After I finished an operation yesterday, I went to speak to the patient’s mom. (Well, his dad and brother were there, too, but you know, us moms have the connection; I totally got the terrified look on her face, anxiously waiting to hear about her son.) He was fine. Some scrapes and bruises. Nothing that can’t heal up and get him ship shape in a matter of a few weeks. And….exhale. Momma relaxed. And so did I. We chatted for a minute, and then they all three wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. It made me pause…how did they even know I am a momma? Maybe they saw my wedding band…however, lots of ladies are married but aren’t mommas…?
And that got me to thinking about what it really means to be a mom. You don’t ever have to have been pregnant to be a mom; you don’t have to be rich or smart or beautiful; you don’t have to go to school or hold a certificate; you don’t have to stay at home or go to work; you can be together or far away, present or absent; you are still a mom. You’ll have amazing days and horrible days. But you don’t get do-overs. You just have to figure out your own way of being a mom. We should probably quit being so judgmental about mommy-hood cause, seriously, none of us have the authority of a previous lifetime experience. We are all doing the best we can.
We all learn our momminess by watching other moms. Maybe our own moms. Maybe the neighbor moms. Maybe stranger moms at Cotsco who somehow, miraculously, got their children to not act crazy while they were shopping! Deep in our hearts, we are examining our own momma practices and either patting ourselves on the back or making a mental note to change a few things. Honestly, I’ve learned some of my best momma tricks from non-mommas. How to multitask; how to handle conflict; how to maintain order in the face of calamity. I’ve learned momma tricks from surgeons, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
I have a friend who we joke is my “work-mom”. She’s a few years older than me, but not really old enough to be my mom. But she mommas me. She cares. She sends me a text to see how I’m doing. She brings me a cup of coffee when I’m post call. Nothing extravagant. Just cares. Just loves. In one way, like my real mom. And somehow I think that’s what it really means to be a mom. To just care; to just try. To invest in and believe in and love. My “work-mom” will never be my “real-mom”; no one could ever be my momma like my actual momma who loves me, believes in me, cares about me. Who would (and does!) anything for me and my family. But what we can celebrate today is not just the name “mom”, but what it really means to anyone who is a mom, wants to be a mom, was a mom, will be a mom, has a mom or had a mom.
Today we celebrate just the simple spirit of caring, of trying, of believing in. Of loving. Cause none of us really knows how to do it right. But we can all be mommas if we extend the definition a little and open the circle to thank every momma in our lives who cares, tries, and loves.
Happy Mommas, Day, mom! You do momma so well!!! Thanks for caring, trying your best, believing in me. Loving me. I love you!Disclaimer: My viewpoints are not necessarily reflective of my employer, or any local, regional or national organization that I belong to. As a matter of fact, I pretty much just speak for myself. Please keep that in mind.