(Content warning: shitty moms, abuse)
When my son came out the womb he had the most perfect little fingers and the longest nails! He kept scratching himself all over so I wanted to clip them shorter. It was only the second nail when I misjudged, cut too short, and made him bleed. I felt SO bad. I thought about it for days and I didn't attempt again for another three weeks. Then it hit me that people really don't share this feeling. This feeling of guilt for hurting their kids. There are moms out their who intentionally abuse their children, physically, emotionally, and sexually.
In my line of work (and personal life) I have seen things that would make your stomach turn. I had a woman who put her son up for adoption at 13 just because. Another client of mine's mother was an alcoholic. Another left her son with his grandparents and never came back. Another had sex with her older son while her younger one watched and she regularly put on porn in front of her kids.
The list goes on.
Listen, just cause a woman gives birth does not make her a mother.
You know what makes a mom?
The woman who SHOWS UP.
Being pregnant and making the best choices for your baby throughout pregnancy is not easy. And especially not motherhood! Not everyday you wake up feeling like making cookies, wiping ass, and picking up the same toys 100 times. But the real moms are the ones who do it anyway. Moms are the ones who cook for their kids, clean, cuddle, wake up every 2 hours to feed their baby. They wipe every tear, dirt, and booger off their face. They wanna yell when their kid accidentally broke that cute ceramic figurine or stained their cute white shirt, but don't. Moms don't get sick days. Moms can't do what they want, when they want anymore. Moms don't keep their kids waiting or have them know a babysitter better than they know themselves (and I'm talking about party moms, not the hardworking ones). Moms do not leave their younger children at home for their oldest to take care of , who isn't even legally old enough to stay home themselves.
What kind of a mother physically abuses their child for years? Neglects them? Puts friends, parties, and drugs before them? Leave them dirty and asking other people for clothes, food, and affection? How can you leave bruises on a child that took you so long to make?
Moms do. not. put themselves first.
I understand drugs and addiction and those who suffer mental health issues. But what I do not understand and will not tolerate are those who have had every bit of help placed in their hands and denied it every time. Especially when decades go by! There is help for every battered, neglected, unstable, poor, homeless, and everything in between- mother out there.
Now that I'm a mother it hits differently. I'm angry. I'm angry for every child, including myself, who were robbed of love and security. I look at my 3 week old son's perfect face and I want to give him the world. I could never hurt him. As much of a job as pumping breast milk is I do it. I do not keep him waiting to be clothed, changed, bathed, or fed. He is loved and cared for. I am teaching him what I can even at just this young age. Even if I did decide that I wanted to go off and do drugs for the rest of my life (which I NEVER would) I would give my baby to someone who could take care of him. There's no excuse. There are people out there who want children, there's really no reason for a child to ever have to face abuse or neglect.
I used to HATE Mother's Day. I never celebrated it. I'm lucky to have a wonderful stepmom and other amazing women as role models in my life, but the pain I have endured from my birth mom is something I will have to spend years in therapy to deal with. But this Mother's Day is a cause for celebration.
This Mother's Day is about me, the mom who shows up.