Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to Me Too!

I am a daughter... I am a sister...  and of course,  everyone knows I am the best AUNTIE EVER!  But because I have chosen not to have children, does that not give me the privilege to celebrate Mother's Day?  While most would probably say no... I say absolutely YES!  Happy Mother's DayTo Me Too!

I know for a fact that I am not alone in this either.  There are thousands of other women just like me, who for any myriad of reasons, have been placed in the same boat.  For us, this day is bittersweet, but for all of the same reasons.  For us, this day is about more than just giving birth.  For us this day celebrates the act of mothering. For the record, and let me take this opportunity to make this clear... I am not for one moment minimizing the physical stamina and fortitude it takes to nourish and care for an unborn fetus that grows within the womb for nine months.  Nor am I weakening the strength necessary to push out a six to nine pound being out of ones body. I am simply pointing out that NOT going through these steps, in no way belittles the fact that you have not performed the act of motherhood. You can be just as important to someone as a mother can be, even if you haven't given birth to them.

For me, being a good daughter meant having a little sister attached to my hip since the age of twelve. For me, that translated into diaper changes, late night feedings and trips to the babysitter. For me, it meant after school homework sessions, and making sure that dinner got on the table, simply because mom had to work. She always had to work.  My parents divorced when I was about nine years old. When my sister was born, it was necessary for mom to take on several jobs just to keep the roof over our heads. And I, of course felt it necessary to do did my financial part as well. Relaxed labor laws allowed me the privilege to take advantage of the ability to take the little one to my after school gig at the local dance studio, and the summer gig at the community pool. Two incomes were certainly better than one in this case, and although it wasn't much, it was enough to pay for school lunches or contribute to school clothes shopping.  I vividly remember not being able to hang out with my friends because I had to babysit, or participate in sleep overs because I had to work.  Barely a teenager, I intensely recall the duty, urging and responsibility of motherhood, all the while blind to the obligation that I was feeling.

I tell this story because I know that I am not alone in this.  I tell my anthem to bring prominence to all of those who perform the act of motherhood simply because they feel the need.  Mothering is more than the act of giving birth... and I celebrate all of those who do it, even though they haven't had to push a little human being out of their womb. For them, they've chosen to act like a mom, even love like a mom,  and hold the responsibility of a mom, despite the obvious. Kudos to those who do it... simply because it needed to be done.  For me, it was done out of necessity. I can honestly say that I didn't choose to do it... it chose me.  Does that make me a hero for doing it without the option of a choice?  I'd say no... but I'll gladly take the option to celebrate this holiday with pride!

Happy Mother's Day to me... and continued blessings to all of those who chose the dedication of motherhood... whether or not they have chosen to give birth!

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