Don’t forget Mother’s Day is this Sunday! This got me to thinking about all the women who aren’t mothers but play a vital role in mothering.
There are different scenarios I thought about. Perhaps it was a choice not to have children, maybe there was a physical problem preventing them, work came first, having a partner to parent with didn’t happen, or time just ran out.
Here is my experience. I wanted children. It wasn’t in the cards due to a physical condition called endometriosis discovered in my 20s. After numerous surgeries and medicine to combat this condition and long story short, I would not be able to have children. Down the road when I was married, adoption was discussed and it too wasn’t in the cards. Former husband was not on board.
I had so much love to give. I wanted to care for something that would benefit us both. I was the mother to furry and feathered pets. They were part of my family. They were the recipients of my care and compassion.
When my almost 16-year-old dachshund Lucy passed away a year ago, I mourned terribly. I tear up now thinking of her. She was my girl and I was her human mom. These little spirits see you at your best and worst. I currently have three furry family members in my home. Did I rescue them or did they rescue me?
OK, so I get that there may be eye rolls and “you don’t get it” thoughts about now. That’s fine. I know I’m not alone. Just know that I will judge you on how you treat an animal. It will tell me everything about your character and heart.
My understanding of motherhood boils down to unconditional love, support and caring about another more than yourself. A mother should be a constant to count on forever. I grasp this because I am blessed with such a mother. (The same goes for my dad as well.)
The other mothers without children are no less blessed with these attributes. They choose to share their love with godchildren, nieces, nephews, friend’s children, pets and more.
One thing I have heard about but luckily I haven’t really experienced is the shaming. The “you don’t have a child so you don’t know” start to a sentence or story. It goes both ways. Others won’t know what you have been through. Everybody has their own journey. It’s not necessary to belittle another person because they are different from you.
This is just an opportunity to include “other mothers” in a day traditionally called Mother’s Day. To those people or animals they love and care for, they are appreciated more than they know. They are someone’s everything and should be celebrated as well.
Standard reporter Jennifer Woods can be reached at 473-2191.