Celebrating Unsung Mothers on Mother’s Day

I’d been thinking about my first blog post on my new blog for some time when I landed on writing one about being a single mom on Mother’s Day.

Xander’s 2012 Mother’s Day

When you’re a single mom— especially when your children are too young to come home from school with Elmer’s-glued, cray0n-drawn cards or roses crafted from red tissue-paper and green pipe cleaners (Did people actually ever use pipe cleaners for cleaning pipes?) — you aren’t always celebrated, simply because there’s no one to celebrate you.

And you can’t escape the fact that you’re supposed to be celebrated. Go shopping for groceries and just try to avoid the temp tents full of flowers. Turn on the radio without being blasted by commercials instructing dad on where to treat the family for brunch on her (your?) day. Fire up the laptop and try to forgo Facebook reports of breakfasts in bed replete with Instagrams of misshapen pancakes and gooey French toast.

Then force yourself not to sulk.

But as I was contemplating this blog post and began to bounce it off my Best Friend Forever, I realized how insanely self-absorbed, misguided, and ungrateful a post it would be. (And yeah, I’m into self-flagellation, can you tell?)

See, my best friend is the most amazing mother I’ve ever known. And she’s a mother who cannot have children. Cancer took away the option to have her own, and other circumstances have prevented her from adopting. But there is no doubt about it: everything she does, everything she is in this life is the epitome of the highest qualities we value when we use the word mother.

She is my biggest support. When push came to shove, literally, she was the only person I wanted with me in the delivery room when I had my child. She remembers special days in my son’s life, takes him to movies and overnights, plans his birthday parties (sometimes single-handedly, because I’m so not THAT mom), scours Ebay and Craigslist and wherever she can get the best deal on the hottest shoes or toys and sends him care packages–just because.

Xan and Aunt Jamie

And she doesn’t just do this for me and my son. She does it for her brother, a single father, and his children too. Even taking her tweenage nephew into her home during the weekdays so that she can support him in his educational and emotional development and maturity. She does these things out of love. She does these things out  of a mother’s love, without recognition or reward. Without even the expectation of recognition or reward.

So, I entreat all of you celebrating your mothers to broaden your definition and remember the women and men who have taken on the role of mothering the children of the world as if they were their own.

I know I could not be the mother I am today without them.

Do you have a woman or man in your life who has mothered you or helped you mother your children? Comment and give ’em props here on my blog! Special thanks to Rowan for her post on not feelin’ the love re: Mother’s Day.

5 Comments on “Celebrating Unsung Mothers on Mother’s Day

  1. I had to read this again and cry again, lol. I love my kids (godson, nieces and nephews) and give them what I hope are the tools to grow and become their best with no expectation of acknowledgment or payback. We’ll of course have some good ‘ol fun times for their memory banks along the way like the art car parade. Thanks Y for acknowledging me and knowing how deep and heart felt my intentions are. I am so excited to see the grown folks my kids become.

  2. Yvonne, that was a lovely post. Full of humor and tenderness. Being a single Mom is an incredibly hard job. Responsibility, love and compassion on call 24/7. Never mind the days you are sick and wish someone else would take the kids to school. Those days are easy compared to the problems, the questions and the black-clouds of life that overwhelm the single Mom with no one near to help. Friends like Jamie are the only way you can survive. I have two friends who are the “Jamies” of my life. Even at 62 with 30+ year old children, I count on them to laugh with me and cry with me and just prop me up when I deal with the actions of my adult children. Thank you Dianne and Teri – you have kept me sane. And Thank You Jamie for being that wonderful unsung Mom who is perhaps a little reflection on what a wonderful child a single Mom can turn out.

    • Barbara, thanks for your comments on my post. I figure Jamie learned a lot about supporting the single parents in her life from watching you raise her and her brother. So, I thank you too for your example, in so many ways.

  3. Thank you Y for making me cry too!!! I know the aspects all too well. How truly blessed you and J are to have a wonderful friendship/sisterhood. OOOOOO how this hits deeply and I understand all too well every word written. To all the Unsung Mothers – THANK YOU, may you each live a long, joyous, prosperous and fantabulous life. May it all be paid back to you tenfold – million times over.

    • Melissa, thank you for your heartfelt comments! I am so fortunate to have such a great friend in Jamie. I’m glad you liked the post. 🙂

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