Motherhood has definitely changed me in more ways than I can imagine. But I can’t ever forget the road that got me here.
As we approach Mother’s Day this upcoming weekend, although it is my first “real” Mother’s Day, I can’t help but have mixed feelings about the day. Mothers truly deserve more than just a day to be celebrated as motherhood is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had. And you can say all you want about calling it a “job”: wiping booties, cleaning up spit up, endless doctors appointments, the clothes, the diapers, etc – it’s work. A labor of love for sure, but HARD WORK nonetheless.
But before I became a mother, there was a time – a LONG time – I was certain I didn’t want children. I always loved kids. But I was selfish and not ready to share my life. I knew kids required love, attention, and money. As a young lady trying to figure out my place in the world, kids just didn’t add up because how the hell was I supposed to take care of me, let alone a mini me? I knew I wasn’t ready for that responsibility, even after marrying Zell.
But things changed. My life changed. My mind changed. And I wanted a child. Badly. And when that didn’t happy fast and easy, I thought God and the Universe was punishing me for being honest about my selfishness.
I recall while doing IVF 2 years ago (seems like yesterday) I saw a Facebook thread that was moms against dog-moms. The dog-moms felt they were warranted to celebrate Mother’s Day too. Most of the mother’s felt, “um, no. You may love your dog but it’s not the same as raising a child.” I recall feeling sad as I understood the women who felt as dog-moms – as aunts, cousins, friends who had not borne children whether due to their own choice or their circumstances, they loved their pets and other children they could connect to. As someone who had two miscarriages at that point, I got where they were coming from. How dare you question my love and being celebrated since I can’t join this exclusive motherhood club.
Now as a mom, I get the mothers’ protest. A pet is not the same as a child. I love my dogs but I love Lucky more. I’m thankful for their every lasting loyalty but they aren’t and will never be Lucky. But best believe, if I did not have the means to conceive via IVF, I’d feel my love for my dogs was justified and why must I be secluded from a day because I couldn’t have a child on my own. I love my step kids. I love my nieces and nephews. And my many little cousins. They aren’t mine and now having Lucky, the love is truly different. But my truth, my story is different. I’ve seen both sides and I’ve felt both sides.
You’re treated differently as a mother. Sometimes really favorable. Sometimes with higher regard. And sometimes you are downgraded because you’re viewed that you’re consumed with your kids or you’re all over the place (which may or may not be true but damn society for making me have to justify that, lol). On the flip side, when you’re a bit older and childless you’re viewed as something must be wrong with you. You’re selfish. And you have no excuses in terms of your free time (which by the way, childless time is different from with-child time. But both have their own set of challenges).
As women, I wish we’d be more inclusive with one another in so many ways. As mothers, we know how to love HARD and I believe we should extend this to our sisters who are childless. I agree there is a difference in loving your own child and a pet, but if you’ve never experienced the difference, I don’t necessarily thinks it’s fair to diminish someone’s truth. A mother can come in various forms due to circumstances. I don’t know if questioning someone’s truth validates mine. I’d ask does your motherhood journey need to be checked or measured against someone else’s and at that, validated by a single day? For me, absolutely not.
So again, I have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day. I’m choosing this year as any other year to honor my mother and the other maternal women in my life as they deserve. But personally, I’m eternally thankful for the opportunity to be Lucky’s mom as well as to be Shyanne and Jason’s step-mom, to be my miscarried children’s mother, to be an aunt to my nieces and nephews, and to be my doggies mama. At least the latter just want to be petted all the time lol! 😂