently about things than other people do. I thought about this woman's statement as I finished my rounds, really thinking about not just myself and what I've been through (and currently what I'm facing now), but things I've seen my friends who are single mothers as well as mothers who have the child(ren)'s father(s) in the picture, co-parenting, whether it's a blended family or an intact family (or in some cases, both).
I thought about not only the sacrifices we women make with our own bodies as our babies are growing and developing in the womb. I thought about things we have to give up so those babies can grow and develop normally without any serious consequences (caffeine, smoking, extreme sports, things like that)…. I thought about how we put our own lives on the line to bring these babies into the world. Myself, I almost died in childbirth with my first one. My second and third babies, I had some other difficulties not AS extreme as with my first, but serious enough.
I thought about my friends and their children. I thought about the single Moms I know that did (and do) everything in their power to make sure their children have a roof over their head, and a safe and healthy environment to grow up in, free of abuse of any kind, free of trauma. I thought about the good mothers who love their children enough to listen to them, to make sure they are safe, comfortable, happy, healthy…
There are some women who don't know the precious gift they have, being a mother, and they ruin their child(ren) with their abuse, resentment, and masking that with “I love you” sentiment and when confronted later about their behaviour, they push back with, “I don't recall that.” Trust and believe, while they may “not recall” their bullshit behaviour, the damage is done and the person the pain is inflicted upon does remember and cannot ever let that go.
Myself, I'm a mother of three amazing, gorgeous children, and a step-mom to two amazing, gorgeous children. I love every one of them equally. I do not resent my children, nor will I ever. I do not resent being a step-mom, either. There are two reasons my daughter doesn't live with me, but we do talk and we are building a relationship as best we can. The thing is, though, I did right by my daughter by making sure that she was safe, healthy, and comfortable. Things I didn't feel I was able to give her.
The gal that I overheard on her phone this morning, I just wanted to walk over and tell her, “I don't know your situation, but I will tell you that motherhood is a lot of times a thankless job. You do the best you can, and there's going to be a lot of times it won't feel like it's enough.”
Congratulations, Moms. You signed up for a job that won't ever, ever end, and while no, it won't seem like it's appreciated, your efforts (and I am addressing the GOOD mothers here, the LOVING mothers who don't allow abuse to happen to their child(ren) and then vehemently deny it even happened by pushing with, “I don't recall this...”) are not unnoticed. You, ladies, are doing a great job. And I'm talking to the Dads who do the job of both parents, the Grandparents who do the job of the Mother (because of circumstances that have brought the child into your care), guardians, aunts, uncles, etc. You're doing a great job. Don't give up!
Happy Mother's Day, y'all.