Random Acts of Motherness

I have my card, but I refuse to wear the jeans.  I grew two humans and have thrust them onto the world stage. and tomorrow is my day. According to Hallmark anyway. And Kay Jewelers, Edible Arrangements, and every other retail shop in existence.  I get it, and rest assured, I will totally milk it.  As will the adoptive, step, and grandmothers of the developed world. Ladies, this Bud’s for you.

But I will also raise my glass tomorrow, and it WILL be a Bloody Mary, to the unsung heroes of this sisterhood.  Because my sisters aren’t just the card carrying m.o.m.s., they are the fabulous women that either by choice or circumstance, do not have the perfect Hallmark greeting in their honor. And they deserve one.

My list is long, but here are just a few of the women that I will honor tomorrow:

  • The lady who plays peek-a-boo with a youngster in the grocery store moments before a tantrum of epic proportions seems inevitable.
  • The preschool teacher that drops subtle hints about the needs of a young child that the sleep deprived mom can’t see through the haze.
  • The “cool” teacher that quietly councils our children when their parents “just don’t understand”.
  • The friend that arrives at a two-year-old birthday party without kids of their own, bearing gifts that children most desire, moms despise for their pieces, and cost more that than the standard clearance price.
  • The neighbor that bakes the best cookies, doesn’t care if bike tires tear up the lawn, and always seems to know just when to appear when acts of cruelty among young friends are about to transpire.
  • The women who love their friends’ children on first sight and forevermore, simply because.

We mothers like to think of ourselves as part of a special club, whose initiation includes sleepless nights, supreme agitation and worry, and countless hours of PBS programming.  For some it began with 9 months of physical preparation, for others it was years of planning and preparations for home studies.  Every mom has a story, and it should be celebrated.

Not all women want to join this club, others are unable, but most (if not all) women practice random acts of motherness on a daily basis.  Without these women, we mothers would be lost, and most of us without realizing it.

Let’s end the segregation this holiday represents and celebrate all the women that make our children great.

Happy Motherness Day!

Well done, TIME magazine.

I was just thinking to myself, “There just isn’t enough controversy surrounding being a mom.”  I have been anxiously awaiting a new fight to erupt, pitting moms across the world against one another.  Let’s face it, the working mom vs. stay-at-home mom controversy just isn’t exciting anymore.  The camps are established, colors are flown, and there is enough evidence to support both sides to keep things in a rather boring even keel.

Even the excitement of red-shirting your kid has gotten blasé. For those of you not in the know, it’s the practice of holding your kid back a year starting in kindergarten so that they have every advantage academically, and more importantly, physically, than all the other kids at school by being anywhere from a year to a year and half older than their classmates.

Imagine my excitement when I saw the cover of TIME this week, showing me a bold, sexy mama breastfeeding her humungous three-year-old standing on a chair.  I’m 5’2”, so logistically I can’t even compete, but it still beckons me to pull out my gloves, demanding me to pick a side and fight.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – the Mommy Mafia exists.  Old Italian men with bushy eyebrows have nothing on us.  Moms will backstab and costume slash with the best of them, utilizing subtle techniques of exclusion and gossip to bring opposing families to their knees.  Moms can be secretive and subversive in their dealings, making you wonder, “Is she a Tiger Mom, or a Ferberizer? I just can’t tell! She refuses to let pacifiers in the house, but uses the 5 S’s with reckless abandon.  Is she one of us, or one of THEM?”

Just when I thought the balance of mom and let mom was beginning to overtake us, TIME brought us a new fight.  I have a new choice in Familia, or rather a new oath of allegiance I am required to make.  Do I lay on my sword for the boob or the bottle?  I must choose wisely, for surely the lives of all innocent children are at stake.

My Married Life

My married life is not all roses and butterflies. Sure it has its moments, but it also has its “moments”. Let’s just say that I am glad there isn’t video proof.

Some nights are lovely, things move smoothly. Kids are attended to, bathed, put to bed lovingly. Dinner is eaten, TV is watched. Compromise and teamwork are in abundance and the day ends in blissful sleep knowing that I chose well in my husband.

Some nights are disasters, fights simmer below the surface. Backhanded comments are lobbed over the heads of our little charges, frustration fills the silence in between. Sleep comes after tortured thoughts of all the little things that went wrong.

Each day brings a new challenge, a new adventure. Some days are triumphant, others deflating. But at the end of every day, I am married.

My husband was there to hold my hand in the hospital when I woke up, and will do it again if ever I needed. His work will allow him the time off to care for me, protecting his job and my peace of mind.

When I fill out paperwork for my child’s school, I will check that box that says “Married.” My children will be recognized as having an “unbroken” home because of it.

I will be there for my husband in his sickness and old age and will grieve his passing as his adoring wife. His social security benefits and pension will provide for me for the rest of my life while I struggle to live without him.

Marriage is work. It’s a commitment to work every day for the rest of your life to make the relationship stronger and better than the day before. To work through trials, enjoy the triumphs, and share in memories.

Marriage is family. A family that starts as two, but can grow to any number as the universe see fit. A family that is recognized by neighbors, teachers, employers, and the government.

Marriage is sacred. A sacred bond between two people that find themselves signing up for this journey.

Marriage is important. It’s important for our communities, our children, and ourselves. It’s important in the way we view ourselves in the framework of our society.

Most importantly, marriage is for anyone that wants to make this commitment to another human being. It shouldn’t matter if the person you choose is your same sex, just as it doesn’t matter if they are your same race.

I have a “traditional” marriage. I am a woman married to a man. My marriage will not change if my gay neighbors get married tomorrow. My marriage will still have its moments, and its “moments”. Their marriage would too. My marriage will still offer me the peace of mind that when all of life’s crazy happens, I will have built a life that is protected by laws. Their marriage would give them the same.

Marriage does not happen in a church, it happens in a court. Today a court in North Carolina has changed the state’s constitution to ban marriages between same-sex couples. It seems cruel to take away the right of any human being to be happy, recognized and protected by their government. I wonder how this is even possible? I wonder how our society has become so cruel?

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