Today is a day to celebrate our Mothers and the gift of life that they gave us. I have a birth mother. We all do. What is a mother though? Each and every one of us has an idea of what a good mother is or what one should be. Not everyone has personal knowledge of what a good mother is in their own life though.
My mom left my life when I was still a baby. She made a choice for her own life and essentially for mine as well. Her reasons are her own and I cannot say what I would have done had I been in her situation. Still her choice to leave me set me on a path of my own which could not be undone. I have struggled as a young girl to find myself as a woman. I searched and longed for that motherly love for most of my young life. I wanted to understand what it was that I had been missing out on and in part I wanted to see that it wasn’t my fault.
I cannot say that my mother completely abandoned me. She would call me here and there throughout my life, but a phone call does not make up for all of the rest of those years that she was absent for. I did not learn a lot of things because I did not have a mother in my life. I was not taught how to put on makeup. I was not told about boys and dating. I was not taught all of those things that a young girl and eventual woman should know.
My mother chose to live her life away from me and when a time came that she could have made the choice to play more of a role in my life she still chose to fulfill her own desires. I was not a priority to her. I was the child she had and nothing more. I was the one she cried to on the phone. I heard her apologies over and over again. I was the one that she still never made a true effort for.
I have 3 children of my own now. My oldest is 8 years old. My mother has told me over and over about her love of me and of them. She has talked about her desire to babysit them and let me have a date night with my husband. She has told me about wanting to buy a house near my own so that she can see them grow up. She has told me about how she wants to cook for them. She has talked. In the 8 plus years of my being a mother my own mother has never actually seen any of my children. She has never touched their hands, never given them a hug, and she has never been seen by any of them. If they were to see her in the world they would not know her from any other woman.
I am an adult. I cannot say I truly forgive her for her choice when I was a child, but I have moved past the pain it caused me. I do not dwell on what happened between us and I can live my own life relatively happily. I can say, however, that I will never forgive her for her decision to be absent from my own children’s lives though.
To me we all have our time. When we are single and do not have children we can do as we please. We can party and be selfish. It is your right to live your life the way you want. In fact, enjoy your life. Do everything you want to do so that when the time comes you have no regrets.
When we have children, I believe that it is no longer your time to do as you wish. I think that it is now time for those children to be given their chance to live a normal well adjusted life and in that chance we as parents should forego our selfish desires to better provide for our children. That doesn’t mean that you as a person need to stop existing, but it does mean that you make the choice to allow your children to come first over yourself. The point is that with each new generation it is more important for them to be given a chance than it is for the older generations to have their fun. You had your time and so did I. It is not a child’s fault that you did not get to party. The child did not make the choice to come into this world. However you want to look at it, it is the parent that made that choice. So let’s parent.
No parent is perfect. No parent will ever be perfect. The goal is not to be perfect. The goal is to be present, available, selfless, loving, caring, and consistent. My mother chose to live her life and let me struggle as a child without her. I told her when I was first pregnant with my daughter and she said to me, “Never let anyone else raise your child.” She told me this as a mother who had abandoned her own child. She told me this in warning and perhaps in regret. The truth is that I had made my decision of how I would be as a mother a long time ago, before I ever had the thought of even having children. She told me something without really understanding the effect that her own choice had made on her own child’s life.
There was a woman who carried me for nine months, and then she gave birth to me. She never mothered me. I will never hate her for her absence in my life. I will never hate her for her absence today, but I will never love her in that special way either.
As parents we owe our children more than what we are giving them. I am not perfect. I fail every day. I get angry. I say things I don’t mean. The thing is that I will not miss out on their lives. I will be there for them through everything and nothing will ever stop me or take that from any of us. I choose to be more than what I was allowed to have. I choose to be a Mother. Every day over and over I will make that choice so that my children can have a better life than my own. They deserve nothing less than that from me and I intend to give it to them.