I really, really try to avoid using the “single mom” term in any form or fashion, because I don’t think being a “single mom” makes me better or worse than anyone else. Is parenting different for me? Sure. Do I have to deal with some crap that I wish I didn’t have to? Yep, but I am incredibly empowered and honored to be J’s mom, single or not. I’m his mom…my relationship status seems irrelevant to me. He’s my son, I’m his Mom, we are a family…I guess I’ll include our crazy cat, Lucy. I love our family. I don’t feel less than because we’re a party of two when we go to dinner, I love when J and I go out to eat. I’m crazy proud of my life, my accomplishments and of J. I don’t want to be looked down upon or pitied because I’m a “single mom”. I know the stats but they don’t scare me, they empower me. I don’t like to see stereotypes be perpetuated. Please call me J’s mom, not a “single mom”.
So, based on the title of this entry and my opening, I know I am contradicting myself a bit. Here’s the context, I have been thinking a lot about Mother’s Day, about how it isn’t a happy occasion for everyone, like it thankfully is for me. Lots of people are missing people on Mother’s Day, special occasions can bring out the best and worst in us. Today I started thinking about “single moms” and what Mother’s Day might be like for some women. I have an awesome family to lean on, to celebrate with, they’ve always helped J pull off a Mother’s Day gift so he wouldn’t feel left out, or maybe so I wouldn’t, but I realized today, not everyone has that.
There are moms all over the world, who will wake up tomorrow, on Mother’s Day, and it will be just like any other day. Diapers, breakfast, cartoons, no sleeping in…business as usual. There will be no homemade cards, no pasta necklaces or breakfast in bed because the kids are too young to know or care. Maybe these moms don’t have the support I have and there just isn’t anyone to help the kids acknowledge Mother’s Day. A surprising amount of dads don’t feel the need to acknowledge the mother of their children on this day (achem). Some moms will be lucky to get a HMD text – that’s an acronym for “Happy Mother’s Day” and I’m an a hole (the last part is silent). I hate this for these Moms! Every Mom should feel celebrated and appreciated on Mother’s Day. I’m NOT talking store-bought stuff or extravagant gifts just a day where someone says “I see what you do everyday”.
J woke up yesterday morning (he was a day early), sprinted to the kitchen, made me a bowl of cereal, a cup of coffee (I’ve trained him well) and grabbed my Mother’s Day card. He was super proud to bring me breakfast in bed. I of course made a huge deal out of how wonderful of a surprise this was (it really was). He’s the best son (true story), this is the best Mother’s Day ever, I said. I did think to myself, what if he finds out he’s a day early? Will he be disappointed? So I told him the actual holiday wasn’t for another day and made sure he was okay with me opening my card. He was, he couldn’t wait a second longer. I loved how excited he was.
I opened his card and it read simply, “Mommy I love you very much. You are my favorite person in the whole world .” My eyes welled up with tears because that’s what I do, I’m ridiculously sentimental/emotional, and I asked the obvious “I’m your favorite person”? He nodded with a sweet little grin on his face and I of course told him he was my favorite person, too and he is.
We hugged it out, ate our breakfast in bed, and had a lazy morning of watching cartoons. It was the best. I just kept thinking to myself, this is Mother’s Day. I am over the moon happy and touched that it is so important for J to make it special for me. That’s truly all I could ever want or need. My sister called and I know she was asking him if he needed help or if she could take him to the store and he declined. He was proud and that made me proud, just happy. It was enough. My family always manages to pull off a little extra something and I love that about them, but my card and how excited Jack was, it’s enough. J really won me over this morning.
We ended up having a day date; a nice lunch, he got a new pair of shoes, a hair-cut, we caught a movie and frozen yogurt. He kept saying, but it’s Mother’s Day. I told him that this day was for both of us, that I could never do what I do without his help, and he had already made Mother’s Day so special for me. He liked that so we went on, what ten-year old is going to turn down a day like that? We call them J Days. We ran into a grocery store to grab a couple of bottles of water and M&Ms (I’m way too cheap to pay movie theatre prices) but when we walked in, it was like Mother’s Day threw up! I could tell he was eyeing all of the flowers and I just reminded him how much I loved my card and also that Mom kills everything so it’s best that he not waste his money.
So, here’s my PSA: If you’re a dad, acknowledge your children’s mother on Mother’s Day, not for her…for your kids! Don’t let them feel like they dropped the ball because you don’t want to do anything nice for her. If you’re dating a “single mom” that’s just a part of the gig, you’re a Mother’s Day helper. If you know a “single mom” who won’t get Mother’s Day treatment, send her a note, call her…every mom deserves to be seen and celebrated on Mother’s Day. Please remember those who may not be having a Happy, Happy Mother’s Day. This doesn’t require gifts, it requires your presence, simply acknowledge them, let them know you see them, you are thinking of them, you remember them. People want to be remembered, thought of, we can do that.
To the moms who won’t get a card or breakfast in bed, you should, you deserve it and I’m sorry that’s missing for you. Momming is seriously the hardest job on the planet but it is also the most rewarding. Still, I can imagine it would be somewhat of a downer to be a Mom, on Mother’s day and not have anyone acknowledge it. So, what’s the real gift? Being their mom! I know, I know…it’s not all sunshine and daisies but I can pretty much guaranty you are your kids favorite person in the world, even if they’re not old enough to put it in writing. Soak in every giggle, every smile…let those be your gifts. Being a mom is such an incredible privilege, please don’t let the grocery store displays let you forget what this day is about. Do you deserve something? Of course you do, but the best part of Mother’s Day is simply being someone’s mom, their favorite person in the world.
You’re a mom and that is amazing! Happy Mother’s Day!