Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Are you “mom” enough?

The media is a wicked mistress, especially when it comes to manufactured holidays like Mother’s Day.  Time magazine’s latest cover didn’t help matters much, either.

Mother’s Day ads are filled with images of mothers holding babies, toddlers delivering self-portraits, men carrying breakfast trays and elderly women being hugged by multiple generations.  Nice.  But not always the picture painted in homes hither and thither and yon.

The uproar over whether Time Magazine’s recent cover of a woman breastfeeding her combat fatigue wearing, half-her-size son, for me had less to do with whether it portrayed an inappropriate relationship with her child (?) and more to do with the fact that she was color-coordinated in clean, tight clothes and her hair was brushed (probably her teeth, too – that lucky woman) and she didn’t look sleep-deprived.  Most women I know who breastfeed do not look highly polished and stylized doing so.  Motherhood is a deliciously messy business.  I don’t care how old the clinging kid is.  And their headline of “Are you mom enough?” — well, them’s just fightin’ words to mothering individuals. Everywhere.

“Attachment Parenting” was the subject matter of Time Magazine’s article accompanying the provocative photo.  I read it.  You should, too.  I’d love to hear your opinion.  For me, the takeaway was this: the most entertaining phrase of all, the one that read, “…the practicalities of attachment parenting ask a great deal of mothers.”

Bwahahaha!  Like parenting, in general, doesn’t and hasn’t for years?!

Mothering isn’t just for females who’ve birthed, breastfed or bundled a baby.  In my book, if you’ve ever once fretted, fussed, cuddled, coo’d, advised or kissed the boo-boo or monster away for either kid, cat or even a Cabbage Patch doll… you’re somebody’s mom. There’s a bumper sticker platitude that reads, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy.”  On the flip side of that there coin are the nurturers and caregivers that take the time to cocoon those that they care for in love.

Fertilizable flower gardens or not, you take on the care and/or feeding of the thing? Then you’ve mothered it. 

So, on this Mother’s Day — I’d like to honor every ounce of mothering I’ve ever received in the form of:

  • The mom who made me a homemade paper bag lunch after an unexpected school night sleepover with her kid (especially loved the surprise candy at the bottom of the bag).  You made me feel special.  I want every kid who crosses my threshold to feel that same way.
  • The mother of my high school boyfriend who spoke to me no differently than she did her own daughter (with love, compassion and generous splash of discipline and humor).  Whether you realized it or not, you set high standards for me and having to be accountable to you meant something.  All the days of my life.
  • The man who taught me to do dishes appropriately, after showing me how to whip up the perfect fried bologna sandwich (which I’ve never made, but have applied his same passion to every meal I do create for the people I love).
  • The many teachers who ever pulled me aside to comment, compliment or complain about something personal of mine that needed to be addressed, which obviously wasn’t being done at home.  I carry those words with me still.
  • The women I admired – the ones I chose to emulate when I decided to walk in their shoes in the role of nurturer, caregiver and teacher to children.  [And those other examples, the ones I ran far-far away from, swearing to never be “that” – don’t think I didn’t learn from you, too.]

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  I’d have sent flowers, but the delivery fees are insane.  Howzabout we just say that the first flower you see today, that’s from me to you.

xo – t.

 

Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.”  — Pearl S. Buck (aka Sai Zhenzhju)

 

A mother who is really a mother is never free.” – Honore de Balzac

 

“…human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but… life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

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